Interview With Award-Winning Australian Artist Leon Holmes

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Today we have Australian artist Leon Holmes answering a few questions about his work and life. Holmes does a fantastic job capturing the dynamic Australian landscape. It reminds me of Ken Knight and Sir Arthur Streeton. I particularly like his depictions of cattle and turquoise seas.

Leon Holmes, Footprints
Leon Holmes, Footprints

Q: When did you start painting?

Drawing and creating have been a passion since the first time I could hold a crayon but I officially started oil painting in 1993.

Leon Holmes, Aristos Fish Cafe
Leon Holmes, Aristos Fish Cafe

Q: Can you remember your first painting? Do you still have it?

My first official oil painting was a copy of a Monet but I still have the first original composition I did and it’s framed and often hangs in my shows.

Q: What do you find to be the most challenging aspects of the artist life?

Making a living. Painting is a pleasure but in reality, it’s only a small percentage of the time spent running an artist business.

Leon Holmes, A Sea of Sunshine
Leon Holmes, A Sea of Sunshine

Q: Any tips for balancing art, family, business, and life in general?

Treat it like any sole trader business, have a good plan, set deadlines, give time to running the business, bookkeeping, invoicing, and marketing, and make sure you set time to paint. Have set hours and set time for family.

Q: What do you do when inspiration or motivation are lacking?

Pack my gear and go outdoors to paint. If I can honk up inspiration it soon is presented on location and often inspires larger studio works.

Leon Holmes, Plein Air in Progress
Leon Holmes, Plein Air in Progress
Leon Holmes, Fairy Den
Leon Holmes, Fairy Den

Q: Which artists inspire you?

Many of my contemporaries that I’ve painted alongside. But Sir Arthur Streeton has been a high contender forever.

Leon Holmes, Moving Shadows
Leon Holmes, Moving Shadows

Q: Favourite art book?

My sketchbook.

Q: Recommendations for aspiring artists?

Paint small and lots of them, paint from life, not from photos. Keep the best 20% of your work and paint over all the rest.

Leon Holmes, The Antiquated
Leon Holmes, The Antiquated

Q: Where can we find your work (socials, website, galleries, etc.)?

There is a list of my gallery representation on the website under where to buy. I also exhibit regularly at plein air invitation events in the USA and Europe.

Leon Holmes, Sheepish Behavior
Leon Holmes, Sheepish Behavior

More of Leon’s Work

Leon Holmes, Dry Summer
Leon Holmes, Dry Summer
Leon Holmes, Fast Moving Front
Leon Holmes, Fast Moving Front
Leon Holmes, In the Rut
Leon Holmes, In the Rut
Leon Holmes, Wandoo Worrior
Leon Holmes, Wandoo Worrior
Leon Holmes, Choc Caramel Cream
Leon Holmes, Choc Caramel Cream
Leon Holmes, Sunset on Wades Road
Leon Holmes, Sunset on Wades Road
Leon Holmes, Salmon Fishing
Leon Holmes, Salmon Fishing
Leon Holmes, Sandy Toes
Leon Holmes, Sandy Toes
Leon Holmes, After the Rain
Leon Holmes, After the Rain

Thanks for Reading!

Thanks Leon for taking the time to do this interview! Feel free to share with friends. If you want more painting tips, check out my Painting Academy course.

Happy painting!

Dan Scott

Draw Paint Academy

40 comments on “Interview With Award-Winning Australian Artist Leon Holmes”

    • Thank you for introducing us to his work. He inspires me to revisit the element of contrast in my compositions. Contrasting shadows and size of objects in particular.
      Gorgeous use of colour.
      Cryselda

      Reply
  1. Great interview with a wonderful artists.
    Not all of us have the luxury of painting outdoors, so photos are the next best thing.

    Reply
  2. Thank you Dan for this insightful interview and discovery of this wonderful artist. I love Leon Holmes’ paintings, they are so alive and energized, it’s a real joy to look at.

    Reply
  3. Learn so much about not only painting from you but about artists I did not know. Thank you and I look forward to taking painting lessons from you when I retire

    Reply
  4. Many thanks, Dan, for introducing us to this great artist. Appreciate so much the interview and what I’ve learned from it. Take care. Jean

    Reply
  5. Love these views of other artists. Really enjoyed Leon’s work and his comment about “making a living.”
    Thank you Dan

    Reply
  6. Thanks Dan for allowing us to make comments. I especially like your style of gradations, but how is the paint uplifted or thickened? I have never heard of Leon Holmes but his work is very attractive. Your female portrait is excellent and would indeed like to try. Sorry, but at this time it’s impossible to take your your course. Thanks for all the emails with ideas.

    Reply
  7. Thank you Dan for introducing Leon Holmes to us. Wonderful paintings and hope one day I can see his work here in UK.

    Reply
  8. Dan, thank you for the introduction to Leon Holmes. I enjoy his use of color and his composition and themes. Mr. Holmes- thank you for the advice, and the blessing, to keep the best 20% and paint over the rest!

    Reply
  9. I love Choc Caramel Cream very interesting. Mostly because the cows are out of focus and shimmering as the subject. Most of Leon’s work looks more realistic but that one does something else. Was it planned and why?

    Reply
  10. Thank you Dan for giving us a Gallery Tour of Leon Holmes inspiring paintings sharing his technique
    of composition with light and darks. I liked his interview advising how to live a painters life.

    Reply
  11. I admire the choice of the dared colours, especially where I don’texpect them. Good lessons for me! Many thanks Dan !!

    Reply

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