Holt McLean has loved to draw for as long as she can remember. McLean's fate was sealed as an artist when she received the National Gold Key Scholastic Art Award during her freshman year in high school. Because of the honor, McLean's work was hung in the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C. She reflects, "Looking back, I think that's when I really decided that art would be my life's pursuit."
McLean graduated from Appalachian State University in 2001 with a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts with a major in graphic design. She worked for Lowe's Home Improvement corporate headquarters in their packaging design department, which helped her gain confidence. She decided to take a chance and move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in graphic design.
Her dream was to work for a Hollywood studio, but fate guided her in another direction. She began training in the Mission: Renaissance Academy under Master Painter and Art Educator Larry Gluck, and soon became the Teens and Adult Program Director for Calabasas and Woodland Hills Fine Art Studios in California.
During that time, she took another chance in 2003 when she enrolled at the International School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture in Umbria, Italy. She learned from some great artists such as Dan Gustin and Ying Li.
After this experience, she decided in 2005 it was time to move back to her home state of North Carolina and served as the Gallery Director for Green Rice Gallery in Charlotte. Thereafter, Holt Mclean has been making a name for herself by capturing the beautiful scenery surrounding her. Holt's works can be found in galleries through the Southeast.