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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Sage Hen Reservoir

Sage Hen Reservoir,  24x20" oil on canvas
©2019  Helen Read 
ready to frame

Ready to frame
Includes domestic shipping.   IL residents please add 8% sales tax.


Sage Hen Reservoir, captures the clear light of high elevations. The colors are intense and there is a sparkle in the bright mountain light. We arrived at this lovely lake after a lengthy drive through a dusty, barren high desert climb. Then, a dense evergreen forest with this bright blue gem nestled between it's branches. Truly magical! 

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Do you love gifts?

Well, I love to give gifts! 

Every month, I give away my artwork...  Yep - it's free!  
It's a free download that my friends can download and print for their own enjoyment.  

There really isn't any "catch" - it's just a gift.  
When you get my once-a-month news note - the download is right there.  

Oh, and also, I often have a contest for a free painting that I mail to you snail-mail (see the post below), there are discounts that last a month and of course, news from my side of the easel, too!    So.... why wouldn't you join me? 
It's good to have friends!

Its so easy to sign up!  There are 2 ways:
Text the word  HELEN to 22828
Click the button below. That's all there is to it!  

Yes! Let's be Friends!

Friday, September 27, 2019

October is nearly here!! A GIVE AWAY contest is coming!

Oriole Chick, 3x3" oil on canvas, with wooden easel
For the past few years,  I've been giving away mini paintings! 
No strings attached - just a free gift to the lucky winner! 

This month this little painting will be given to someone who enters... and it could be you!  
My little paintings have landed all over the United States and
I'd love to send one to you!  

It's easy to enter.  I send a fun little note to my friends once a month, and all the details will be in that note.  You can get it right in your inbox.  Also included are great discounts that only last a month, and a downloadable painting that you can print and enjoy! 

It's super easy - and fun for all!   
There are 2 ways you can join my group of friends:
You can text the word HELEN to 22828  
you can sign up with the button below.  

In the first week or so of October, you'll get an email note from me that has news and an inside look at what's happening on my side of the easel as well as the other fun things I've already mentioned.  

Let's be Friends!  

Yes! Let's be Friends!

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Love beautiful color? Creative Expression? Artsy Friends?

Yes, Friends!!  
My next news note is coming out in the next week - and there is always lots of great stuff (free stuff, even) included!!  Special offers, free gifts, give aways, peeks at new work, and good conversations. 

Please join us!  We love you already! 

You can text the word HELEN to 22828 or hit the button below to be added. 

(Don't worry!  Your info is never ever shared - and I use a secure email server!
Who likes spam?  I know I don't!  
And you won't be overflowing with email from me either! 
I send a note once a month!)  

You can never have too many friends!

Yes! Let's be friends!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Songs of Summer

Summer's Song,  8x8" Oil on gessoboard 
©2019  Helen Read 
ready to frame
(Domestic shipping included, IL residents please add 8% salest tax)

Summer has many versions of song.  Sometimes, its the sounds of the summer birds in the sunshine or crickets in the night.  It might have base tones of frogs or the quite lap of water's edge.  But sometimes it isn't sound at all, its bright beautiful color.  It's the subtle change of color from sunlight to shadow. 
It is also the smell of warm earth or a gentle rain.  It's the dancing shapes of shadows on a sunlit path. 
Summer's song fills the senses. 

This impressionistic depiction of summer captures the warmth of bright light, the colors of prolific blooms, and the dance of shadows.  Abundance against a backdrop of evergreens.  Truly, I love summer!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Summer Garden Abundance - in progress

 A new painting just started!  After a visit to a beautiful garden area - and a number of photos taken of the multicolored pots of flowers in full bloom - I was inspired to get to work in my studio.  
I've started on 8x8" gesso board - using very light transparents to show the general shapes and placement of the composition. 


Adding in, now, some of the darker values to show more about shapes and shadows. 

Beginning to sculpt shapes with values behind and around the lighter shapes of the foreground 
Adding in local colors and finding some values within them.  

This painting is obviously still progressing.  A finished photo will come next....  But the process is always interesting to see how a painting starts and how it progresses. 

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Summer Sunset

Evening Embers, 10x 8" oil on linen panel 
 $195.00 (unframed) 
$225.00 (framed
in a contemporary solid wood frame 3/4",
either Black or Cherry) z
 (Domestic Shipping included - IL residents, please add 8% sales tax)
©Helen Read 

Framing Options

I have so many wonderful memories of summer sunsets, having grown up in the rural southwest!  Almost every evening huge, expansive skies that are painted with colors of rose, yellow, purple, blue ... sometimes even a streak of green!  Such beauty!  And a quietness as evening settles into the land.  This painting evokes that sense of evening approaching, while just the sounds of a distant bird call or the croak of a frog or the buzz of insects can be heard.  For me, I also think of the smells of sage and the earth - a dusty, dry smell of that region.  

If sunsets bring back lovely, home-like memories - this painting may be just the warm reminder of the beauty of evening for your home!  It comes with framing options -  unframed, or framed in a simple contemporary frame of solid wood - either in Black or Cherry. The frame is 3/4" from the front view and 1 3/8" on the sides. 

Saturday, August 3, 2019

12 years ago.... summer of 2007

Hard to believe!   It was 12 years ago that I started this blog!  
At that time, I was committing myself to daily painting.  As an art teacher in a large public high school, I rarely had time (or energy) to create my own art... that just didn't seem right!  

So, I decided to MAKE TIME... to commit to making art... to make just a few marks each day, if that's all I could do.  Life was busy ~ I was a single parent, had teen aged kids, and worked full time.  When I wasn't teaching, I was continuing my education in my profession.  

But...I began my commitment anyway - and 12 years later, 100s of paintings later, I'm still here.  Still teaching art and still painting!  Commitments are funny things - they propel us into places we didn't think we'd be.  And by keeping myself accountable through my blog, I've continued to work!  

The 4 paintings above were small paintings from the summer of 2007 when I started my daily practice!  
* Now - my work and creative interests continue to grow.
* I send a monthly newsletter to several hundred people each month
* I've sold my work all over the world from Europe to Asia and throughout the US
* I have made wonderful acquaintances and friendships because of it 
* I've taught 100s of students and continue to do so! 

Commit Yourself!  It's worth the effort and discipline... the rewards are great!  

Would YOU like to receive a fun and colorful newsletter each month?   My note comes right to your inbox with all kinds of special perks to my friends.  Discounts on original works, contests to win free art, free downloadable art, and news from my side of the easel.  

It's easy... just text the word HELEN to 22828 and you'll be added. 

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Lilies for a Day

Lilies for a Day, 10x8" oil on gesso board
©2019 Helen Read 


(ready to frame) 
Domestic shipping included,  IL residents please add 8% sales tax

Have you ever wondered why these orange beauties are called Daylilies?   Well, they only bloom for ONE day! 
That's it!  Just 1 day.  The beautiful blooms you see one day are withered the next day... even when you cut them and put them in water... the next day, they are done.  

This arrangement with some foliage and two small hydrangeas lasted just long enough to paint it... but even when I was painting, the flowers were slowly changing!   It makes you appreciate the beauty while it lasts!  
 Which, I suppose, is true of many things in life!  Appreciate the moment!  

This one is ready to frame!   

To see more of my work, please visit my website!  

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Fly away, fly away.... to Pennsylvania!

The winner is.... in Pennsylvania!   

This little mini painting and it's easel have just been sent off to PA!   
YOU could be the next winner!!  
Here's how: 
  • Every 3 months or so, I hold a contest for a free mini painting and easel... that's right - FREE!  
  • In order to enter the contest, you'll need to get my once-a-month news note with all the details. 
  • When you enter the contest, your name is put into the virtual hat 
  • And on the specified date, I randomly pick a winner!  
Isn't that easy?!! 
But, you won't know about it or how to enter it unless you get my news note. 

What's in the note each month?? 
So glad you asked! 

  • First of all,  an uplifting friendly note from my heart to yours 
  • You get early peeks at what's happening on MY side of the easel
  • I very often give a great discount on a particular painting, and part of the proceeds go to a worthy cause, helping people in need
  •  Downloadable, free art that YOU can print and enjoy!
  • And every few months, a contest for an original work of art!  
  • It's a lot of fun... and I never inundate your inbox!  I just send a colorful, arty note each month.

    You might wonder about your email address getting shared elsewhere.... nope! 
    I use a secure email service... I hate spam and I'll bet you do too!  So your email is safe!

    Are you ready to join the fun!? 
    There are 2 ways to join me...
 1.  Text the word HELEN to 22828 and sign up on screen! 
2.  Hit the button below and sign up!  

Yes! Let me sign up!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Lavender Fields

Lavender Fields, unframed -  5x7" oil on gesso board
© Helen Read


Framed with a contemporary wooden frame in black 

Unframed - ready for you to frame  $95.00
Framed and ready to hang  $111.00
Domestic shipping included - IL residents, please add 8% sales tax. 

optional framing

Lavender is one of my favorites!   And though it doesn't grow all that well where I live, I do have some lavender that is blooming in my yard!  (It even made it through our very severe winter!)   I love the color and I love the smell!  This lovely small painting is currently being exhibited, but will be ready to send at the end of this month.
Unframed, it is ready to frame and send.
Framed, it is ready to hang!

What could be better?!    THIS lavender is in bloom year round! 


Friday, July 5, 2019

Ode to Peonies

Ode to Peonies,  7x5" oil on gesso board 
©2019 Helen Read
ready to frame

Domestic shipping included - IL residents please add 8% sales tax
I love peonies.  I wish they bloomed a little longer than 1 short week.  I gathered these out of my garden and added a few sprays of Lady's Mantle flowers.  Someone told me that they never fade when you've painted them.... I like that!  These lovelies are gathered together in wonderful blue mason jar ~ ready to bring color to your wall all year long!  It is ready to ship, frame and hang!  

By the way, in just a few days I'll be sending out my July news note - and there will be a contest again this month for a free mini painting.  If you don't get my news note, where all the details will be found on how to order -
just text the word HELEN to 22828 and you'll be signed up!  
I'd love to share a little painting with you!   You'll also be able to download and print one of my paintings each month!  I offer my friends discounts and of course, news from my side of the easel! 

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

For the Monarchs

Milkweed, watercolor on paper
 ©2019, Helen Read 

It was two years ago that I found this tall, volunteer plant in my yard - I wondered where it came from since I knew I didn't plant it.   I also knew that it was a milkweed stalk - beautiful and stately.   It's flower is a composite of tiny flowers that start out light green and mature into a lovely pink sphere.  Try as I might, I never saw a caterpillar on it ... until this year!  A tiny caterpillar was feasting on a leaf... a particularly colored caterpillar that would indicate a future monarch butterfly was being fed!  

This little painting is a freebie for my friends this month of July!  That's right!  A free print to download - which is something I give away every month to my friends (each month a different print).  I'd love to send one to you too!  It's easy to get signed up so that you receive something fun from me every month.  Every few months, I have a contest to give away a mini painting - which is an original oil painting and its small easel.  Each month,  I have discounts that are available to my friends, and of course a peek at what's just coming off the easel. My monthly note to you is the best way I have to be a friend and to stay in touch! 

Click the button below and you can add your name to my friends list!  Let's be friends!!   

To see more of my creative work, please visit my website! 

Yes! Let's keep in touch!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Spring Peonies - creating a new painting

One of the flowers in my late spring garden that I love are  


They are large, colorful, and have such a delightful scent.  (Ants love them too!)

I wish they lasted longer - just about a week from start to finish - and then we have to wait another year.
Just as school was finishing and I was making my way through giving finals, my peonies were in full bloom.  I did manage to pick some and bring them inside to enjoy. 

From some photos I took, this little painting came about!
It's small - 5x7" - but bursting with color!  

 The final version is here, still drying of course.  I'll post the completed image
as soon as it is dry and ready to photograph.  

Meanwhile - the video shows the process I used to create this small gem!  
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