A Voltaire woman is helping people heal with the help of her paintbrush — and stroke after stroke, her art is helping her heal as well.

“Some people like to call me the jack-of-all-trades,” said Lacey Holmen, artist.

When Holmen isn’t working as a paraprofessional teacher at Velva school, being an assistant volleyball coach, a mother and a wife — she’s painting.

She was a photographer first and foremost for a decade, but a tragedy changed her focus.

“I actually lost my dad seven years ago and he was really one of my big supporters and really pushing me a lot with my photography,” Holmen said.

“After I graduated college, I never really did a lot with painting because I was so focused on photography. And after he passed, the only way to kind of get me through my dark side was, I just picked up a paintbrush literally a week or two after he passed, and I just started painting.”

She said painting helped herself grieve.

Then, a few years later, she put her skills to use to help others who experienced a loss. A friend asked her to paint a picture of her mother-in-law’s dogs who passed away.

“I love it and I connect with it because I recently lost my dog four or five years ago, and it’s hard. I can’t draw or paint people, so I feel like a loved one being an animal is important,” Holmen said.

Holmen uses watercolor or acrylic, depending on what the person wants. She pulls up a picture or two of the pet and gets to work.

And it’s not hard to notice how much heart she puts into each painting.

“With her emotions, she puts a lot of emotion into her work and you can tell by the end result of it that there’s a lot of heart and soul in it,” said Corrine Heilman, friend.

It may take days, but she said it’s well worth it for her clients…and for herself.

“By doing this, if I can give back to people that have lost an animal that means so much to them and to me. I feel completed and I feel like okay, I’ve done something good by giving them back their pet that they have recently lost,” Holmen said.

If you would like to see more of Holmen’s art, click here.