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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

No, it's NOT too late!

But it will be in a few more days!  
This little mini oil painting will be given away on June 20th! 
It's easy to get the details -  Join my list of friends and  you'll receive instructions about how to enter the contest.

Not only that, but you'll get a fun & friendly monthly email with news from my place to yours. It's a great way to stay connected in this disconnected world! 
I include free downloads, my latest work, discounts, and contests. 
I also include encouraging words that we all need to hear from time to time. 

It's easy to join - just click the button below and you'll be "in"!   

Join the fun right here!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Perfect Beauty!

Peony Bloom, 7x5' oil on gessoboard
©2018 Helen Read 
(ready to frame) 
Domestic shipping included,  IL residents please add 8% sales tax 

     One of my favorite things about spring is the beautiful array of flowers!   Where I grew up, we did not have such an abundance of variety.  There were beautiful wildflowers in bloom, and sometimes they covered the fields in blue or orange or yellow for a few weeks  ... but in term of garden flowers, it was mostly too hot.   Now, where I live, after the long siege of winter (which sometimes seems endless), we have a delightful succession of colors and shapes and sizes and ... scents!!  
    My first real introduction to peonies was in one of my first homes in Wheaton.  It was an old farm house that had a neighborhood grow up around it.  And along one whole side of the home were about 40 feet of peonies in various shades of pink.  They were a delight of springtime with a scent that was indescribable... a little like a rose, but something of it's very own.  
    My current home has a lovely display of peonies in the backyard, and so it was inevitable that a painting would have to happen!  It's been a very busy few weeks with the end of the semester at work - but - I found time to capture the exuberant color and beauty of a single lovely bloom before peony season is over!  

It comes ready to frame and domestic shipping is included!  Add a little bit of vibrant color to your walls!  It is drying and will be ready to ship in a few days!  

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Red, red robin ... Giveaway!

Red Robin,  3x3" oil on canvas
©2018 Helen Read

This little guy will be given to one of my newsletter friends in the month of June! 
It's an original oil mini painting, and will have a small easel for display.
Just the thing for a bookcase or desk top!  

And it's FREE!!  I'll be having a drawing in June and it will wing it's way to one of my friends at their home!
To find out all the details, be sure to read my June newsnote - it's coming soon!
Oh... you need to sign up?!   Easy... just hit the button below!  

Yes! Let's stay in touch!

Monday, May 28, 2018

Ahhhh - apple blossom time!

Apple Blooms,  6x6 colored pencil on clayboard
©2018 Helen Read

(ready to frame) Includes domestic shipping - IL residents, please add 8% sales tax

It's just for just a few days in the spring... the profusion - the scent - it's magical! 
And then, the blossoms have fallen.    They become a pink or white carpet
underfoot for just a few more days. You can miss the whole cycle, if you aren't looking for it!  
It truly is a lovely few days!

This is one of the most busy time of  year for a school teacher.  Students are trying to finish the semester (some of whom need some prodding), grading must be finished up, final exams are scheduled, then there's more grading, and finally closing things down for a few months.  Finding the time to create comes in starts and stops.  So, this is the perfect time to work with colored pencil.  You don't have to worry about paint drying too much or not enough.

I've created this colored pencil drawing on clayboard, which is a super smooth surface that accepts the
pencil quite well.  The work you see shows a little progression from the white surface to colorful shapes.

And, do you wonder what it might look like framed? 
Although this comes to you unframed, a simple black frame brings out the vivid color quite beautifully! 
It is ready to ship to it's new home - and domestic shipping is included!  

Just a reminder for those who might love to receive a FREE painting! 
In June, I'll be giving away a mini oil painting with a little easel for display.  You'll find out all the details in my June newsnote, which will be sent in the next few days!  

If you aren't receiving it, it's super easy to sign yourself up!  I love to stay in touch and always bring you beauty, interesting news and articles, free downloads, and discounts!  Just click the button below and you'll receive the next note from me to you very soon! 

Yes! Let's stay in touch!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Spread the LOVE!!

 Who doesn't need a little love?  
Every month, I send out some love to my friends - a colorful newsy note that arrives in your inbox.  You'll see what's been going on in my studio, get to read some of my thoughts on creativity and making art, and I always have some free things that are just for you! 
You never know, every few months I have a little give-away painting that someone will receive
(so far in the last few months, they've gone to friends in Georgia, Florida, & Texas!)
I like to include some interactive art that you can personalize and you'll get some insider previews and  discounts. 

It's easy to sign up!  Just click the button below!
My next note will be sent out in the next week or so  - sign up now so you don't miss my next
fun note and it's surprises!  

(I use a secure email server and your info will never be shared!)

Yes! I want to sign up!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Peonys and Canning Jars

French Peonies,  7x5" oil on gesso board 
 ©Helen Read 
(ready to frame)
Domestic Shipping included - IL residents pleas add 8% sales tax 


Oh, I love the soft scents and shades of summer peonies!  And I can see the buds forming on my plants just this week.  In a few more days, the first round buds will open in a beautiful display! 
And the simplicity of a casual arrangement in a canning jar is the perfect warm weather centerpiece. 
This little painting features the soft colors of flower and jar.  I love how the colors come together to make a statement of harmony.  

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Walk with me!

Arbor Path, 16x12" Oil on canvas
©Helen Read
Ready to frame

Free Domestic shipping.  IL residents please add 8% sales tax. 

Today was just this sort of day!  Spring is arriving... and it seems over night that leaves have popped open and the grass has grown 3 or 4"!   The bright sun is juxtaposed with bands of shadows... and an intriguing pathway leads  us toward more discoveries!   Such a delightful time of year, which is why I love painting it in all it's glory! 
There's something wonderful about being outside - and then, bringing the beauty of Creation inside to enjoy, no matter what time of year.


Maybe you didn't know that you could be included!  I'd love to stay in touch with you! 
Did you know I send out a pretty cool news note each month? 
It's visual (of course) and I include a variety of fun things with you in mind.  Every month I have something(s) that I offer my friends, like a free painting give away contest, or a download print, or great discounts....
If you like colorful artwork and creative expression, you'll enjoy receiving a little artistic pick-me-up each month!
It's so easy to be included!  Just click the button below, and you're in!  

Yes, Please! Sign me up.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

The Question of Creativity...

I hear it all the time… “I’m not creative”.    I kinda know what people mean when they say that, - they don’t know how to draw or paint or sculpt.  But, that’s not all there is to creativity - and as an art teacher, I know that these skills can be learned!  I also know that creative expression is so much broader than 1 area of art! So, I don’t think it’s true! I think each of us is creative in one way or another!  

  We all have a personal point of view - a different way of seeing things. A different "take" on the way we see the world around us... and when we express that personal viewpoint in our own way, we are exercising creativity!

The enjoyment of bringing into being something that hasn’t yet been done before - at least not in the exact way in which we do it - and by putting our own personal touch on something (whatever that something may be) we have exercised creative expression! We are, by nature, makers and doers!
Creativity can be visual (which is the way I express my view of the world), but it can also be with the use of written language, or movement, or musical harmony, or culinary creations, or carpentry, or a so many other possibilities!

So, let’s celebrate our creativity!  Let it root and develop and bloom, which requires purposeful nurture --- feeding it with beauty and wonder; the process of growth!   It requires taking time with intention to let it blossom and become. What feeds your creative spirit?  

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Old Time Floral

Old Fashioned Floral, 6x6" oil on gesso board
©2018  Helen Read 
 Ready to frame 

Includes domestic shipping,  IL residents please add 8% sales tax 


 When my children were small, I was the recipient of hand picked flowers which often found their way into a mason jar to be placed in a visible spot for all see!   Such joy in small gifts like that... a happy smile on a small face, and a mom's warmed heart.  I love those memories... and this painting reminds me of those long ago moments.  
Nostalgia in a blue jar!

Did you know that every month I send out a fun news note to my friends? 
I include my latest paintings and news, but I also include fun things like free downloads, and contests for free paintings, and discounts.   It's colorful and visual and it's a great way to stay in touch with each other. 
It's super easy to receive - just click the button below and you'll have all the fun sent right to your inbox!

Yes! Please include me!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Good for the Soul!

What are the benefits of visual art?

  • Visual beauty brings peace in an often frenetic world 
  • Visual images engage a different part of the brain
  • Visual works engage us with the artist and the world as they see it 
  • Visual works remind us of the Great Creator who is the originator of beauty
  • Visual art gives us space and time to absorb, to consider, to re-engage with that part of our spirit that is often pushed aside in the busyness of life. 

Maybe (probably) there are more benefits! 
Leave a message!  Tell me some more!  

And while you are here... 

Click the button below and you'll be included to receive my once-a-month newsnote that is visual, artsy, and has a lot of fun stuff!  But only if you like
free downloads, 

painting give-aways, 
and insights into the creative life!  

Click the button so we can stay in touch! 

Yes Please! Include me!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Don't Stop Now!

A  little excerpt from my April newsletter.  Let it inspire you to speak the message that is yours uniquely.  

Just before winter is over and just before the full bloom of spring occurs, it is easy for me  to feel like I’m running out of steam. Do you ever get that feeling too? The goals I have seem awfully weighty - and a little too distant.  

This can affect what I’m doing artistically as well as in just about every area of life. I’m reminded how important it is to nurture a positive mindset.  It makes all the difference! 

Do you believe (like I do) that each of us has been created with particular gifts and a unique voice in all of history? It’s kind of amazing, really!  And this means that your voice, in whatever way you express yourself, is valuable and needed!  So, here’s a positive word of encouragement - 
Let your voice speak!

Perhaps it is through art, but it might be through music or dance or writing or baking or gardening or something else!  There are countless ways to voice the message only you are able to speak. Don’t ever feel it isn’t worthwhile or good enough…
you are needed!
I send out a colorful, visual newsnote each month and it's super easy to receive it.
Not only are there messages of encouragement, but I offer free gifts, downloads, discounts,
and other things that make it fun.

Don't miss out!
Click the button below and we'll stay in touch with a fun message
meant just for you!

Yes! Sign me up!!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Royal Purple

Royal Purple, 9x12" oil on gessoboard 
©2018 Helen Read  
ready to frame 

(domestic shipping included,  IL residents please add 8% sales tax) 

Nothing says "spring" to me quite like the bloom of tulips.   Spring hasn't really arrived here in my area - even though it's past due - being mid-April!  So, I've taken to creating spring with paint, while I wait!
This gathering of beautiful purple tulips seems to shimmer and glow. 
I looked up the meaning of tulips... so many flowers are associated with a cryptic meaning.  I found out that tulips are representative of love and passion.  Purple is indicative of royalty.   I must admit, they do have a very regal upright habit, commanding one's attention!

Bring a love, passion, and lots of royal color to your walls! 
This lovely painting is almost dry and ready to ship very soon!

Oh - before you go! 

Did you know that I keep in touch with my friends with a monthly newsnote? It's filled with visual beauty and other fun things like free downloads, contests for free mini paintings, discounts, and late breaking updates and news.  You get an inside look into the life of an artist and get to share some of the fun!
It's super easy to join us! Just click the button below and let me know!

Yes! Sign me up!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Bringing the garden inside!

It's been a long, long wait this year.... and we are still waiting!

And, quite honestly, I'm weary of the wait! 
As I look at my sleeping garden, there's a little bit of hope ~ some green shoots have
sprouted.  But usually by now, spring is here and flowers are in bloom.
So, I'm creating my own spring time with colorful oil paint....

This painting is 9x12", oil on gesso board.  As you can see, it isn't finished yet. 
I started with transparent color - in full strength allowing the white of the gessoboard (smooth surface) to 
allow the colors to glow.   Then, I went back with opaque paint to refine the shapes and to add in additional color to create the highlights and darker values. 

It has a painterly feel, with loose strokes and broken color, 
and hopefully, I've conveyed a sense of joyful profusion!  

More work will bring it to it's final form in just a few days!  

Monday, April 2, 2018

Yay ... there's still time!

It is NOT too late!

Yes!  It's true - I often give away little paintings...
I usually have a special offer....
And I have free downloads! 

There isn't any "catch".... but you won't know about these gifts and offers unless you get my newsletter. 
It comes out every month - and April's newsletter will be sent very soon! 

It's so easy to sign up - and then all the details for how to participate or download a freebie
will be sent right to your inbox! 
If you love colorful, expressive art - then you'll enjoy my very visual newsletter.  It's fun, newsy, and it's a great way to stay in touch.  Just hit the button below and you're in!  
Oh... and you'll be sent an email right away to welcome you with a special message. 

So why not?  Don't miss out!  I love creating for my friends! 

Click Here and You're In!
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