Holly Friesen was born in Saskatchewan, studied Visual Arts at John Abbott College in Montreal and painting at York University in Toronto. Through many years of travel she discovered the portability of watercolours and honed her skills by painting on location. Settling in Mont-Tremblant, QC, Holly opened Artbeat Studio where she painted and taught for 20 years. While living and working in the Laurentians she painted from close observation of nature. She rediscovered the luscious physicality of oils and the textural versatility of acrylics. The scale of her paintings continually grew to accommodate the large movement she felt within herself and the earth around her. Her newest pieces are largely informed by internal metaphors and dream images she encounters when painting from inside the landscape.
"Holly Friesen works in an expressive and representational manner, her work is modern and fresh, rooted in ecological and feminist philosophies. Shaman-like, Holly often finds that when she is working, “there is less separation…between inner and outer ecologies” and she is often in the grip of powerful dream images. In this way, she forges a connection between European and Aboriginal art in a way that is uniquely her own."