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Barbara Holt

Barbara Coyle Holt writes, “Ancient Egyptian artists tried to fill the voids in their compositions to discourage evil spirits from finding a place to take hold.  “Horror vacui” remains a condition and curse of modern life. The joy and angst of the days passing; the struggle with time and filling the empty hours and spaces.  My aesthetic takes me to these empty spaces and my goal is to try to make them connect and add meaning to the whole.


I look to the changing seasons and the skies, the colors, and smells that go with each one.

The tips of the dogwood leaves turn pink…it’s time to welcome shorter days and cooler nights. Sometimes these natural things become symbols of a particular time.

Each month has a flower, a stone, a bird assigned to it. My paintings come from a wish to combine these familiar symbols with a sense of the air and light and the mood of a time in the year. “Carpe diem.”


Inspiration also comes from the quirky random spirit of folk art and the designs of many cultures: the embroidery of Hungary, Norwegian snowflaked sweaters, the Alhambra, Japanese kimonos, American quilts…as well as the patterned imagery of the Wiener Werkstatte and William Morris.”


Holt received her BFA from Ohio University and her MA from Montclair State University. Her work has been exhibited in Virginia and North Carolina. Currently she is an Adjunct professor of Art Education at the Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, VA. 

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