Monday, August 23, 2010


This is a little girl I met during my travels through Italy a few years back. I created some sketches of her and snapped some photos and have used both to create studies of her that I hope will help me work out a final painting of her...or maybe two or three. She was such a delightful, little girl. Her parents owned a restaurant on the Piazza in this small town...I think it might have been Montoni ?? She was so open and friendly towards the guests that stopped by, so free and uninhibited - enjoying the sweet life (La dolce vita!) - something we should all practice doing regularly....and it was apparent that she was the entertainment for many of the older folks that were congregated in the area. She was actually chasing bubbles but I also like the idea that she appears to be playing the game of avoiding stepping on the cracks (between the blocks of stone). Something so simple but so enjoyable for so many.

Anyway, a great place to visit....and as some of you that follow this blog know, I love to paint children; So this was especially enjoyable to paint and I look forward to painting variations on this as I work towards the final piece. This is a 5" x 7" oil on canvas and available for purchase.....$85 unframed, does not include shipping. You can reach me at if you are interested in providing a permanent home for this painting.

"Use the talents you possess, for the woods would be silent if no birds sang except the best". Henry Van Dyke

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, August 16, 2010

Shadows Along Shoal Creek

This is a place I would like to be during these hot,humid days of summer, although today one can actually breathe outside...not too stifling. The shadows, golden colors, and coolness of the creek are just so inviting! Shoal Creek is by the town where my mom grew up, or at least part of her early years. When she was a little girl and inquired of her 'origins' her father would tell her that they found her under a rock on Shoal Creek.....couldn't fool her though.

It is intesting how just about anyone can relate to scenes like this. They are so common and typify special places that we all know....actual physical places that we all know but also somehow an emotional place that we all know. I like that connectedness that people have.

This is a 5" x 7" oil on canvas and it is available to a good home. It is $75- unframed. Shipping costs are seperate.
You can email me at if you are interested. I will be glad to bill you by Paypal if you like.

"One touch of nature makes the whole world kin". Shakespeare

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, August 9, 2010

Sweet and Juicy

A quick,little 'painting a day' painting....some little models I had on hand. This is a 5" x 7" oil on canvas. Let me know if you are
"In life beauty perishes, but not in art". Leonardo da Vinci
Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Okay,did someone say sweepstakes??? No, not for any of my art, as much as I would like to think that you might get excited about winning one of my paintings and immediately come to my blog just to see which lovely painting...and so on.
Anyway, I was flipping through my Dick Blick art materials catalogue that arrived in the mail last week. Lo and behold, out falls a postcard advertising Blick sweepstakes, and yes, you or I could win a car - a Scion xB (made by Toyota ???). You can either enter at a Dick Blick store or you can simply go to There is no purchase necessary. The last date to enter is September 30th.
I am telling you folks this as I would love to see one of my friends/followers/or anyone else win a cool would that be! I assure you I won't expect a reward if you win because of reading my thoughtful blog :).
Anyway, this is a 5" x 7" oil on canvas painting of the Washington park lagoon - a local park, and a rather old one at that. Email me if you are interested - very

"It could be you".

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Argenta #1

'Argenta'....okay, so much for getting creative with titles :p. Sometimes it is better to be just straight out with it..."it is what it is" so to speak. I don't think a title is necessary, or at least not with this painting. You will take what you want from this. Most obvious is that it is a country road/farm road (on private property in this case....yes, I trespassed) that is so common, just about anywhere really. The trees and building are vague enough as to not really be location or time specific. Just an inviting country scene. One can almost feel the cool shadows while standing there looking down the road to the midday sun beating down. Pert near makes you wanna' run out for some lemonade, don't it! Hee hee :).

Back on a more serious note, I think the image is somewhat metaphorical as well. Looking down a road...maybe to a destination or not. The bright light beckoning beyond the shadows, and perhaps safety of the trees. Do I want to venture down there or not? What or Who is down there? Maybe I should head back? Who hasn't enjoyed such a spot at sometime or another? I find myself in such places quite often....and not always in a true physical sense. That might explain the vacant look I often have on my face :). I've followed a road somewhere. Is it speaking to your subconcious yet, your consious, your anything yet? 'Buy me, buy me..."

Well, in any case, I hope you enjoy the painting. It is a 5" x 7" oil on paper. Yes, on paper...paper that is made to take oils. It is available for purchase. Let me know if you would like to permanently gaze at this 'road less traveled'. Email me at

"All Nature is but Art, unknown to thee; All Chance, Direction, which thou canst not see". Alexander Pope

Thanks for stopping by,

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Early Evening Glow (West Beach)

A good Sunday evening to you all! This is a 5" x 7" oil on canvas of a trail at West Beach in the Indiana Dunes. It had such a lovely early evening glow - I wanted to capture some of that in a painting.....the fleeting, simple but glorious few moments. This is available and ready to go to a good home (or office, or.....?). You may contact me at

"What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is a little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset".
Crowfoot (Blackfoor orator and warrior)

Thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Evening at Central Beach

Was back up at the Dunes recently...camped in the Dunewood campground at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. I love that area and just being on the lake. Lake Michigan is pretty magnificent. I could stay at the beach all day, just painting, reading, daydreaming, snoozing, studying the clouds.
The campground is nice as well. As much as I like camping I had not stayed in that particular campground when I have been up at the is a really beautiful....plenty of sites(both drive-in and walk-in), clean bathrooms, private spaces,etc...Because of all the damp weather in June, the mosquitos were pretty bad but we survived!
When I was here in 2004 it was as an artist-in-residence through the National Parks residency program. It was a great experience. They put me up in a house right on Lake the end of a road up on a dune...2 decks, sliding glass doors on 2 sides of the house. It was a short walk to Central Beach. Unfortunately, that house is not used any longer. They still have the residency program but they put artists in a house elsewhere in the park. I think it is worth pursuing for any of you who might be entertaining the idea of applying (artists,musicians,writers...) It is a great opportunity...sales, networking, quiet respite for creating.....I have been back a couple of times since then and look forward to returning.
Anyway, this is a 5" x 7" study in oil. It is available for purchase, I do have a Paypal account if that is convenient for you...if you are interested please email me at Feel free to contact me as well if you have any questions about the artist-in-residence program. I hava also done a residency at Hot Springs National Park...another great park.
"For money you can have everyhing it is said. No, that is not true. You can buy food, but not apptetite; medicine, but not health; soft beds, but not sleep; knowledge, but not intelligence; glitter, but not comfort; fun, but not pleasure; acquaintances, but not friendship; servants, but not faithfulness; grey hair, but not honor; quiet days, but not peace; The shell of all things you can get for money. But not the kernel. That cannot be had for money". Ame Garborg, writer
Thanks for stopping by, Helen

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

New Harmony #3

Okay, so much for creative titles, huh? This is another one of the many old houses that caught my eye in New Harmony, IN......more on New Harmony later.
This is an 8" x 10" oil on linen panel. It is available for anyone who is interested. You can contact me at
"Happiness and love are just a choice away". Leo Buscaglia
Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New Harmony #2

This is an 11" x 14" oil on canvas, and available for purchase - if you are interested just email me at
This is a scene from the historic town of New Harmony, Indiana. It is such a beautiful old town....plenty of history, wonderful architecture, galleries, antiques shops, the Wabash river, is worth a drive there if you are looking for a little road trip. I don't recall which building this is, but I do recall that it caught my eye with the play of lights and shadows. The building is striking but the light shining on the brick wall and into the courtyard beckoning one to take a peak around the bushes is what really drew me. Okay, so much for the tour'isty' talk.
If you click on the image it will take you to a screen that shows the painting in a larger format...shows more detail.
"Today tend your interior secret garden. Weed out disappointments, frustrations, and anger; these emotional weeds only choke your creativity. Let an unfettered imagination sow the seeds of possibility in the rich soil of your soul". Sarah Ban Breathnach
Not easy, but I am working it.
Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sunny Day in New Harmony

An oil on canvas, 16" x 20", of one of the historic homes in New Harmony, IN. I plan on doing a few other versions of this one as well as some of the other architectural scenes I am working on. I would love to be there right now....heading back soon though.

"The world is not only hungry for food, but also for beauty". Mother Teresa

Thanks for stopping by, Helen

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Along the Wabash River

An 8" x 10" oil on canvas of the Wabash River, viewed from New Harmony, IN. Let me know if you are interested in this painting. Enjoy.

"We tire of those pleasures we take, but never of those we give". John Petin-Senn

Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Road Behind Villa Maria

A 24" x30" oil on canvas of a little scene on the outskirts of Perugia, Italy. I have sketched and painted this scene a few times....originally when I was in Italy. What a great place! This painting is looking for a good home (villa).

"La Dolce Vita"!

Okay, I've gotta' go. Talk with you later.

"If you aim at nothing, more than likely you'll hit it". Not sure who said it, probably many people.

Thanks for stopping by,

Sunday, May 2, 2010

New Harmony #1

Okay, here is a little oil on canvas of a delightful little house and garden I came upon in New Harmony, Indiana. I was there a couple of weeks ago and found plenty of subject matter for painting.
I know in my previous post I said I would discuss New Harmony, but I think that will have to wait for another day as I am still kind've feeling 'under the weather'. Stay tuned!
"Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference". Winston Churchill
Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Just a Little Something for Now....

Well, as the title says 'just a little something for now'. I haven't posted for...well, too here is something to hold you over....kind've touching base. I have been under the weather all this week, but I did go to the doctor on Tuesday, and am starting to feel much better (relatively speaking) :). This is a painting I started a few weeks ago but have yet to finish hurry...I had some of those 'Cutie' oranges and decided to paint them...thought they look especially pretty against the stark white linen with the delicate cut work. Have some others started....hope to get back to them soon.

Went to New Harmony (IN), a couple of weeks ago...will tell more in another blog (when I am feeling better)....New Harmony is a great art town, also full of history.
"Do not ask the Lord to guide your footsteps if you are not willing to move your feet". Anonymous

Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I think it might be finished???

Ooops, forgot to crop this...sorry. Anyway, this is an oil on canvas (30" x 40")I have been working on and I think I am finished, almost finished....just a couple of minor adjutsments...finished enough to post and for you to check it out as compared to how it was when I last posted at the beginning of March.
He is just looking for a good home....if you are interested let me know!
Hope you enjoy the lovely weather and a Happy Easter!
"I will always want to be a child in my heart, an adult in my mind and a grownup in my wisdom". (Don't know who said this)
Thanks for stopping by, Helen

Monday, March 29, 2010


This is a bit different than what I typically post but decided to show it as it is a fun and whimsical project. I painted this recently for a friend/customer - a lighthearted, fun, artsy gal. It is a deer's head carved out of wood. Enjoy the before and after photos.

"Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday". (Don't know who said this)

Thanks for stopping by,

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Unfinished Business

Just got back from Mt.Vernon, IL, about 2.5 hours south of home. What a great weekend - got to see a special someone, had great weather, drove some of the backroads of Illinois, and stopped by the Illinois Artisans Gallery in Whittington, IL on Rend Lake. What a beautiful area - southern Illinois. One of the great things about Illinois is the changing topography as one drives through various parts of the state.
I am also an 'Illinois Artisan', have been for a number of years but only sent art to the Chicago and Springfield galleries...haven't submitted any art in recent years so I might to do that again...I was inspired seeing this gallery space, the work of other artists', and after talking with the manager. Another thing to add to my list of 'to do's'.
Anyway, this image is one that I started a couple of years ago at a winery down in southern Illinois (trying to remember the name of the town and winery??) when I met up with some St.Louis artists to paint 'en plein aire'. The weather didn't allow much time for painting - rain (in this case painting with pastels), so we just met up inside and sampled some wines...what else were we to do???? As I said, I started this a couple of years ago...I keep bringing it out to finish as it was left unfinished. But I like it like doesn't seem so unfinished to me. It has the feeling of a study - kind've a preliminary sketch/painting I do to prepare for a 'finished' painting.
Soooooo, maybe it is finished - I am coming to that conclusion. Not unlike life in general, sometimes unfinished business really is finished.
I know there is more to say on this subject. If I had some wine I would most definitely go on some more but I think I am 'finished' for tonight.
"I love living. I have some problems with my life, but living is the best thing they've come up with so far". Neil Simon
Thanks for stopping by, Helen

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Art Futura (addendum)

Just a small change to add to my post from a few days ago about the art event 'Art Futura', the venue has changed to an equally great site/setting. I am pasting an email below that states a change of venue for the show.

Hi Helen:

You will note that we have changed venues to the Portals gallery! This is an amazing space and will be a great fit for Art Futura....Everything else is the same, but please tell your friends...we hope to see you there too!

Thanks for stopping by, Helen

Simple Joys of Life I sit, thinking about what exactly it is I want to say. I have an assortment of people that read this blog, a number of people are not artists, so I try to mix things up a bit. Mix things up in as far as what I post - what I want to post and what I think will be of interest to the different folks visiting my blog. There is not much point to this for me if it does not engage viewers....I tend to be traditional in some ways and would much rather write in a journal if this were mainly for myself.
Okay, so, with that in mind I decided to post some photos of a painting I am working on...have been working on and hope to finish soon. This is a 30" x 40" oil on canvas...just something fun I wanted to paint. I enjoy painting children and water/beach scenes and just simple things in life. Often people ask me how I go about creating a painting, well, I don't have a standard way. Well, rather it is has changed back and forth over time and it depends somewhat on what I am creating and the materials. With that said though, I do generally just roughly block in or loosely sketch what I am going to paint - or what I think I am going to paint - this too, can easily change once I start painting. For me, a tight, detailed rendering would be too restrictive and limiting; It is just not how I work and is probably a reflection of how I live??? I don't want to invest a lot of time and energy in sketching as I find it is not necessary for the way I work. I tend to draw, paint, and sculpt my paintings during the actual painting. Also, I might be bit too eager to get into the painting for I like the process of painting - tactilness, the smell, etc...And I suppose I am much like a child with a package before them - the anticipation as I open the package and find a surprise before me. I can't wait to see what develops by my hands and before my eyes.
So, back to how I create my paintings. I generally have a pretty good vision of what I want to paint, whether 'en plain aire' or working inside from sketches, studies, reference photos, models, etc...I roughly block it in as I feel more free to change my mind as I paint. I try to get a loose image or layout, and some sense of the colors, lighting, values, temp, etc...laid in too. As I paint I will step back often or leave the room for a bit as I think it gives me a fresh perspective, not unlike life, eh? If something doesn't sit well with me it will jump right out, although sometimes I will take photos of the piece or view it in a mirror or upside down (the painting, not me) as it gives me a different perspective and another accurate way to see what is not working. If I get things early on as I like than it seems the rest of the painting tends to go smoother and just come together better.
I must say that I have found that the paintings that are more spontaneous, some of my plein aire work or ACEO's, sketches, etc...are sometimes my favorite pieces because of their spontenaeity...they are not overthought, nor over edited, and just seem to come purely from the heart and soul.
Well, I will add to this discussion as I finish the painting. I will post an image of the finished piece and some close-ups too. If anyone has questions, comments, or observations, please feel free to post or email me.
"The path to your heart's desire is never overgrown". Kigezi proverb
Thanks for stopping by, Helen
P.S. Stop by again as I will finish this post and painting, also plan to discuss getting back on task with art we have abandoned/given up on (can be applied to other areas of life); discussion of creativity (inspired by a very creative M.D. I know), maybe an interview with some decorators I know; and getting back to topics I started in old blogs....artist-in-residence, ACEO's, my murals, etc....

Thursday, February 18, 2010

'Another Chicka'

A 12" x 12" oil on gallery wrapped canvas...I painted this little gal awhile back when I painted working girl (2008?) and thought I would go ahead and post as I have not shown her much....she's just coming out into society :). These paintings are fun...lighthearted but enjoyable to paint as well. She is available...hmmmm...I've been thinking about the title...something fun along the line of the 'Working Girl' painting....maybe 'Single,Available Blonde', or something....?? 'No More Blonde Yolks'...okay, okay...has to be something fun. Send me your suggestions for her title. And as I said, she is available for the right price.
"Hope is that thing with feathers perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never all". Emily Dickinson
Thanks for stopping by, Helen

Friday, February 12, 2010

Art Futura

Good Morning,
A friend and patron of mine from the Chicago area sent me an email about an upcoming juried art show that some of my fellow artists might be interested in...actually, many of you nonartists and artists might be interested in attending the show. It is to benefit the Rehabilitation Institute in Chicago.

The show is titled 'Art Futura'...I am pasting some information about it (description, dates, contact info.) in case any of you are interested. It is an opportunity to maybe win some cash prizes, have your work seen in a reputable gallery in Chicago, and help a worthy cause.

"This is bear unflinchingly what heaven sends". Euripides

Thanks for stopping by, and take a look at the information I am pasting below.

The Associate Board of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago is hosting its 8th annual ArtFutura at the River East Art Center from May 11-20, 2010. ArtFutura showcases work submitted by hundreds of artists from around the country. James Rondeau, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, serves as juror and selects exhibit participants and awards outstanding works. More than 250 emerging artists, civic and business leaders enjoy music, refreshments and artwork on display at the special Closing Night Event on May 20. Proceeds from ArtFutura directly benefit the hospital’s Therapeutic Recreation Department and fund a part-time Art Therapist, who provides art-based therapy for patients. Recreational activities, such as art therapy, enhance socialization, relaxation, expression and adjustment to disabilities for RIC adult and pediatric patients.

For application and further info: or contact Eric Horner: 312-238-1252 *

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

More ACEO'

Just got home and am going to head to bed, but I wanted to post a little something(s). A couple more ACEO's that I painted today between various tasks of the day. Haven't painted a lot of animals, a few, and I do like here is one cute, little, fluffy critter. The other painting is a scene I have painted in the past...variations on it. These are the fields, some sunflower fields, that I originally painted en plein aire a number of years ago when I was in Perugia, Italy. I have since recreated the scene numerous times....takes me back there (but for a lot less money :( ).
These can be had for a small price if you are interested! Let me know.
"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending". Maria Robinson
Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, February 5, 2010


Another ACEO...this one is titled 'Ann'. It is an oil on canvas paper of a good friend and patron. These beach scenes are helping to get me through the winter...and she, like me, loves the water and beach. This painting of Ann is of her as a little girl, how I imagine her as a little girl. The blue and gold shirt is for her love of all things Notre Dame, the number four is for her four sons.

She is seeking shells....small and simple, yet beautiful and unique creations making their way to shore after being tumbled around a bit. They are lovingly sought after and collected by such gentle little hands....a gentle, loving who has the eyes and soul of an artist.

John 10:14

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010


This is a portrait created in pastel of a friend of mine who was so kind as to sit for me. I enjoy portraiture so much and this was fun as it allowed me to get quite creative with the colors. I tried to make his expression a bit more ambiguous than it actually was. Feel free to comment. Hope you enjoy!
"Do not be afraid of tomorrow; For God is already there".
Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, February 1, 2010


This is a little ACEO I painted today. For those that don't know or don't recall from one of my previous posts, ACEO stands for Art Card Editions and Originals. These are paintings the size of a baseball card (2.5" x 3.5"). They were started a few years back by some artists who traded small paintings between themselves and eventually they caught on with other people. ACEO's have become quite collectable. This is an oil on canvas paper. These make nice little treasures to give or to keep...display a grouping of them or with other little treasures in a basket, a porcelain sugar bowl, under glass, on the fridge, etc.....
Let me know if you are interested in purchasing this small painting. It is quite a deal!
I can be reached at
"When life hands you lemons, make lemonade". I don't recall who said this...good advice though.
Thanks for stopping by,