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Barbie Holton


Barbie Holton is a native Texan using her extensive art background to create gourd art. She majored in art education and received her honors degree from the University of Houston. With her study in various fine arts and crafts since childhood, Barbie is constantly trying new directions. The award-winning artist has explored numerous techniques and media. Her current focus is on gourd creations and woodturning.

She and her husband, Jimmy, hail from the Houston area. Art, travel, children, business, sailboat racing, and woodturning have all been a part of their lives. Thru the years, Barbie has taught art at every level from kindergarten to adult. She was bitten by the gourd bug, when she took a class to learn some techniques to be applied to her wood art. Instead, it was love at first gourd sight.

Though heavily influenced by the Southwest and nature, Barbie’s art has a strong contemporary flair. She differs from many with a “please touch” policy. The visual textures and the tactile feel are of great importance to her. Rough chips of turquoise swirl next to smooth carved waves. Cool polished glass beads twine with wire and sea grass. The juxtaposition of these materials begs to be touched. Pyrography has been a point of major attention. What started on her woodwork has blossomed on the gourds.

Barbie’s work has acquired recognition at state shows in Texas, Arizona, Missouri, and New Mexico. Her education background has naturally led to teaching gourd classes. Sharing her love of art and gourds has been a source of great joy to her.




A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine.

I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now.

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapour around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image.

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