Artist posing with her artwork, holding a paint brush
Paula Holtzclaw in studio with "Luminescence"

How do you find inspiration?
Paula Holtzclaw: When sometimes challenged with finding inspiration, I remind myself of this favorite quote by Chuck Close, “The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you, and something else will occur to you, and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I fine that’s almost never the case.”

What is the best thing about being an artist?
Paula Holtzclaw: I know that lucky, and not always common, is the person who is able to fill their time doing what they love. The best part of being an artist is being able to recognize and appreciate the beauty around us, the quiet moments that so easily slip by, unrecognized. Then to share that moment in time with others is a true blessing.

To see more of Paula’s work, visit:

oil painting of misty day over marshlands
Paula Holtzclaw, Looks like Rain, oil, 16 x 20 in, 2022. A grey misty day is the perfect time to use a limited palette. Available through NOAPS and/or Wilcox Gallery in Jackson Hole, WY. (currently in the NOAPS Best of America exhibition)
oil painting of strong, bold color sunset filled in the marshlands
Paula Holtzclaw, Firelight, oil, 16 x 20 in, 2022. The brilliance of this sunset appeared almost as a fire in the sky. Available through the American Impressionist Society and/or Mary Williams Fine Arts, Boulder, Co. (currently in the AIS National Exhibition)


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