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Norma Holden Biography

On a hot day in May ?06 I painted by the Colorado River. Quick dips in the river kept me and my fellow artists cool! Sedona Arts Center ran this artists plein air painting/rafting trip through Grand


After I moved to Arizona in 1983 I became a hiker, photographer and backpacker in order to experience and paint on-location American and Mexican mountains, deserts and oceans.

I create plein air watercolor and oil landscapes, and use these quick studies and my photographs to complete larger paintings in my Sedona, Arizona studio. Recent painting trips include Grand Canyon river rafting, Colorado, California, Arizona, Hawaii, the Carolinas, Florida and the Mexican Riviera.


I create figurative sculptures and organic shapes in clay, Forton, concrete, hydrostone, Winterstone, cast-paper, resin/fiberglas, and other materials. Some of my carvings are a mix of hydrostone and red rock silt from my neighborhood. I carve sculptures in Verde River silt and cast these in hydrostone and Winterstone. My ongoing education includes 3-D study at Yavapai College.

Paper cast sculpture

I create original clay sculptures, which become the master for handmade cast-paper sculpture images. I use my 100% cotton rag mat cutouts to make paper pulp. Paper pulp making is a simple process: soak the mat board, and then process it in a blender.

Wire-wrapped jewelry

A favorite activity is rockhounding field trips with two local gem and mineral groups. Collecting stones and minerals from remote mountainous locations led to a passion for wire-wrapping stone/mineral/crystal pendants. Wire wrapping is an opportunity to continue creating after dark, using studio light, when natural light is no longer available for painting.

Education and continuing study

I graduated Phi Beta Kappa from The College of Wooster in 1975 with a Fine Arts in Education Bachelor of Science degree.

My continuing studies include workshops and classes with Terry Madden, Joyce Killebrew, Dennis Ott, Dorothy Drum, Frank Webb, Tom Lynch, Carol Orr, Betsy Dillard Stroud, Betty Braig, Jim Kosvanec, Ann Alleman, Marilyn Schultz and Diane Maxey.

I studied sculpture in workshops at Paolo Soleri's prototype urban structure, Arcosanti, and have studied painting, sculpture and ceramics at the Sedona Arts Center.

Professional organizations

My membership in professional organizations includes Sedona Visual Artists' Coalition, Sedona Arts Center, Northern Arizona Watercolor Society, Arizona Artists' Guild and Arizona Watercolor Association. I've exhibited in numerous juried shows and galleries across the country, and my work is in many corporate and private collections.