Ed and Mary Holmes

by Alison Carrillo

Mary Holmes was a gorgeous, long-legged painter, teacher and mother who loved men even more than she loved horses. She was forty five, smarter than most, outspoken, iconoclastic, with a quick eye for what mattered: painting. She was then and still is at ninety an inspired painter and teacher, a delightful person, a true breath of fresh air. She was a lecturer in Art History when Ed was nineteen and an undergraduate at UCLA. Mary liked Ed immediately and he liked and respected her right away too. In her classes she spoke about the seriousness of art, the richness of painting; that with authenticity and great courage the masters pull their inspiration from within; that the mind must be set aside in order to see; about the curse of self-expression and how without discipline there is no freedom. Mary saw that Ed had a unique gift. She supported his good instincts and encouraged his Spanish quest. She wanted him to discover his own heritage, the rich tradition of Spanish painting. In 1967 Mary moved to Santa Cruz to teach at UCSC where she later named Ed for a faculty position in painting. She knew his extraordinary talents and that his contribution would be significant. I always loved visiting Mary with Ed because the mutual affection and respect were palpable, great souls both. I felt honored to be there.

3 thoughts on “Ed and Mary Holmes

  1. Is Mary Holmes’ son, Michael living? Many years ago I visited the Agora castle with her son Michael (then a student at Cal Tech). What a memorable evening complete with tarantellas climbing up the sides of her paintings. She, or Michael, or one of the grandparents would scoop up those creatures by adroitly covering them with an empty cottage cheese container sliding the top under it, saunter outside and fling into the brush, then Michael and I gin & tonic in hand climbed up the turret to watch the sun set and listen to Gregorian chants echoing from somewhere

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