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I am a story teller. I like to tell stories with paint and brush. Some of my stories are about the history of the natural world, carefully researched and based on historical fact.

Recently I’ve decided I can also tell stories with my portrait commissions. Imagine your child portrayed in their own make-believe world. Visit my artist’s journal page and read about my first make-believe childhood portrait titled: “Andy’s Dream.” A variation of this idea could also apply to adult portraits. After all, adults have dreams too!

Come visit my world as I take you back through time to see the natural world of long ago or into the fantasy world of a young child’s mind.

I have many wonderful and colorful stories to tell!

Here’s a link to a Cincinnati Enquirer article about my Village of Mariemont 17th Century project!

Nature’s Past, a Historical Perspective


Imagine billions, yes billions, of migrating passenger pigeons so numerous they could eclipse the sun for three days as they passed overhead. Parakeets with brilliantly colored plumage contrasted against the pure, white snow of the forest. Imagine centuries-old forests with some trees so immense that men and horses could find shelter inside. There were places in the Eastern American Wilderness where the forest canopy was so thick the sunlight couldn’t reach the woodland floor. These forests were known to the first European settlers as “the shades of death.”

This is what the first European settlers saw and experienced as they traveled west through the Appalachian Mountains and beyond. But a little known fact is that this vast wilderness was not a wilderness at all. Those same Eastern Woodland Indians had been altering their environment for centuries to create more sources of food. They did this by burning or girdling some forest trees to kill them and re-planting  with more fruit and nut-bearing trees. They created extensive prairies that made game easier to hunt in open sunny areas. This also allowed a greater diversity of plants and animals to thrive there. By these practices they lived sustainably with nature by creating more sources of nutritious food for themselves as well as the wildlife. They not only believed that the land and all living things were sacred but were also a treasure in trust. All of nature was given to them to use wisely and well  so it could be passed down to future generations. Only now in the 21st century are we starting to embrace this concept.

Choctawhatchee Wetland, Florida ancient home of the proud Creek Nation

All images and artworks represented on this site are copyrighted by Mary Louise Holt and are not to be reproduced without written permission by the artist.


Andy's Dream 24" x 36" oil

Presenting:  Make Believe Childhood Portraits

Imagine your child portrayed in their own make-believe world.

For more information about commissioning a portrait, contact Mary Louise Holt.

Connect with me on Facebook and follow my progress!

“Where the Lilies Cry”, a book of historical fact/fiction about the Shawnee of the Ohio Valley includes the paintings titled “They Loved Their Children Too” and “First Signs of Spring” on the front and back covers!

Written by Stephen Badgley, the book can be purchased on Badgley Publishing Company as well as Amazon or any Barnes and Noble bookstore!

Saturday December 7, was Mary Louise Holt Day in Mariemont, Ohio!

To see more or read the article in the Cincinnati Enquirer click here.

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