For this month, Winnipeg River Arts Council features Tammy Holland, a visual artist from Molson, near Seddon’s Corner. She began drawing after spending a night out with teenage pals, experimenting with her mother’s homemade chokecherry wine. She got grounded for two weeks with no phone, no friends, and no television.
She said, “Once the hangover passed and boredom set in, I started drawing house plants and then the cat. I’m sure that cat was posing for me. Before long, I was no longer bored and I didn’t mind the solitude.”
Being shy and her own worse critic, she kept her art to herself. However, friends and family soon noticed her talent. In her twenties, she took a drawing class at Winnipeg Art Gallery, to balance the demands of university and nursing school. In art, she found her life passion. However, people told her that artists starve and only become famous after they die. Her family encouraged her to find a profession that paid the bills.
Holland’s second passion involves helping others, as a nurse. She has worked in several northern stations, in Churchill, Manitoba, as a flight nurse serving Arctic communities, and in Dauphin as an emergency nurse. She is now a home care nurse with IERHA.
Holland learned more about art from books, videos, workshops, and the late Bob Ross. She enjoys acrylics and water colours. Recently, she studied clay sculpture again, at Winnipeg Art Gallery. She loves clay but gets impatient waiting for the pieces to dry and gets discouraged when they don’t survive the firing process.
Surrounded by nature’s beauty, she finds inspiration in everything and everybody. She loves observing her pets’ antics; they often end up as subjects. In the past few years, she has found the courage to enter local shows. The first time, judges awarded her two honorable mentions. These prizes jumped-started her inspiration; she won third and second place in following competitions. In February, she will stage her first solo show at Lazy Tuesdays Restaurant, Seddon’s Corner. She has also done some commissioned pieces.
Holland said, “I consider myself an out-of-the-closet artist. A fledgling in the great big world of art.”