Holly McKinley



The process of painting is pure delight, where I seek to show the interconnected-ness of  the natural world – people, skies, hills, critters, oceans, and rivers – and man’s precarious balance within it. The encaustic medium, with its transparency, allows particles to suspend in the surface, giving the images layers of depth and luminosity.  I love adding ‘detritus’ and impurities into the pristine wax surfaces.  Each painting is a discovery, an opportunity to learn from a ‘mistake’, and an attempt to create  beauty in my small corner of the world.  I feel like a kid again!

I am a lifelong Washingtonian – born in Edmonds, raised in Yakima – and a resident of Seattle since  earning my BFA in Interior Design at the University of Washington in 1982.  My design practice continues to compliment and inform my art,  where the worlds of color, proportion, and material interweave.   There is a bounty of inspiration in the beauty of Puget Sound, and rolling hills/open skies of Eastern Washington.   My studio in Snohomish  is surrounded by mountain vistas and pastures, where I also take great joy in the boundless exuberance of my  little Border Collie muse Coulee…her love of life and work is fuel for the soul.