Saturday, November 28, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Well, I thought I better post something so people won't think I fell off the face of the earth. I've been busy as usual with a variety of stuff and just haven't made my 'paintings a day' or any paintings a priority. Soooooo....I decided to post some of my other paintings for you to enjoy.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
This is an 8" x 16" oil painting of.....the beach. I would like to be there right now, although it is kind've nice sitting here listening to the rain as it hits the roof of the house. Actually, I think it is just dripping from the trees and gutters...kind've a rhythmic/hypnotic sound...kind've like the sound of waves...and we've got the water connection...okay...the brain cells are slowing down...they're lacking sleep among other things. I just thought this would be a nice little painting to post, and of course it is available for purchase. Let me know if you have any questions. (I am also working on one that is similar to the cropped view of the boys - a close up).
"Life loves the liver of it" Maya Angelou, writer and educator
Have a great weekend, Helen
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Spring is here! My daffodils are up and there's greenery on just about everything...yea! This is a little oil painted out in Athens, IL. It was just a cute, inviting, little spot so I painted it.
This is an 8" x 10" oil on canvas. Let me know if you have any questions.
"Noboday has ever measured, even poets, how much the heart can hold". Zelda Fitzgerald
Thanks for stopping, Helen
Monday, March 23, 2009
Good Morning.....There isn't any sun streaming through this morning as it is in the little painting to the left. I guess we have to take the gray days too - they're good also but some days I don't want them. Anyway...this little painting is an ACEO (art card editions and originals), which is a painting that is 2.5" x 3.5". These paintings started out with ACS's (art card swaps). Back in the 90's an artist (swiss??) started swapping these small treasures with other artists, when they began selling to other people they became ACEO's. They are created in a number of mediums - paint, collage, clay,etc....The cards can be framed, or hung on the fridge with a magnet, or put in a small basket with other cards or treasures. It is a nice way to get art on the cheap.
This is a little oil on a piece of canvas. I have listed it on ebay...If you go under self-representing artists and type in the title 'Golden Delicious' you will be able to view it and bid.
"No artist is ahead of his time. He is the time. It is just that others are behind the time". Martha Graham
Saturday, March 21, 2009
With the beautiful day I am getting anxious to get out and enjoy the out of doors....a combination of wanting to do some plein air painting, tennis, gardening, and....not so fun yard work. I guess it isn't that bad....and I'm thankful to have a yard and all that goes with it.
This is a fun little painting I did en plein air out at Lake Springfield. It has been purchased by a customer in Texas and is going to his vacation home in Costa Rica...wish I could go there too.
"My favorite weather is bird chirping weather". Loire Hartwould
Thanks and Enjoy, Helen
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Thought I would post this cute little 6" x 8" oil painting of lemons. The photo doesn't do the painting justice but thought I would post it anyway. It is no longer available as it was just purchased by a friend and it will look great in their newly painted kitchen.
Have a great Sunday...hope your week is starting off well.
"If you been grasping onto something, try to let it go. Your empty hands will be ready to receive a new gift". Juan Nakamori, author
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Well, here it is the middle of a Saturday afternoon.. back from running errands and having coffee with my mom....a little routine we started when my father was still alive. He was in poor health for a long time and so when someone would stay with him for a bit we would run out on Saturday morning and take care of some errands and then maybe have time for coffee. It was a bit of respite for us. Sometimes that is all one needs to get going again. Sometimes that is all we have. It was difficult taking care of him at home and involved sacrifice but that was a choice we made and one we never regretted.
I guess I am thinking about priorities and time constraints as I have been corresponding with an acquaintance of mine who is trying to get motivated to get back to his art again. It can be very difficult and challenging to 'find' the time to do things we say we 'want' to do. I told him about a friend from the art world who I happened to be complaining to about not having enough time for my own art and experimenting with it, etc....My decorative painting (which of course has been my livelihood) took up so much time and energy, as did family, household, yard, friends, volunteering, and so on and so on....My friend said 'when you want to do it you will'...ouch...I thought to myself 'who does he think he is saying 'when you want to '. Of course I want to. We really have to challenge ourselves sometimes and ask 'what really is important to me'? And, what am I willing to give up or cut back on in order to do, achieve or accomplish what we say is important to us. When we scutinize our time any of us are probably guilty of some wastefulness in our schedules. It is okay to have some of this in our schedules but .....? What is really important and what are you doing about it? Talk is cheap.
Okay, so how did I choose this painting with this post - well, I chose the painting and then wasn't sure how to undo my choice. I guess if I have to tie it in I could still go back to priorities and doing something about those 'to do's'. I'm always thinking I'm going to eat healthier, therefore an image of some fruit??? This was a little oil study I did and I liked it as did the customer who bought it. I'm sure I could say much more on this topic but will wrap up now so I can take care of some of my other priorities.
"Do not fear death so much, but rather the inadequate life" Bertolt Brecht
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
Well, I was just going to post an image and a little blurb but decideded to do better. Its Monday morning and feels like it so I thought I better force my brain cells to get going right now - no excuses.
This impressionistic painting was inspired by my stay as an artist-in-residence at Hot Springs National Park. I have mentioned the artist-in-residence program in some previous posts. It is a great program, although not all of the parks participate. There are close to thirty that offer residencies. Most of the parks offer this to all types of artists - visual artists, musicians, dancers, story tellers, theatre folks, etc... I think the one at Mt.Rushmore is just for sculptors (of course). Anyway, the parks have an application process, and most are fairly similar, but the deadlines vary quite a bit.
I have been chosen for two residencies in the past, one at Hot Springs National Park, and the other at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. They were both great experiences. Not only is it a chance to really focus on one's art without interruptions and day to day stresses, but it is just enjoyable to explore these wonderful, protected parcels of nature. We are so fortunate to have them. You are considered a volunteer although the extent of your volunteer work is maybe a couple or three hours conducting a workshop, or talk, demonstration, performance or something of that nature (and not all require even that). Many of the parks ask for a piece or creation from your time there at the park. Some artists don't like this but I did not have a problem with it. I was glad to contribute something to the National Park System collection, knowing it will be taken care of, on display for many to see, and could potentially lead to more business opportunities. In exchange I was put up in great lodging, had VIP status, made some contacts, and had a cheap vacation.
The lodging at Indiana Dunes was in a cool house designed by some long gone architect from Chicago. It was up on a dune overlooking Lake Michigan - just a small road seperated the lake from the land. I had two decks and sliding glass doors on two sides of the house. On a good day I could make out Chicago in the distance. Any day there was good though. The house at Hot Springs was a former rangers' residence. It was a cute place located in the confines of the campground; it is a wood and stone structure built by the conservation corp back in the 30's. It has its own laundry facilities, a wood stove (for cooler months), a great studio, a screened in porch, etc...you get the idea. There was a creek running around the campground and on the other side were a few trailheads leading up the small mountains/big hills. Along the historic row of bathhouses are one or two that still offer services using the 'healing waters' from the springs. Hot Springs was one of the first aquisitions of the national park system although it was not the first national park. And thankfully I did not have any run-ins with snakes or taurantulas (yes, they have them in this part of the country).
Anyway, for those that might be interested or know of someone who might be interested, you can go to http://www.nps.gov/. From there you will want to look under 'volunteers' and then proceed from there. You can visit the individual parks' websites but I would go to the nps site first.
There is much to discuss about this and I will take it up again in a future blog. If you have any questions just let me know and you can always leave comments or e-mail me. You can access my e-mail if you click 'view my profile' to the right.
"We are not here merely to make a living. We are here to enrich the world, and we impoverish ourselves if we forget this errand". Woodrow Wilson
Thanks for visiting, Helen
Saturday, February 28, 2009
This is an 8" x 10" oil on canvas panel. It would look great anywhere. Lovely little cupcakes covered in Nutella - a chocolate hazelnut spread - yum! This is listed on e-bay under 'Self Representing Artists' and the title is Cupcake Heaven. Let me know if you have any questions. If you don't want to leave a comment you can go to 'view my profile' and there is a place to click on e-mail.
"I can resist anything but temptation" Oscar Wilde
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
This is a 16" x 20" oil on canvas painting. I began it as a plein air painting when I was an artist-in-residence at Indian Dunes National Lakeshore, but for some reason I left it unfinished and just went back to it recently. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. Quite often, as in life in general, it is a good idea to walk away from some things and return later to get a fresh perspective on whatever it is at hand. In this case it was a painting that I wasn't getting resolved for some reason until recently. I think that time probably gave me more clarity as to what I was wanting to accomplish and I guess I wasn't as concerned about whether I had a finished product - I just wanted to experiment a bit. This is much more impressionistic than is typical for me. It was fun to create. I think the colors of early evening are so beautiful - they really make the sand, dunes, sky, and water really come to life. I think you get a real sense of the richness of the light in this scene. The National Lakeshore really is this colorful and beautiful.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
I'm back. Its been almost a week, I'm not sure if anyone noticed. Was just caught up with busy stuff. I thought on this beautiful, sunny, cold day that I would post a plein aire painting of a sunny little trail and creek. This was done during one of my residencies with the National Parks.
For those that don't know what 'plein aire' painting is - it is painting out in the fresh air, the plain, open air. Artists haul their easel, paints, and canvas out on location and paint while being inspired by the light, air, sounds, and by everything that surrounds them. Most artists will attest that it is ideal to paint from life - whether it is nature, or a model for figurative work, or an actual still life, however, it doesn't always work out that way. Sometimes working in the studio from memorey, reference photos and sketches are what an artist has to rely on. Often times plein aire painters will begin and finish a painting in one outing and therefore the paintings tend to be very loose and somewhat impressionistic. The artist is sort of painting their impressions of what is before them. Sometimes an artist will make multiple trips to a site to finish a painting.
Anyway, about my week, I did sell a couple of paintings - one from this site and one from e-bay. A very talented decorator, Cindi Jones of Savvy Shoestring Interiors, bought the teacup filled with roses as a gift for someone. Cindi now resides in Birmingham, Alabama but 'works her magic' in both Illinois and Alabama. The other painting that sold is the 'Italian Light' which went to a lovely lady in Michigan (her papa is from Italy). Thanks to both of you. And thanks to the artists who sent many positive comments and words of encouragement about my work on e-bay -I appreciate that too.
I purchased a little bargain this week on e-bay ($23.- can't beat that) - a tiny painting, about 2.5" x 3.5" but it makes quite a statement. It is a colorful beach scene painted by Laura Forst, a Florida artist. It is quite a treasure. Photos of art on the computer rarely do them justice as is the case here. I knew I liked it but now that I can hold it in my hand I absolutely love it. I didn't ask if I could post a photo of it, so you will just have to imagine it.
There are bargains to be had on e-bay and elsewhere - for the cost of a dinner, a carton of cigarettes, etc... you can get a nice piece of art - and it will last.
Don't forget to check out the links to the right side of the page - very interesting.
"See the rocks in your path not as obstacles, but as opportunities to climb higher". Eleanor Wiley
Talk with ya' later, Helen
Monday, February 16, 2009
This little painting was started a long time ago and I just recently dug it up and decided to get back to it and 'voila', this is what I have now. It is of a field surrounding a villa where I stayed when I was in Perugia, Italy (A great place to visit by the way). Perugia is in Umbria, which is next to Tuscany - for anyone who has forgotten.
As I look at this painting I realize it could be just about anyplace. I've seen spots like this here in Illinois. When I did art fairs I was often amused how a painting that seemed to me to be very central Illinois'ish was often mistaken for other locales. I would have people from all over the county say 'that looks like where I grew up' or 'Where is that'?. Everyplace has trees and fields, etc... but I think it is the way the scene is painted, the way the feelings of my home came through and I think it is those feelings that other people can see in a painting and relate too. The subtle beauty of where we grew up stays with us. However, I really think of Italy when I look at this painting because I looked at this scene so many times when I was studying there.
I had intended to post a more patriotic image - being this is Presidents' Day. After much thought I decided I am still honoring them in my own way (even with an Italian scene) as the fact that I am able to sit here as a self-supporting artist -my choice, my pursuit of happiness, and write whatever I want to say for all the world to see (I'm still waiting on much of the world to take a look :)) - freedom of speech, and then get up from my computer and take a walk and knowing that I will be safe in doing so. We have so much for which to be thankful. On Presidents' Day I always find myself thinking of our forefathers in general. So I am not just thankful for our past leaders (the good and the 'just okay') but for all of those that did what they did so I can do what I do.
I think I will list this painting on E-bay this week, so be sure to look for it. And yes, I will donate some of the proceeds to Catholic Charities (if the painting sells). The title is 'Fields at Villa Maria', it is an 8"x10" oil on canvas.
"What you risk reveals what you value" Jeanette Winterson
Friday, February 13, 2009
This is a little pastel painting that I created while doing my artist in residence at Hot Springs National Park. I was wondering around the park and came upon these two trees that had grown together or became entangled, depending on one's own perspective. It was kind've interesting to see this, and curious. Were they two trees coming from one root base or two distinct trees growing into one? They definitely were coming up seperate from the ground. It isn't like there wasn't room for each of them to grow and expand next to each other. There were many other trees and you would think that the sun peeking through might have pulled them in the same direction but not together. The two of them growing together appears to make them stronger and more beautiful. They share the sunlight and available nourishment. An arborist would probably have a very simple explanation for this. Or maybe it is just a fluke - no explanation. They sort of defy nature, not unlike a lot of human relationships.
I was not only drawn to the twisting trees but to beautiful light and shadows, and the pattern and colors they created. One does not have to look far to see so much beauty. I think you really get as much or more from the simple things. Sometimes the enjoyment from them lingers longer and stronger than the things that seem so majestic and striking at first glance. Again, not unlike human relationships.
Okay, well this is my attempt to come up with something to ponder for Valentine's Day (tomorrow, in case any of you men, oops, people forgot), kind've some light, positive thoughts.
"We cannot hold a torch to light another's path without brightening our own". Ben Sweetland
"Anger is only one letter short of danger". Unknown
Happy Valentine's Day,
Monday, February 9, 2009
Since I can't go on a vacation right now I decided to post a painting of a place I would like to travel to - Italy. I love that place. This is not a particular location, just a composition created from a number of my sketches, paintings, and photos from my travels there.
I guess I can't complain as the weather has been pretty nice the past few days. Well, I guess I could complain - about plenty, but I won't, there are too many things for which to be thankful. I was feeling rather frustrated about a number of things lately but then I hear of other people's health issues, financial problems, etc... and I remember again how blessed I am. Including being blessed with artistic talent that I can share with all of you.
In this painting there is a nice play of light and darks - not unlike the light,open areas of our lives and the dark, shadowy, private areas of our lives. The dark area are not necessarily bad, it is just not as easy to see what lurks there. However when one really looks we can see some surprising things, just as there are some surprising dabs of color, beautiful color that aren't obvious but make the shadows rich and beautiful. And then there, just down the path in the sunlight is a place of respite. Its almost like being pulled down the path to the light, not unlike in our lives, I think we are generally called to that which is good, the light. Sometimes that path is well traveled and sometimes not.
This painting is rendered in oil on a multi-media paper made by the french company, Sennelier. The painting is unframed. It is very colorful and inviting. Enjoy looking and travelling.
If you are interested, this painting can be found on E-bay. The title is "Italian Light", and I will donate some of the proceeds to a charity again. You will have to go to E-bay to see which one. The painting can be found if you search for the title under self-representing artists.
"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes". Marcel Proust
Friday, February 6, 2009
Let me know if you have any questions.
"Words are mere bubbles of water, but deeds are drops of gold".
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Okay, another beach painting - I guess that tells you a little bit about where my mind is right now. I am definitely ready for some warmer weather, although a nice lengthy Spring would be alright by me.
Besides beach scenes I also enjoy painting children - in their very typical and simple ways - doing the things we can all relate to and understand. I guess its the little things that really connect us all. In this scene one is left wondering what the little girl is looking at - is she watching other children, the waves crashing, maybe a sailboat. Perhaps she is just lost in thought and not looking at anything in particular, just enjoying the feeling of the sun on her skin, the smell of the water, the breeze....
Its amazing how creases and dimples can look so cute on little kids - too bad that doesn't carry over as well as we age - oh well.
This is an 8" x 10" oil on gallery wrap canvas - no frame is necessary as the painting wraps around the edges - it can be framed though. It is $145. You can e-mail if interested or if you have any questions.
"In the end, what affects your life most deeply are things too simple to talk about". Nell Blaine
Have a great day-
Monday, February 2, 2009
Today I have decided to show a sunny, little beach painting. The view is of a beach at Lake Michigan - one of my favorite places. It is an 8" x 10" oil on linen panel. $125-
"Enjoy the little things for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things". Robert Brault