Based in London, Holly Elan Watson started painting in 2019 while living in New Zealand. Aware that she would have to bring her works and materials back to the UK, she began working on paper using only red, yellow and blue acrylics. By heavily watering these down and mixing her own colours, what started as a way of saving space and money has led to the vibrant, watercolour-esque style that she continues to use.


Now using inks and liquid acrylics, Holly Elan’s paintings explore portraiture, colour and control. By working in a way that allows paint to spread and bleed freely, she is able to create unpredictable shapes and marks that couldn’t be achieved by hand. The works invite the viewer to appreciate the beauty in small areas of merging, exploding and uncontrollable colour 


She is heavily influenced by her daily surroundings and often paints the women in her life. They are frequently portrayed in a quiet, almost defiant act of doing nothing, or very little, rather than performing for the pleasure or benefit of others. 


The use of bright and sometimes jarring colours can juxtapose these quiet acts of ‘just being’, bringing a lightness to the works and celebrating these intimate everyday moments.