Artist, Craftsman, Scholar

“To love beauty is to see light.” — Victor Hugo

Melville Holmes is a traditional fine artist, working mostly in oils but also in watercolors and various drawing media. He has built his painter’s craft upon the best of tradition and adventurous experimentation. His oil paintings, prismatic and layered, manifest both an inner glow reminiscent of stained glass and a durability equal to medieval craftworks.

Extensive travels and diligent research into the history, technology, chemistry, and scientific analysis of painting and building materials have given Holmes an unusual career path and a unique set of skills. In addition to painting, he has been involved with the renovation and restoration of historic buildings, artworks, and statuary; design and décor consultation for modern and historic spaces; and the creation of new knowledge. For this reason, he is distinguished not only as an artist, but also as a craftsman and a scholar.

A River Through the City (1995) has become one of Spokane, Washington’s most iconic paintings. Inspired by Vermeer’s View of Delft, Holmes left out the architectural eyesores. Photo: Susan Dirk/Under the Light

Old Master Dialogues: Sources, Methods, and Theory

Melville Holmes’s  exhibition of Old Master Dialogues: Sources, Methods, and Theory is on view at Ballet Arts Academy of Spokane, 109 W Pacific Ave, Spokane, Washington. The occasional addition of new themes and topics expands the ongoing dialogue. The exhibition currently comprises drawings and watercolor studies along with finished oil paintings. Subjects include the human figure, anatomical and drapery studies, still life, architecture, and classical landscape idylls accompanied by commentary on the development of ideas and the method of indirect painting.

Classic Holmes Still Life from Melville Holmes on Vimeo.

Using techniques derived from his studies of the materials and methods of the Old Masters, artist Melville Holmes has painted richly luminous, contemplative still life paintings for many years.