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Elizabeth Holmes


While as an artist I am known as Elizabeth Leone Holmes, just about everyone knows me as Betsy. I am an outdoor/plein air oil painter with a passion for nature – the seasons, weather, light… all of it is inspiration for my work. Recognizing that we are often too busy to notice the beauty around us, I'm inspired to create paintings to remind us of the splendor that is our environment.

The Impressionist and Expressionist painters of Europe, the US and Canada are my continual inspiration. Take a look at the works of the Swiss painter Ferdinand Hodler, California artist William Wendt, and the Canadian "Group of Seven" and you will recognize how their view of nature inspires my work. For me, painting is the joy of color, making expressive marks, and sharing the beauty I see in the world.

Education and teaching is another passion; I recently retired as Library Director at New Hampshire Institute of Art and continue to teach art history and plein air painting at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). I never stop learning when I teach! I hope you'll consider subscribing to my newsletter, where I will discuss various topics on painting inspiration, technique, and of course art history!

When I'm not painting or planning classes, I work in a variety of conservation initiatives including as a land steward and invasive species monitor. And, I'm very lucky to live on Deering Lake with my husband Ralph, the loons, herons, kingfishers, bald eagles, et al!

"The act of creating a work of art outdoors is so different… so humbling… when compared to the studio experience. Being in the woods a painter is never alone; the birds are singing, the wind might be blowing, and you race with the sun to depict a moment that really can never truly be captured. The experience is sensual: the scents, the sounds, the views – I am constantly drawn back to it. While a painting can never fully represent the experience, my work stands as a souvenir of a moment of bliss." --Betsy Holmes


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