Pablo Picasso once said, “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
Holly Stone is an artist who will, in all likelihood, remain an artist once she grows up.
Stone, 18, is just barely out of high school but she knows that she will be an artist no matter the path she takes. A student at Eastern Washington University, she is ahead of the game, having participated in Running Start at 16. She is majoring in nursing and minoring in studio art. “I considered being a doctor but that’s a lot of years in school and I really want to get out of college and start my life,” she said.
She began nurturing her creative spirit through dance; she studied ballet for nine years, modern dance for two, and is currently studying belly dancing.
Her mother began teaching her the basics of painting before she was 10. She took to it naturally and it became an important part of her growth. “Art is important to me because I can just bust out and be myself. The pieces I paint are just my ideas and imagination, not anyone else’s,” she said, “There aren’t any rules or anyone telling me how to make my painting and I’m not trying to impress. It reminds me of keeping a journal. It is very personal.”
While some of her student pieces are more contrived, her other works give the feeling of a natural flow and illustrate more of her personality that contains simple grace and an open imagination.
One piece she calls “Travels” shows a girl squatting at the shore, catching lightening in her hands. It is from something Stone experienced while traveling. “I could have sworn that I got hit by lightening,” she said, “I felt it in my toes.”
Another called “Alter Ego” shows a woman holding an umbrella as she stands over a younger girl sleeping in a hammock. Stone uses the image of an umbrella in another life-sized piece done in primary colors. The umbrella is gripped by a woman who has her back to the viewer. Stone also does surreal landscapes.
Stone creates in her Cheney apartment but does most of her work in the studio on campus where she has all the supplies she needs. It is also well ventilated so the smell of oil paint does not get overwhelming.
Stone said she will always be an artist because it is the natural order of things. “I think everyone has a little creativity in them. I happen to like painting and dancing but there are many other art forms. They decorate the world. It’s been around since the beginning of time. Art is as natural to humans as eating.” She has shown her work only once at Cabin Coffee on the South Hill and she is eager to show again.