September 30, 2023


sights and trips

An artist’s journey: From painting to metalwork, Alyssa Holt keeps her hand in multiple mediums

BLUE HILL — Alyssa Holt is discovering her creative character, occasionally through many mediums at a time.

Relying on the time of calendar year, you may well come across the Portland-born artist at perform in her home studio, which had been her fisherman boyfriend’s buoy-painting workshop.

The slight younger woman, wearing a silver hydrangea-inspired cuff on one particular wrist, made at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, exhibits a visitor a dizzying quantity of perform. Paintings are everywhere you go, from alcohol-ink abstracts to items created with bullet casings dipped in vibrant acrylics.

A box of shimmering lobster claws awaits summer season visitors to snatch them up.

“My curiosity for building art stemmed from a younger age. I normally felt this creativity from in and possessing inventive people today in my shut family. It sparked this enthusiasm for art in lots of kinds,” Holt stated. “There’s this photograph of me close to 4 yrs previous or so, in the evening, sitting at my tiny desk, with a lamp and deep in my work, which was drawing of program.”

“So, the drawing turned into painting, which turned into all sorts of crafts and artwork forms together with collage, scrapbooking, beading, stitching, printmaking,” the artist recalled. “I’ve dabbled in ceramics, woodturning, indicator carving and basket weaving, all of which I would do yet again in a heartbeat, but it has not just been my main function.”

“I’m undoubtedly a collector as nicely,” Holt continued. Collected gems, crystals, sea glass, even a container of wire hangers, await initiatives.

Holt, who grew up on Cape Cod, took drawing courses at the Art Institute of Boston. There, she learned printmaking with linoleum and wooden blocks.

“I acquired into jewellery all-around 19 decades old,” she reported. “I liked actively playing with crystals and stones, and I uncovered that generating this ‘wearable art’ variety was a enjoyable way to function and wire soon grew to become my medium of choice.”

“I got much more practical experience with metal do the job in my first silversmithing class in 2012,” Holt explained. “And continued following shifting up to Maine in 2016 where I took [on] bezel configurations and some copper soldering assignments. Considering that then, I’ve experienced an island workshop working day at Haystack, where by I acquired to make the most of their amazing metal studio room.”

Holt, in her 20s, did the tunes display circuit much too, creating band and concert T-shirts and pop society-themed enamel pins.

“Now in my 30s I seem to continue to keep several of these art varieties playing off each other, either in collaboration or at times I’ll paint and sometimes I’ll make jewellery. It’s wonderful to have an additional medium to perform with,” the artist explained.

Holt also does some graphic artwork, making logos for little corporations.

“I delight in generating,” she mentioned. “I feel like I’m generally going to be a maker no make any difference what. I hope individuals will find it pleasing or it stirs their feelings in some way.”

A silver hydrangea-motivated cuff (from higher than remaining) and bracelets, artful sea glass magnets and alcoholic beverages-ink summary paintings are amid the artist’s other creations.

Through the summer, Holt will work at Handworks Gallery in Blue Hill and she also sells her work there. You also can uncover her artwork at Barncastle Cafe and the ArtBox in Fairwinds Florist and Makers Sector Shop + Studio in Brooksville.

“A good deal of my inspiration arrives from my family. My mom [Susan James of Castine] is in graphic design, my father was in culinary arts and carpentry, my brother also is a carpenter,” Holt said.

When Holt will work on her jewelry, she sits at a bench custom built for her by her father, the late Richard Holt. He just passed 18 months in the past and the artist has a picture of him hanging nearby. The bench has armrests that Holt can pull out and rest her forearms on whilst she’s doing detailed jewelry function.

“My grandfather, Paul Noble James, did a good deal of painting,” she mentioned. “He would hike and photograph surroundings, then paint them at home. As a little child I was captivated by all of his work, the very paintings adorning each and every inch of my grandparents’ partitions and stacked under ended up extra to sift as a result of. His uncles (my good-great uncles) have been painters and my fantastic-good grandfather was a painter, illustrator, etcher and designer.

“So, my family members clearly plays a major purpose in my operate, but there is inspiration everywhere,” she said. “Nature evokes me each and every day. The architecture and surroundings when I travel — music and society. There are some incredible area artists from this spot I’ve been equipped to fulfill. I was privileged ample to commit some time with a wonderful artist from Castine who experienced extraordinary encaustic do the job, and collage paintings.”

Some of her beloved artists from whom she attracts inspiration consist of MC Escher, Ralph Steadman, Salvador Dalí, Jackson Pollock and Wassily Kandinsky.

“Being listed here in Blue Hill is quite excellent,” she claimed. “I’ve now also been at Handworks Gallery for 4 a long time and it is inspirational just being in there to function. “I get thoughts or jobs in head. I find out new techniques and I also meet up with a great deal of the artists who present their get the job done there.”

See Holt’s portfolio at

Jennifer Osborn

Information Reporter Jennifer Osborn addresses news and capabilities on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes guidelines and tale ideas. She also writes the Absent Shopping column. E-mail Jennifer with your solutions at [email protected] or connect with 667-2576.
Jennifer Osborn