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She’s back home

Local artist Toby Hollinghead works on a new painting in her home studio inside an old log cabin on her property near Opp.

Toby Hollinghead is slowly, but surely making her way back into the art realm.

Hollinghead, who was involved in a serious automobile accident in May 2009, has opened her work-in-progress home gallery.

“It feels good to be getting back into it and coming back home,” she said referring to the log cabin next to her farmhouse just north of Opp. “That’s where I started. It’s primitive, but it’s peaceful.”

There’s still more Hollinghead said she wants to do with the gallery before she holds her open house.

“It’s coming a little bit at a time,” she said. “I have a vision for what I want it to be like and that can’t be rushed.”

The Hollinghead family moved the old log cabin to their property some 15 years ago.

“It’s a work of art itself for me,” she said. “We’ve built around it – the porches and all. It’s an art in progress, 3D art.

“When people look at it I want them to think serenity because it’s been lived in, loved in, and children have been raised here,” she said. “I want them to feel relaxed.”

This log cabin holds the works of Toby Hollinghead. Inside is her new home gallery and studio.

Hollinghead said she had some out-of-towners come visit and they enjoyed the peacefulness.

“We had some visitors and the husband led a high-stress life,” she said. “His wife called and said he hadn’t been that relaxed in years.

“I want to enhance that calming effect,” she said. “I’m excited about what the future holds. I know we are out in the country, so people have to make plans to visit, but I believe it will be successful, and we’ll bear the fruit of our labor.

Hollinghead said she’s already produced several pieces in the gallery and one of them, a folk painting of a cotton field, was on display at a local arts gallery.

“It blocks out everything, and you’re able to connect to the artwork and visualize everything out there,” she said. “My artwork comes from expression and moods. The ideas just come to my mind. They’re spontaneous.”

Hollinghead said once she envisions an idea, she has to paint it almost immediately.

“It won’t sit on the back burner long,” she said. “When the painting is there it must come out.”

Hollinghead said she hopes to convey to her visitors that they too can have a “back home gallery studio to walk out their door and be in the ‘happy zone.’”

“I want to share with others,” she said. “I want the to see what they can possibly do. All it takes is a little bit of imagination and a little bit of elbow grease.”

Anyone who wishes to see Hollinghead’s studio can call her at 493-9718.

“I want people to visit like friends,” she said. “We can talk about artwork. I’ll show them my new pieces and give them a tour. We have a pond on our property, too. My studio is much more than just a building, it’s a whole farm.”