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December 4, 2017

Q&A: FHS sophomore excels at art, running

Photo/Don Del Rosso
“I’ve always drawn,” Hannah Holland says. “I guess it was my mom and dad drawing stuff with me.”
Examples of Hannah Holland’s artwork.
I like the process of trying to draw something that looks like what I see in my head. The first thing you see in your head is never going to be what actually happens.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
To hear the Fauquier High School sophomore tell it, she pretty much grew up with a pencil in her hand.

“I can’t specifically say when it started, because I’ve been doing this stuff for a long time,” explains Hannah Holland, 16. “And I’ve always drawn. I guess it was my mom and dad drawing stuff with me.”

Her talent for creating art and photography — another favorite pursuit — probably comes from her parents, Hannah says.

Her father, Troy Holland, earned a bachelor’s degree in art from Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla. Her mother, Joyce Jones, had worked as a journalist who covered
entertainment and the arts before becoming an editor with the U.S. Treasury Department.

The family lives on a small beef cattle farm near Warrenton that Mr. Holland — a stay-at-home dad who raised Hannah and her twin sister Kyra — maintains.

Pinpointing the inspiration for a drawing or painting sometimes can be difficult, Hannah says.

A recent school project required to students to incorporate their thumbprints into the compositions.

“I found this picture of a bunch of hot air balloons that were red,” Hannah recalls. “And I tried to draw it, but I didn’t like how it looked. And then I started looking for Russian domes for some reason.”

Ultimately, she produced a brightly colored pencil and acrylic work cityscape featuring a cathedral, five domes and eight, swirling thumbprint-patterned clouds against a blue sky.

Often, ideas come to her through doodling.

“I draw a few lines, and it kind of looks like something to me,” says Hannah, whose teachers have entered her work in elementary, middle and high school art shows. “And I just kind of draw off that and see how I think it will look. I really don’t have any outside inspiration, like seeing something and wanting to draw it.”

Hannah also excels at track — something she’d like to do professionally.

In February, her 4-by-800-meters team won the state championship at Roanoke College with a time of 9:35. The team included her sister Kyra, Kelsey Gastley and Madeleine Hayes.

At the same meet, Hannah placed fourth in the individual 1,000-meter race with a time of 3:05:24.

When training, Hannah runs six to seven days a week, logging 30 to 35 miles.

“Running is my favorite thing to do,” she says of her interest in track career. “And I want to keep doing it. If you get a job doing what you want to do most, then that’s what you want to do. Right?”

Hannah Holland
• Age: 16

• Home: Near Warrenton

• Education: Fauquier High School sophomore; Marshall Middle School, 2013-15; Bradley Elementary School, 2007-12.

• Sports: Cross country and track and field, 2016 to present.

• Family: Parents Joyce Jones and Troy Holland; twin sister Kyra.

• Hobbies: Backpacking, camping, watching movies.

• What do you like about making art?
If I’m thinking about something and I want to draw it, then I can see it in my head — visualize how it’s going to look. I like the process of trying to draw something that looks like what I see in my head. The first thing you see in your head is never going to be what actually happens.

It’s interesting going from the plan you have for how it’s going to look, to how it actually looks in the end.

• Where does your artistic ability come from?
I think it comes from both my mom and dad, because my dad likes to draw and paint. He’s a really good artist.

• Do you have a favorite medium?
Not really. I like to use color pencils, with lots of color.

• Do have a favorite artist?
I like Banksy. I don’t know if it’s a he or she; it’s anonymous. It’s kind of like urban art; it’s kind of like graffiti.

• What do you like about Banksy’s work?
It’s simple but it always has a message.

• What kinds of messages?
Social messages, more political, I guess; environmental messages about how important it is for us to take care of the environment.

• Which other artist do you like?
Salvatore Dali, Gustav Klimt, John Williams Waterhouse.

Dali’s work is intricately done and kind of whimsical. And there are always animals in it. And it’s colorful.

I like how (Klimt) draws people and the patterns he uses to fill space.

Waterhouse is like a romantic painter. He paints women from old myths. I like how he did them and how they look in the style he chose.

• So what do you want to do when you grow up?
I’d like to be a professional runner, but that’s iffy.

• Why iffy?
There are a lot of people who would want to do that, too. It would take a long time and a lot of effort.

Hopefully, I can do it, but I’m not going to say, “Oh, yeah, I’m going to be a professional runner, absolutely.”

• Can you make a living running?

Yeah, definitely. They sign with shoe companies and with athletic companies, which sponsor them to train. Then they enter races and win prize money by winning races.

• What do you like about running?
It’s never easy. But if you get more used to it, it becomes more bearable and you can watch yourself grow and get faster and stronger.

It’s like an individual thing as well as the fact that you can see how you alone add up to other people.

• Do you have favorite events?
I like the 800- and the 1,000-meter races. I run both the 800-meter individual and 4-by-800 relay. And I run the individual 1,000-meter race.

• If a professional running career doesn’t work out, do you have a Plan B?
I don’t have anything specific. But I’m interested in science, especially environmental science.

• Why environmental science?
Our environment is really important. It’s kind of being threatened by our existence. So I want to help it.
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