Article – Holly Burghardt

Holly Burghardt is a very prolific painter who normally paints on large canvases. You might recognize her palette knife birch trees giving the perspective of looking up at the sky, as well as her vast poppie fields, and even her smaller flower vases, all of which she paints in thick, intense acrylic colours.

In the last four years we’ve seen her style vary from her typical palette knife paintings using gel mediums, to more contemporary clean lines, neat pointillism, and simple plaster abstracts resembling desolate landscapes, using sand, gold leaf, plaster, resin and pouring medium. Holly tells us she prefers to use pure, thick acrylic paint for vibrant results.

When describing her style of painting, she says she was never influenced by one particular artist. When she started painting, she quickly gravitated towards the palette knife, creating pieces that were infused with colour, texture and dimension.  She often finds inspiration in nature such as in flowers and trees, specifically on her daily walks and hikes with her dog, and in mountains from her frequent drives between Calgary and Invermere.

As a child Holly had a number of creative outlets, and enjoyed colouring, drawing, painting, sewing as well as doing crafts. Prior to being a full-time artist, she worked as a neo-natal intensive care nurse, taking care of sick or premature newborn infants. Since then she has taken various art classes and a number or workshops from Swinton’s Art Studio, as well as a number of more intensive week long courses from a variety of Canadian artists. She says, “I try to paint everyday, so I’ve honed my style and skill level by hours and hours of practice.”


“I’m presently working on a series of landscapes that have mountains in them, either in the background or is the main focal point of a piece. I love how the palette knife allows me to give a hard edge with a sharp contrast between light and dark, which is organically present in rocks.”


For Holly, the most satisfying compliment is seeing how her art impacts other people, their space, the way it brightens their day, and brings joy and colour to their walls. She admits she would like to keep being able to sell her work at the rate that she paints them, in order for her to have space to keep creating.


Holly’s artworks can be found at Motion Gallery, and she is also represented by a number of galleries, including the Lando Gallery in Edmonton, the Galleria in Calgary, Diff’rent Strokes Gallery in Olds, as well as two online galleries – Artmatch and FosterMAK.

Make sure to check out her website for more information





Written by Sandra Montgomery

Edited by Renee Laferriere