Solo Art Exhibition by Curtis Holder
December 21, 2021
Ever since I was a young child, I’ve always loved to draw. It’s a passion that’s stayed with me and I’m still happiest with a pencil in my hand. I often marvel at how something so simple can be used to convey any emotion and offer me endless storytelling opportunities. Appearing on television and winning Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2020, culminating in a commission to draw world-renowned ballet dancer Carlos Acosta, has been life-changing and enabled me to follow my dream.
General Manager at 45 Park Lane
Way of working
I start every drawing with a conversation, which is a chance to glimpse into the mind of my subject and make a genuine connection with them. From the moment the conversation begins, so does the drawing. I work spontaneously and act instinctively. My goal is to show people’s emotions, along with my own observations. I want my artworks to have an honesty to them, to reflect the heartfelt conversations behind the images and highlight snapshots of other people’s lives.
Every stroke counts
I rarely erase lines I’ve drawn as they’re all part of the story, even when the narrative changes direction or I see things from a fresh perspective. I build tone and depth with complex layers of colour, injecting spontaneous lines to emphasise form or emotional intent, until I sense I’ve portrayed their story in a meaningful way. I’m naturally curious and I invite others to be curious when viewing my art.
Art Curator at 45 Park Lane
Open to emotion
Having worked as a primary school teacher, I’ve learnt so much from children about creating art from the heart and staying true to yourself. As an artist, I’m dedicated to drawing out others’ emotions, creativity and individuality. If I can tune into how a sitter feels and they can recognise and relate to themselves in their portrait then I know I’ve done my job. It’s not unusual for people to react by bursting into tears but thankfully they’re usually happy tears or a wonderful sense of release.
Inspiration for Unspoken
The team at 45 Park Lane first contacted me during lockdown to discuss creating an exhibition. I visited the hotel as soon as I could and it struck me how homely it felt. I decided to gather a group of models at the hotel and spend time drawing them over the course of a few days. It was an intense experience but immensely rewarding, and it’s particularly exciting to see the images displayed in the setting that inspired them.
I’m currently considering several exciting new projects for 2022, including a series of group exhibitions in the UK. Most of all I’m looking forward to continuing to push my drawing forward in new ways. As an artist, I believe it’s fundamental to keep evolving and taking risks. Since ‘Portrait Artist of the Year’ I’ve made connections with some fascinating, diverse people in the fields of music, the arts and entertainment, and I can’t wait to develop those relationships and produce new work. Watch this space!
45 Park Lane
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