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.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is a great destination whether for a few days or an extended stay. Its proximity to Chicago gives one many opportunities for a variety of activities. The site is quite a treasure in general and certainly for us here in the midwest. One can enjoy activities on Lake Michigan, get a workout climbing the dunes, explore the bogs and fins, camp,hike, enjoy the varied wildlife and then head off to the city for additonal activities.
I do plan on posting this painting on e-bay if anyone is interested. You can search under the title "Evening Glow on the Dunes".
"Joy is not a matter of what's happening around you, but inside you". Steve Miller

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I just wanted to remind folks that I have two paintings listed on e-bay right now - The Beach, and Fields at Villa Maria. I might add another one or two this week so be sure to check my blog again. Helen

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

Caio, Helen


Friday, February 6, 2009

My brain is kind've tired right now so I don't have a lot to say. I do want to mention that the last three paintings I have posted, Girl in Blue Dress (Feb.5), At the Beach(Feb.4), and The Beach (Feb.2), are all for sale at E-bay. Periodically I will donate a portion of the proceeds to various charities. At this time if 'The Beach' sells, 25% of the proceeds will go to Catholic Charities of Springfield. The starting bids on these paintings are all low so a buyer could potentially get a very good buy. If you take a look it will be easier to find them if you type in the title.
Let me know if you have any questions.

"Words are mere bubbles of water, but deeds are drops of gold".
Chinese Proverb


Thursday, February 5, 2009

This painting is of a little girl I met while doing an artist-in-residence at Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas. It is created based on some studies I did of her. She caught my attention because she was so small, sweet, and beautiful - and kind've an old soul. I love painting figures and children in particular.

It is one of the paintings I submitted to an invitational show in which I am participating. The show is a group show of local artists and it is in celebration of the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth. Artists were asked to submit art that in some way was inspired by Lincoln - his words, deeds, etc...While President Lincoln did many great things, I think his freeing of the slaves, or his attempt at this, was his greatest act. And while his personal sentiments about slavery are debated, in signing the Emancipation Proclamation which led to the 13th ammendment, he was doing what was right by our constitution and by our Creator.

I wanted to celebrate those individuals and their descendants.

Let me know what you think.

This painting is an 11" x 14", oil on canvas. It is unframed but I do have a great frame available if you are interested.

You can contact me if you are interested in purchasing this painting or it is also available in an on-line auction at E-bay.

"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years".

Abraham Lincoln

Amen to that!


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