Giving Her Art a Soul: Cover Artist Marcia Holmes

Giving Her Art a Soul: Cover Artist Marcia Holmes

by Poki Hampton, photo by Candra George


AS BOTH A LITTLE BIT of lagniappe and another form of expression, Marcia Holmes has accompanied her paintings with poetic narratives for years. Recently, she created Anecdotes from the Water’s Edge, a poetry and painting booklet, after her return from painting en plein air in France, translating her experiences and giving narrative to her large-scale abstract studio works.

“I am grateful for the experiences enjoyed, and further to be able to reveal the open heart of an artist, a voyager, a woman of conscience and faith. There is no comparison to being alone with nature. For me, it is the closest thing to God and ultimate freedom. As Walter Anderson wrote, ‘Beauty is born of the rain.’ I found that beauty can be found not only in rain, but also in solitude, where loneliness is reversed with the gift of creativity, as in My Winter’s Rose.”

My Winters Rose

Beauty can be found in solitude.

In loneliness its called despair.

No wonder, oh wonder this spectacle of survival!
Delicate, peaceful, a bearer of sheer delight in this wonder nature provides.

Sweetness, perfection, sensational, a peachy site,
Thriving through coolness, bursting with life.

How easily a transcendence from peril or plight to
protection, preservation, caressed delight.

Oh, I shall speak, as the sole winters rose …
Hear me, seek me, pick me … observe.

Lonely no more. What a site!

Holmes traveled from the coast of Normandy to the magical cobblestones of Paris and spent a treasured afternoon in the Rodin Museum Garden. She found incredible inspiration along the Epte in Giverny in the rain. “When I returned to Louisiana, I began creating a storyboard—a collage of anecdotes,” Holmes explains. “A serum of exhilaration pulsed within me while pursuing my visions of what had transpired in representing nature’s spirit—and I married my thoughts to my works in color with freeing poetic license.”

Marcia has been creating beautiful works of art for almost 20 years. She works methodically, choosing paint colors and pastels before she begins and then puts in blocks of color creating the background, making a base for the whole painting.
The inspiration for color choices can come from anywhere—a lily pond or a brightly colored fish in an aquarium. “Creating a piece is like solving a puzzle—creating a surprise drip here or a splash of color there until it becomes pleasing to the eye.” But Marcia often paints from her own inner expressiveness, not from an image or reality.

“I believe it is important to keep growing as an artist,” says Marcia. She is always open to new ideas, willing to learn new techniques, use different products and color trends. A couple of years ago, her work took a new direction into large-scale works. “I expanded my natural tendency to paint abstractly, yet continuing to paint the things I love and know best,” says Marcia. “I gave myself permission to paint freely from within and now write freely. What I’m experiencing and feeling in my artistic endeavors now is very gratifying; it’s always a leap of faith in following your own artistic heart.”

Marcia has expanded and amplified the breadth and depth of her work from a more precise rendering of her own abstract impressionist manner into this new direction, a new plenitude, a leap of faith that has formed over the years and reached a point in her desire for this inner expression to be displayed in her latest contemporary abstract paintings.

“During this artistic exploration, we find out who we are as individuals, express that in our work from an internal place that only we know, giving our art soul…each one is a piece of myself. It takes creating contemplation and trust in ourselves to trust in our hunches, intuitions and that our art can move beyond the predictable. This is the ultimate creative freedom, which is liberating, and the journey of change is a path to continually discover and explore your voice to your audience and collectors.”

Marcia has attained Master Signature Status in the Pastel Society of America. She is also an IAPS Master Circle pastel artist and has participated in juried exhibits around the world, including The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio; Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, Laurel, Mississippi; Festival International de Pastel, Limoges, France; Pastel Society of America in New York; International Associate of Pastel Society, Albuquerque, New Mexico; Vose Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts; and Salmagundi Club, New York. Marcia has also led pastel workshop groups in France and will be conducting abstract pastel classes at David’s Art Supply in Metairie this spring.

“Now, at 63 years old, I am in a grateful position to share my painting methods by teaching in abstract pastel workshops in 2018. I have always found other artists to be generous in sharing, and I know I will experience and grow even further as an artist by giving back what I have learned. I found a like mind in Eudora Welty, who wrote: ‘The events of our lives happen in sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves, they find their own order…the continuous thread of revelation.’”

Marcia Holmes’ work can be seen at The Degas Gallery on Julia Street, in New Orleans, and online at