by Leah Draffen
SPRINGTIME IS A REVIVAL of flora. Fields and grass begin to green, flowers open their blooms to the sun, and trees become filled with broad green leaves.
Claude Monet once said, “The richness I achieve comes from nature, the source of my inspiration.” Mandeville artist Marcia Holmes shares that source with richly hued depictions of nature in pastels, oils, acrylics, and mixed media. Her works are alive with wild motions and bold strokes, much like nature’s blossoming in the spring.
It was not until midlife that Marcia became an artist. Now, with 22 years under her palette, her works have been exhibited throughout the United States and beyond. These include juried exhibits at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art; Koehnline Museum of Art in Des Plaines, Illinois; The Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio; and the Lauren Rogers Museum of Southern Art in Laurel, Mississippi.
Marcia is a Master Pastelist and Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America. She also holds Eminent Pastelist and Master Circle designation with the International Association of Pastel Societies. Marcia’s Rose Bouquet placed second at the American Women Artist’s Spring 2021 Juried Online Show. The piece was inspired by her birthday bouquet from the prior year.
Recently, Marcia’s Charade, 24 x 24 in., pastel on paper, won the highest honor of the first-place Founder’s Award for Pastel Journal Magazine’s Spring 2022, and top pastel internationally. Charade shares a glimpse of water lilies effortlessly floating in water with reflections of the sky above.
Being a Louisiana native, it’s no surprise that Marcia is drawn to water and nature. Her works often depict scenes of waterways, gardens, and ponds. As Marcia puts it, “It’s a self-realization of the magnetic connectivity I have to life around water that emerges in my new abstract expressionist works and continued impressionist paintings.
“To express in form through the power of gestural strokes, organic forms, neutrals, and my love of color, I’ve allowed myself a new freedom-improvisation, that resonates from within, something close to my true nature. My wish is for the viewers to have a connectivity to the feeling of ‘grace in space’ and a comfortable place to rest your eyes!”
Her home studio, only a hundred yards from the Tchefuncte River, is the perfect place to gather inspiration. After all, it inspired Charade. Marcia focuses on nature’s shifts and daily changes in lighting. She methodically creates her paintings, beginning with intentional colors and pastels before laying down a base. What happens next is the natural flow to where her inspiration takes her whether that be from photographs she has taken in her own backyard or time spent in New York City’s Central Park.
Currently, Marcia has pieces in various exhibits throughout the United States including Pastel Society of America’s 49th annual Enduring Brilliance exhibition online through September 7, 2022; and Breaking Through: The Rise of American Women Artists at Customs House Museum in Clarksville, Tennessee through May 29, 2022.
Until June 1, you can view Marcia’s Safely in the Rabbit Hole online at the 7th Master Circle Division 2021 IAPS Juried Webshow. Marcia describes Safely in the Rabbit Hole: “Painted during the early days of Covid-19 shutdown, I found solace in my home grounds (safely in my own home ‘Rabbit Hole’) with remembrance of a then recent trip to New York’s Central Park. I thought of all the city shut down with the beautiful iconic park close by.”
No matter the subject, viewers gaze upon her work with ease like viewing nature itself.
View Marcia’s work at Degas Gallery, 604 Julia St. Ste 101; and Armbruster Artworks, 502 N Columbia St. in Covington. Find more information at marciaholmes.com.