Buff Holtman: Expressive Mixed-media Collage Artwork

By Cassie Rief in Featured Artists > Mixed-media Art

Buff Holtman allows her mixed-media artwork to decide its own destiny. She works in a wide variety of media, from deliberately runny acrylic paint to photo transfer, tissue paper collage and hot-stamping foil—all of which add a random element to her work.

Let’s take a look, shall we?

Tree Music is utterly whimsical and quite endearing. The composition is as simple and direct as a fluffy bird singing cheerfully outside your window at dawn.


Perched atop an ample tree limb, this bird is puffed up with music that fills its every breath—and breadth! Wings back, to muster more courage and make its vocals more robust, it prepares to sing its heart out for anyone who will listen.

I especially enjoy the various patterns and colors making up the tree’s leaves, adding some dynamic, three-dimensional texture to balance the bird in the forefront—or spotlight!—of the scene.

This next piece also tells a story, but it’s a bit darker. . . it’s a tale of winter and the days getting colder and shorter. Heavily blanketed among the reeds, the snow plasters everything it touches unforgivingly to the ground.

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The gray tones of this painting provide a framework for the snowbank’s bumpy contours, and take on the stormy appearance of the clouds above. But even they can’t quite drown out the jeweled reds, greens, and yellows of the reeds, which resolutely hang onto their last colors of fall.

Only time will tell if the snow, wind and ice will eventually render them dormant, gray, and lifeless. . . for now, they are a beautiful kaleidoscope of color to an otherwise dreary setting.

Lastly, here’s New York as you’ve never seen it before! Only a few iconic buildings are depicted, setting NYC Skyline apart from similar artwork.


I love the intense contrast between the black building shadows—those gaping, vertical rectangles—and the varying orange, rust-colored layers that create a voluptuous, roughly-textured haze obscuring the rest of the city.

Although details are minimal, I appreciate the glint coming off the hundreds of windows Buff took the time to fill in, which adds balance, structure, and a focal point to the otherwise abstract scene.

Buff’s mixed media pieces are truly remarkable, and it’s safe to say these three pieces provide just a small glimpse into her extensive portfolio. Visit her website to view the rest of her fantastic work today!


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