Born in northeastern Vermont in 1977, Hollis Dunlap is a painter living on the east coast of Connecticut in the USA. He paints modern paintings with a strong influence of old masters from Caravaggio to Vermeer. The color choices, brushwork and compositions reflect the influences of various painters, from representational to more abstract in terms of composition and varying applications of paint.
From a young age he has been interested in painting and drawing -- inventing imaginary figures, landscapes and other compositions in whatever media was available. When he reached the age of fourteen he began using oil paints, at first experimenting with still life. Encouraged by his high school art teacher, he began taking private oil painting lessons, studying the figure as well as painting landscapes on-site. During these years he augmented his school art classes with after-school figure drawing programs, developing his familiarity with the human form. At the same time he began to study the old masters extensively, copying many master drawings and paintings in an attempt to absorb some of the spirit of their work, as well as more specific technical lessons to be gained from these artists. His goal was to attempt to combine classical drawing in the style of Michelangelo with the subtle color and lighting of paintings like Vermeer. After graduating from high school he went on to study at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts where he received extensive training in drawing and painting the human figure from life, as well as painting hundreds of landscapes on site over the course of four years. During his time at the Academy, he received several noteworthy awards including winning the National Arts Club Student Show first prize for two consecutive years. Upon graduation, he received the Stobart Fellowship, a grant to paint for a year and hold a solo show at the end of that time.
Mr. Dunlap has a great appreciation for highly realist painting and sculpture as well as a love of the open-air landscape painting. He enjoys the challenge of accurate drawing as well as the beautiful transparent qualities of oil paint and spontaneous brushwork. He has been influenced by many different painters and techniques, and the qualities of color, drawing and surface in his paintings reflect artists from Velasquez, to Edward Hopper, to Diebenkorn. Paint application is extremely important and subtlety of color harmony is studied with careful attention to detail. In addition, the painting process and revisions add to the tactile qualities of the work, creating a painting surface with contrasting areas of thick and thinly applied paint.
Over the past few years Mr. Dunlap has had several one person shows in New York and Boston, and has taught painting and drawing in several locations on the east coast, including the Lyme Art Association, Mystic Arts Center and Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts. He currently maintains a studio in eastern Connecticut.