Columbus, OH, USA
Holly Romano lives and works in Columbus, Ohio. Her art practice focuses on photography, painting, and mixed media processes. Her paintings and photographs are rooted in the complexities of being a mother — from caring for her children to maintaining a household. She also explores the beauty and vastness of the natural world to promote wonder and appreciation.
Romano holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Bowling Green State University in graphic design and a minor in photography. After 16 years of working in the design field, she is focusing on her fine art practice.
Inspiration for my work comes from routine life and immediate surroundings. Accessible nature, family roles and dynamics, and reflections on identity are all things that inspire my paintings and photography. They show an introspective look at how we interact with each other and the world around us and what I experience in modern motherhood. Morning light on dishes, a momentary glance, a shared emotion, and a cluster of trees on a city street can all be sources of inspiration. Even in the simplest, most ordinary moments, we can find meaning and beauty.
"Growing up, I always loved being creative. When it came time to pick a career, my parents would not allow me to study fine art. They were concerned that I could not make a living as an artist, so they directed me towards graphic design and photography - still creative and much easier to find work and be self-sufficient.
When I became a mother, there was a shift in my heart to find more meaningful work. I started to feel drawn to studio art again. I would not have the opportunity to follow it until my third child was born, and I needed to be a stay-at-home mom. During that time, I felt lost and lonely. I also felt the weight of my lost identity as a creative.
Six months after I became a stay-at-home mom, I pulled out some old canvases and my kids’ paints, and I started painting. I was uncertain, having no formal training in painting, but my heart fell in love with the process. I waited so many years for this chance. I was never going to give it up again.
Motherhood caused me to follow my dreams finally. It not only gave me a window of opportunity, but it gave me the motivation to allow my kids to see me doing something I love. If I want them to follow their hearts and be their true selves, I needed to do the same."