Saturday, May 24, 2014

Upcoming 2014 Outdoor Art Shows

Getting back on track with a schedule of art shows for this summer has been my goal this Spring. This involved many different activities that had been second nature to me and now I had to begin from ground zero once again. This has been a daunting  experience while being a caregiver. Paintings, equipment and contacts, all needed to be reorganized or gathered. Months of  painting throughout the winter filled with the usual artistic angst having not shown my work in a few years. Realizing that the past skills, although it was considerable, no longer suited my artistic vision and that I needed  to move on in new directions to be satisfied with my work.

I have succeeded! At this time I have been accepted  in the following shows:


  • West End Park 2014 Art Show:  May 25th,  Sunday Long Branch, NJ
  • 50th Annual Promenade Art Show: July 11-13, Friday-Sunday, Cape May, NJ
  • Collingswood Craft & Art Festival: August 16 &17, Saturday-Sunday, Collingswood, NJ
I do hope that you will join me at these venues.
I look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones.



Movements: 12" x 12"  mixed media /acrylic on canvas

Friday, March 28, 2014

Phoenix...I rise again!

I think I should change my name...Phoenix ! As many time as I have had to pick myself up and begin again, it is more than appropriate.
I am going back out on the road again. The outdoor art show circuit is about to begin in earnest and I want ...no, need to go this year.
Many of the venues that I worked a few years ago were blown away with hurricane Sandy and I must track down new venues. I also must get the word out that if my customers of the past want to view or purchase my work it is now directly available through me, not a representative.
So ...wish me well and come see me. I'll be posting the up coming show dates as they are confirmed.
Thank you for your loyalty and purchases over the many years....Helen

commissioned piece: watercolor/mixed media...sold

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Pinterest

Sunday has snuck up on me again. Busy, busy days of painting, shipping things off to my art rep and caring for my partner after chemo has taken up my time. One of my diversions from the constant pace is catching up on my Pinterest boards. My youngest daughter, Lindsay,  got me started on this social media. I had trouble navigating it on my android but found that I was much more successful on my desktop computer. This past week I've been able to add boards of my paintings, sketches and even work of other artists that I enjoy.  I'm just starting to enjoy exploring the possibilities of using Pinterest for marketing as well as my own enjoyment. Give it a try .
This is a value study photo from my pinterest board : my sketches

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Brush Confidence

Today's blog was originally written in 2009. Reentering my studio in October of 2013 for the first time as a full time artist after life's ups & downs I found  that rereading some of my own advice was more timely and helpful than I thought or  would ever need. Our past blogs remind us where we have been and help keep us focused on our journey.
Risky Business 2009
My natural palette is blue/brown . My usual expression relies on applied textures. Vermilion Skies was painted to challenge these habits. Surprised by the outcome,encouraged by its quick sale,I continue to grow and learn as an artist when willing to set aside that which I already know and take a risk.
I've been teaching more and more lately. I find my biggest challenge is not in teaching art principles but confidence...specifically brush confidence. I first heard reference to such a concept from Barry John Raybould. Struck by the phrase, I wondered if it applied to watercolors . It was obvious in oils and acrylics by nature of their textured and weighted stroke, but watercolor?
Yes ! Brush confidence goes beyond mere application of paint .
Large brushes used with energy, stroke broadly across a surface giving a flow of direction. Flat edged and razor- like swoops of color skitter, dry against dry and meet strokes melting wet into wet.Working large to small, building on broad shapes rather than line contour, most importantly keeping the forms simple I challenged myself to ... brush it on ..and walk away! sold

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Inevitability of Change

If you read my last post "just show up..." you'd understand that this is post is an out growth of thoughts from my work during the week. 
This  is a prime example of a what I mean  when I use the term "working artist."By showing up each day you generate a possibility of growth in your painting, and thoughts. Each day that your brush passes over a surface the imprint of your marks leads to another, accumulating your rhythms and thoughts of creativity. The self talk dialogue in a studio while alone or conversation with another artist by phone, emails, blogs,YouTube etc. open up an exchange that inevitably will show up on your canvas. 
This past week  I came across a word, a process that was a moment of ah - ha, recognition of kindred spirit and thought. Wabi-Sabi, whispered to me in my reading and then with glaring recognition I looked up at my current work and it resonated with clarity of where I had been, where a I am now and where I seem to be heading.It made perfect sense and it felt right and true to me...growth!
I sighed with relief because I realized the the visual ennui that chastised me all week was in my efforts to avoid a change that I see happening in my work. Perhaps it is only a human response but once you can name it,the fear of what it is clears a path to embracing it...leading to the inevitability of change. 
Pictured above is a current piece in process:"Fields of Gold"6"H x 6" W,  mixed media/ acrylic

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Just show up...

Part of the excitement/terror of being an artist is simply showing up in your studio each day. If you are a working artist meaning this is how you pay your rent & eat and not a hobbyist whereas your art is not a means of financial survival ( though  maybe emotional & intellectual survival),then showing up is not an option. 
That being said...sometimes you just can not get going. 
After a 4 year hiatus while my partner & I were building a restaurant/theater business, getting back into the daily routine of drawing & painting, despite my love of it, is not easy. I have, however, found an energizing way to take those first tentative steps each day. Up early for some alone time with a cup of coffee in hand, I go to my computer. No emails, no Facebook or Twitters...I view youtube. Never as before has so much research been available for artists in so many ways. From beginner "how to's" to inspiring interviews of artists  from all disciplines and levels of expertise, are readily available to teach, encourage, excite and even enrage your sense of visual imagery. I have found a tribe of artists to keep me company through out my day as my co workers and as my teachers .
Off to work I go... my latest work in raised textures on clayboard: Sea Gifts 6"H x 6"W 
available through FineLeaf

Monday, December 30, 2013

Note to self....

In my last blog, I asked a question about whether I should  continue to paint and sell original work or to jump  into the growing trend of producing prints of my work and selling them in a variety of formats.
It seems life has a way of answering my questions. As my daughter, Lindsay once stated "Perhaps you need to be more specific,mom."
Lo and behold, just as I am about to turn to prints, along comes an acquaintance and offers me the opportunity to be my art representative who deals exclusively in originals. This coupled with yet another life change, caring for my life partner during chemo treatments and the closing of our restaurant business, life has given me an emphatic answer!
So to begin the New Year of 2014.....I announce that my original work is  represented by Joan Hayes  and Kasey Child of FineLeaf.
Please take the time to visit this link and if interested in purchase of my work please contact Joan.----Helen

This is an oldy but goody... and sold!