Wednesday, November 30, 2016

An Autumn Duo

Glowing Light I,  11x14" Oil on Linen Panel
©2016 Helen Read 
Ready to Frame
(Please add $20 shipping in the US,  IL residents, please add 8% sales tax) 

 Glowing Light II,  11x14" Oil on Linen Panel
©2016 Helen Read
Ready to Frame
(Please add $20 shipping in the US,  IL residents, please add 8% sales tax) 

For the purchased of both paintings as a diptych as shown below,
($90 saving)
(Please add $20 shipping in the US,  IL residents, please add 8% sales tax) 

(To purchase BOTH paintings as a set, use this button)

These two paintings tell a story...
of  beautiful glowing light filtering through leaves just beginning to turn the colors of fall. 
This is a story of seasons - of reflections - of light and the glory of color. 
I was particularly captivated by how the colors seemed to glow and melt into one another.  Much remains green in northern IL as fall begins.  Leaves are still clothing the branches which will soon be bare, and colors of gold and red are beginning to show themselves.
There's beauty in every season, but autumn has a special kind of beauty. 

Leave a comment -  what are your favorite moments of autumn? 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

A few final touches until these are done

I've been working on these 2 for most of November... 
The beauty and magic of the autumn sun filtering through leaves just beginning to turn their variegated shades is what captivated my attention,  and as if that weren't enough - it was all reflected back again in the calm water!  

Each of these 2 stands alone as a fall landscape painting. 
Each measures 11x14", oil on a linen panel

But they also create a panoramic view when placed together, which is why I painted them simultaneously!
I've placed them side by side here for a clearer view,
although the photography shows a difference in color where they meet...
But that's only my limited photography in not very good lighting.

As soon as these are completely finished, I'll take photos that are true and post the finished work.

As I look at the nearly finished work, 1 thought comes to mind:
It's a celebration of Autumn in 2 parts!
Perhaps this thought will help me with a title! 
Leave your thoughts about that, if you have a great title idea! 

Friday, November 25, 2016

25% Discount for just a few days!

Now! Through Monday...

Visit my Etsy Shop and take 25% off your purchase.  

Just a small sampling of what you will find when you visit my Etsy Shop.

That's right!  I've stocked my shop with 26 paintings
and by using this code  NOV2528
you can receive 25% off your whole purchase.  

Here's the link!

What a great opportunity with Christmas just around the corner.
But visit soon - this opportunity will end on Monday and sales are being made! 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Glowing Light

In my last post I showed what I'd done for the under painting... 
And now, the painting has begun. 

This is still a work in progress - and in it's duel size (11x28") it's bigger than it seems.  I'm working on both parts simultaneously in order to achieve continuity.  This could be seen as 1 painting, but they are both separate - distinct from one another.  

What I'm working to achieve here, is that mysterious glowing light that was sifting through the trees, turning everything an interesting violet-red with colors of yellow and green still quite noticeable.  And of course all of that was reflected in the still water of the pond.  One of those moments of lovely light that happens in the fall.  
It's moments like this that calm my busy life - and remind me of a Holy Presence. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


As busy as it has been, my work has begun on this 2 part painting (diptych) I've gotten the underpainting done and started laying in some values of the darker range.  Each of these measures 11x14", so a total of 11x28".

As I've been getting deeper into this piece, I'm particularly intrigued by the beautiful reflections in the water, as well as the subtle color changes in the fall foliage.   Such tranquil beauty!   

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Beautiful Mystery

Beautiful Mystery

Last week, on a visit to a nearby forest area, as the sun was sinking low in the west, it lit up the landscape with a beautiful mysterious golden light that also brought out the lavenders in the tree tops. 
It was indeed breath taking. 
And the watery reflections were another element made more mysterious by the light. 
I was able to capture it and make several thumbnail sketches. 

How can paint do justice to this beauty? 
How can paint capture the glory of golden light and its effects? 

Such moments are reminders that as artists we only attempt to interpret the glory of God's creation. 
He is the Master Artist. 

These are the first steps in the process of a new work, which I believe will be a diptych: 
1.  See the beauty and absorb it
2. Sketch it - trying to grasp its grandeur
3.  Find wonder and delight in observing and recording it

Saturday, October 22, 2016

What Inspires You?

What beauty awaits the patient eye.
Quiet wandering ~ observation ~ a listening ear.

Taking time in a busy day to slow down, to visit the world of Creation, 
to allow the path to lead along twists and turns.

Inspiration can be found in the soft ripple,
a burst of color, 
the call of a bird

As the sun filters between the leaves and gives a last golden glow, 
inspiration is born
and I imagine what my paint brush might produce 

What inspires you?  How will you interpret beauty? 
This is the perpetual question the artist must answer!  
To absorb, to breathe in the colors and shapes and movement of the natural world,
to edit it, to rearrange it when needed, and to maintain its qualities of wonder.
To capture beauty and interpret it in colorful strokes of pigment. 

Leave a reply below ~ what is it that inspires your artist's spirit? 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Changing Seasons - Seasons of Change

It is a gray, rain drenched morning- easy to think of staying in bed - of hibernating another few hours.  But.... there is beauty to be found, and even on this gray day - the Creator's whispers to be heard for attentive ears.  

Moments to savor this morning:  A cup of tea, warm pumpkin muffins (with chocolate chips - because everything is better with chocolate!), butter, of course! And a journal of Grace Notes ...a chronicle of small (easily missed) moments of grace given as gifts from the hands of God. 

What does this have to do with art, you may ask! 

Everything!!... Taking time to notice, to listen, to take wonder in, to give thanks for....all of this must be part of the artist's life and practice.  These are moments when wonder and joy inform our  hearts. When ideas take shape.  And when we begin to understand the love with which our world was created and is daily sustained. This is when we may hear the whispers of God when we take time to listen.

I have a small journal I've named Grace Notes for these  moments - and every time I add an entry, I am reminded how important this is and how easily in the daily demands of life it is to neglect to give thanks - or even to take notice of the small beauties of the world around me. 

On this fall day this is my entry: 

Falling Leaves

From green in its many shades and varieties, the colors change.
Green becomes yellow gold, or orange, or red. 
A blaze of rich beauty burning brightly. 
And then the mantle of color drops or is swept by the wind to carpet the earth.
A final generosity before all is bare and winter's chill sets in. 
Fall is a flourish...of color - bright and beautiful, gracing our steps.  


So, even in seasons of change, how delightful it is to notice beauty and give thanks for our Creator's small gifts. These things represent and reflect who He is.    I, too, sense I'm in a season of change. So,  I'm looking for small beauties and lovely reminders that I'm being graced by His kind and loving Presence. 

Take a moment and notice!  Leave a comment below to tell me what you have discovered! 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Sunflower Trilogy

Sunflower Trilogy - Tiny Triptych
5x17" (the 3 combined)  Oil on canvas
©Helen Read


This is a Throwback Thursday Post!
These 3 have been on a long term loan and now are back with me.   
I love sunflowers!
First of all, they remind me of summer - and I love summer!

But I also love their shape and their habit - sun followers - sun reflectors! 

Have you ever seen a field of sunflowers with the sun setting behind them? 
Beautiful ~ golden glory. 

I would love to send a bit of summer to you! 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A year ago.... and once again, Fall arrives

Autumn - Lake Ellyn,  8x10" Oil on canvas
© 2015, Helen Read 
Ready to Frame 
(Please add $20 shipping in the US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax) 

Last year about this time, I was finishing this painting!   So, I'm posting it again... it's that time of year again.  Fall is starting to make itself known!   It's a beautiful time of year as we see the last of all the green for awhile, exchanged for colors of golds and reds. 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Evening Embers

Evening Embers, 10x8" oil on linen panel
©2016 Helen Read


ready to frame and hang
(Please add $20 shipping within the US, IL residents please add 8%sales tax) 


The last light of the evening - burning brightly against the darkening sky.   It all resembles hot embers still glowing in a dying fire.  What a beautiful artistic display of light, lighting the sky and horizon with one last blaze.
For me, it is a final gift for the evening - the Creator Artist sends His benediction of beauty with the promise of new light in the new day. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Some Exciting News

 Just sold!  
          It is very exciting whenever I sell my work!   I make it with that in mind!   This drawing, Curvature, was made about 6 years ago.  It is colored pencil on paper.  I posted it and then that was it..... until a little earlier this month when I was contacted by a design firm in San Francisco with a client who was interested in using it in their advertising and packaging.  So with some further negotiations, an agreement has been made and the original work has been sold.   
               And you just might be seeing it if you enjoy a good cup of coffee at Peet's!  I'm not entirely sure exactly how it will be used, but I'm excited that it will be used!   


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Old Walnut Tree ~ Just off the easel

The Old Walnut Tree, 9x12" Oil on Linen panel 
©2016 Helen Read
Ready to ship and frame 

(Please add $20.00 shipping in the US,  IL residents please add 8% sales tax) 

Its a sunny summer day with blue skies and big fluffy clouds that float lazily along.  Summer also means fields of flowers - and crickets and cicadas. 
 This painting depicts such a day.  It is ready to frame and  bring a touch of summer indoors.  

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A work just begun ~ first few steps

A new painting!  There are numerous steps to prepare for a new painting. 

1. Concept --- what captures my attention?  What do I find interesting, beautiful, intriguing?  What speaks to me and causes me to want to interpret it, explore it, and use it as a vehicle to learn and speak of something?

2. Arrangement & Editing -  how will I best arrange the elements to make visual sense?  Will I remove certain things, reposition certain things, simplify?  How can the arrangement of the components draw the eye of the viewer into the painting?

3. Evaluation - What values are shown?  Are these realistic values and how can I make notations so that when I mix my paint I have the proper values.  (You can probably see some of my notations in the top thumbnail and value study)

4. Create an underpainting - lay in thin washes of neutral colors to establish the composition and values. 

This is what you see in the lower image - which is a partial underpainting before I ran out of time this evening.

Next steps will be
1.  Finish the underpainting
2.  Establish the color harmony that I want to use. 
3.  Mix paint  for for proper color temperatures, mixtures, and values
4.  Begin to paint in thin layers, building up my painting.

Of course, throughout all this process I will be evaluating as I go to be sure I'm on target. 

This landscape will be 9x12" when finished and just in the first 4 steps at the top, a good amount of work and time has already been invested.  As the artist, I only have an idea of where this is going to end up - some of it will be determined along the way as the painting begins to speak to me! 

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