Thursday, September 11, 2014

Swedish Birches

Swedish Birches,  7x10" Oil pastel on illustration board
©2014, Helen Read 
matted in white to fit 11x14" frame

(Please add $10.00 for shipping in the US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax)


As a part of September's Virtual Paintout destination,  this oil pastel depicts a lovely little site in Gothenburg, Sweden.  Something about this was reminiscent of the wonderful Swedish artist, Carl Larson , whom I have long enjoyed.   He had a wonderful way of depicting life in the Swedish country side in the 1800s.   The colors and the simplicity of composition give it the peaceful feel of another era. 
This comes matted and ready to put into an 11 x 14" frame. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Callas at Sunrise

Callas at Sunrise, 12x16" Oil on canvas
©2014, Helen Read
Ready to frame
(Please add $20.00 shipping in the US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax)

 School has begun once again!  We are 2 weeks into our new semester, and I've been working on a larger painting.   Those 2 things have taken up time, which is the reason its been a couple weeks since my last post!  But its ready to unveil... and here it is! 

My composition came out of several reference photos I took this spring.  The callas had recently been doused with a spring shower and were absolutely beautiful.  It wasn't quite at sunrise when the photos were made, but early morning.  These three seemed to shimmer with the light, and the leaves had such an interesting ruffled effect.   A painting waiting to come into being! 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Lavender and Marigold

Lavender and Marigold,  4 7/8" x 7.5" watercolor/acrylic on Yupo
©2014, Helen Read
matted to fit 8x10" frame
(ready to frame)
(Please add $10.00 shipping in the US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax)

I'm showing this little watercolor as it would look matted in grey. I will include a white mat for it, although you would not be able to see what it would look like matted in white here.

These beautiful flowers stood tall in my garden this summer, needing to be painted!  
A warm reminder of summer's gifts.   This is ready to send to its new home!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Edge of the Garden

The Edge of the Garden, 12 x 9" Oil on Canvas
©2014, Helen Read
Ready to Frame

(Please add $20.00 shipping in the US,  IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax)


The sun was just slipping down past the western sky, and as I glanced up I saw it lightly kiss my garden with its last light.  Everything seemed to glow golden just just a moment, as if it were being tucked in for the night. In an impressionistic style, I've tried to capture that very moment as I saw it.
A lovely moment of summer time. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Just Sold!

Selling one's work is always encouraging!  I'm happy to say that these 5 paintings sold yesterday.
Top left clockwise - 
First Breath of Spring,  8x8" Oil pastel 
Abundance, 9x11" Oil on canvas 
Descanso Iris, 11 x 7.5" watercolor 
Snowy Bank, 11x14" Oil on canvas
Purple Veins, 5x5" Oil on canvas

These 5 will be appearing on set in the TV show, Chicago Fire.
Back in my studio today! 

Friday, August 8, 2014

7 years!! Half price celebration in August!!

      Seven years ago, I started blogging and painting with a lot more intention ....  and what an incredible experience it is and has been!!   I've learned so much - and I've also made many new friends.   There have been times of more productivity and times of less.  Through it all, I've continued my full-time job as a public high school teacher and I've continued to take graduate classes for my professional development. 
      What else has happened?  All my children have grown and married, I've lost beloved pets and gained new ones.  And through it all, I've painted and created new works, experimented with new things, learned more about marketing, sold quite a number of things, and enjoyed the whole thing!
      To commemorate this anniversary,  I'm offering 2 of my small daily paintings at a deep discount -

50% off - through the month of August!
on these 2 small works:
Steep Ascent, 6x6" Oil on canvas
©Helen Read
Ready to Frame
$100.00  $50.00 for the month of August
(Please add $10.00 shipping in the US,  IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax)


Pink Hollyhock, 6x6" Oil on canvas
©Helen Read
Ready to Frame
$100.00  $50.00 for the month of August
(Please add $10.00 shipping in the US,  IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax)

      Celebrate with me!  Hang one of these 2 small paintings on your wall!  Thanks for all the encouragement and support that so many of you have given over these last 7 years! 
      Here's to the next 7!! 

Friday, July 25, 2014

A Little Book I've Read....

Sometimes, I just stumble onto a little find!  This one was unexpected! (Perhaps, I'm the only one who hadn't heard of this little book or its author!??) 
I was visiting my son in Pasadena, and while waiting on him at the end of the day, I dropped into a well established book store and wandered around.  As I was wandering, the title caught my attention.  The more I looked it over, the more I was intrigued. 
Well, one page led to another, and I finally realized that I needed to add it to my library! 

Steal Like an Artist, Austin Kleon
©2012 - Workman Publishing Co.,  NY

A somewhat provocative title, don't you think?
 The first chapter honestly deals with the question of ideas.  Where do they come from ? What is inspiration? How do the evolve? How do they intersect?  How do we surround ourselves with viable ideas? 

Kleon give some very practical ideas for how to collect ideas and how to assimilate them.

The presentation is very visual - kinda like you were sitting with him in his studio - watching him doodle his ideas while he talks. 

A quote I really liked from this chapter is found on pg. 13
"The artist is a collector.  Not a hoarder, mind you, there's a difference: Hoarders collect indiscriminately, artists collect selectively".....  He goes on to say, "There's an economic theory out there that if you take the incomes of your 5 closest friends and average them, the resulting number will be pretty close to your own income.   I think the same thing is true of our idea incomes.  You're only going to be as good as the stuff you surround yourself with."  

I'll post more on this in the next few weeks.... I like his ideas.  I think he's right!  Artists (all of us) are inspired, intrigued, motivated, and activated by new ideas.  And as they settle in, they morph and evolve and become something entirely  new again ... something perhaps influenced by others, but yet all our own!  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Steep Ascent

Steep Ascent, 6x6" Oil on canvas
©2014, Helen Read 
ready to frame
(Please add $12.00 shipping in the US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax)

SPECIAL OFFER - Celebrating my 7th Year of blogging!! 
Purchase this painting from my Etsy shop!  Apply this coupon code - AUG14
and receive a 50% discount!  That's right... $50.00 for this small painting. 
Now through the month of August! 
(to take advantage of this offer, you must purchase through Etsy!)


This little landscape came from a street view of a roadway along the coast of Mykonos - one of the Greek Isles.   It first struck me visually, that it was like a roadway ascending into the sky.  Rugged, steep, yet quite beautiful in it starkness.  It needs a home now and is ready to send! 
(This painting has been submitted to the Virtual Paintout blog to appear with their July submissions). 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Final Version is off the easel!

Structure I,  10.5 x 16.5" Acrylic on paper 
©2014 Helen Read 
After almost a month of many interruptions, this painting is finally complete.  It is an interpretation of a microscopic cross section of a plant.  I am always intrigued by what we can't really see when we look at something, but yet the mystery that lies within. 
This is what captivated my imagination with this painting... the beautiful structure, organized but also a little bit random. Amazing what lies below the surface... what we unknowingly pass by.  This, to me, is part of the beauty of creation, and it whispers something about the beauty of the Creator.  

Friday, July 11, 2014

This newest abstract is almost done!

My work has been rather small and somewhat tedious, but it is almost finished.   It's also been a month of many interruptions... Projects, family interactions, and a myriad of general responsibilities.  It seems the summer is just evaporating!  I hope to post the finished version very soon!! 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Still in progress .... a new abstract

as yet untitled abstract

This is what I've been working on just lately - a new abstract which uses a microscopic view of a plant cell as its inspiration.   It measures approximately 18 x 12".  The medium is acrylic on paper. 
Its been fun to work out the colors, but the progress is slow since it is also made of many small dots and circles.  It should be done in another few days at the easel. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Country Pathway near Vladivostok

Country Pathway (Vladivostok)   7 x 11.5" Oil Pastel on mat board
©2014 Helen Read 
matted in white and ready to frame in 12 x 16" frame
(Please add $10.00 shipping in the US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax)


This painting is done in oil pastels and features a scene from a country road near Vladivostok.  It was painted as a submission to the Virtual Paintout Blog.  When I found it through google maps, I saw the beautiful harmonies of color and the lovely spots of light that would translate so well to oil pastel.   

This is ready to ship and comes matted in white matting that will fit a standard 12x16" frame.  
Let me send it to you this week! 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Giclee Print - Descanso Iris

Descanso Iris Print
10.5 x 7" matted in white to fit a 14 x11" frame
(ready to frame) 

(Please add $10.00 shipping in US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax)

This original painting is now available as a giclee print!   It is printed on a textured watercolor-type archival paper with vibrant inks.

What is a giclee print?  The term  "Giclee print" refers to advanced technology in printmaking. Images are generated from high resolution digital scans and printed with archival quality inks on fine archival paper.  This process yields a higher color accuracy than other means of reproduction, as well as excellence in image quality and fine detail. And because inks and paper are archival, prints are light-fast and non water soluble.  It is rather difficult to tell the original from the print! 
Its a terrific way to hang a lovely piece of art at a great price! 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

First Breath of Spring

First Breath of Spring, 8x8" oil pastel on illustration board
©2014 Helen Read
matted in white to fit 12x12" frame
(Please add $10.00 shipping in the US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax) 
 In harmonious tones of blues and greens, this oil pastel painting speaks of the beginning of spring greening.  Many bare branches still show, and clouds of light green and lavender seem to float within the branches.  This stage of spring doesn't last more than a few days, but with it comes the promise of all creation being renewed! 

This is matted and ready to frame.  Glass is needed to protect the painting.