Sunday, March 29, 2015

still working on this one ...

Floral watercolor/acrylic - 22x15" 

I have made progress on this ... but I know it is not at its final stage right now. There are certain parts that really are "working" in the overall plan and some parts that are not.  So, I will continue to think about this and make adjustments.   

My main idea in this piece was to try to depict the beauty of colorful new life blooming amidst the debris.  It seemed a metaphor for so many things we encounter.     As I continue to work this one out, I hope to come up with the right title too.    I'll post more soon!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spring Cleaning!

I'm cleaning out my studio! 
I have a few paintings who have been completed for a while and really need to find their permanent home!   So, for a limited time (now until April 15th), I'm offering them at a very special price to celebrate spring's arrival (and help me clean up and get ready for more painting)! 

Now is a great time to pick up a great deal! 

Secret Path, 8x10" Oil on canvas
Usually priced at $150.00 -- now through 4/15 - $100.00  
Shipping 12.00 in the US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax.

 Green on Blue,  7x5" Oil on canvas
Usually priced at $100 -- now through 4/15 - $60.00 
 (shipping $10.00 in the US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax)

 Hollyhocks,  8x8" oil on canvas, gallery wrapped
Usually priced at $120.00 - now through 4/15 - $85.00
(Shipping $12.00 in the US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax) 

 What Remains - Vanishing landscape,  9x12" oil on canvas
Usually priced at $275.00 -  now through 4/15 -- $195.00
(Shipping $20.00 in the US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax) 

Agave, 6x6" acrylic on clayboard 
Usually priced at $100 -- now through 4/15 $60.00
(Shipping $10.00 in the US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax) 

Monday, March 16, 2015

Please do this! Its easy and free with great benefits!

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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Spring Offering ~ Final Version

Spring Offering, 11x14" Oil on canvas
©2015 Helen Read
Ready to frame
(Please add $20.00 shipping and handling in the US, IL Residents please add 8.25% sales tax)

Tranquility.  Serenity.  And yes, a beautiful surprise among the leaves of various greens ~ a Redbud blooms!  This is a "snapshot" of springtime in the Midwest.  Winter gives way to springtime with a burst of unexpected color.  Often in the early morning, a soft mist accompanies the early hours. 

This painting captures that surprise and yet, also captures a sense of tranquility in the quiet water which reflects the environment that overhangs it.  The colors range from subtle gray tones that have blues and greens in the composition - to brighter greens in the foreground and the visual interest of the pink blooms.  For woodsy areas near my home, this is the essence of springtime! 

Friday, March 13, 2015

What I'm working on right now

11x14" Oil on canvas 

It has been a busy week, but I have found time to be at work in my studio.  I'm working on this landscape.  I'm exploring the idea of subtle value shifts, depth of space using atmospheric effect and how that affects edges and values - and colors.  I took this reference picture on a rather bright day - making the effect less bright, more overcast has been the challenge.  It's not finished yet - but I will finish it soon and post its final version! 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Looking Back - Lily Watercolor

3 Sisters - Descanso Lilies,  7.5 x 9.5" Watercolor on Yupo
©Helen Read, 2014
matted in white to fit a 11x14" frame
(Please add $12.00 shipping in the US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax)

Almost a year ago, I had the opportunity to visit Descanso Gardens near Los Angeles.  I found these three lilies and their beautiful foliage.  What a delightful visit!   This little watercolor is done on Yupo paper, which is a smooth synthetic paper that does not absorb any water.  The interesting patterns of paint that you see are what happens as the paint pools and puddles before it dries.  It all happens in somewhat random patterns, and are beautiful in and of themselves.  

This lovely painting is matted and ready to frame in an 11 x 14" frame. It needs a permanent home! 
I would love to send it to you!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Continuing the progress - floral watercolor

I put this one aside for a few weeks while working on other paintings - and now have picked this up to move forward with it again.  I've been working with the panel to the left --- and decided to paint in dried twigs and leaves, as one would find fallen on the ground.  That idea began to speak to me as I thought of a metaphor in my own life --- out of what is dried and dead spring new life and color and beauty.  More is still needed on this - its not finished.   I hope to continue moving it along and will post its final rendition soon! 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

TBT - Green Orchid Watercolor

Orchid in Green, 7 x 10" watercolor on paper
©2010, Helen Read
Matted in white to fit 11x14" and frame
($10.00 shipping in US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax)

This little orchid watercolor is from 5 years ago!  There aren't too many paintings from that time still sitting in my studio, but this one is ... and it needs a new home!   Maybe a little bit of green would bring spring time hope to you during this long siege of winter ... or make a nice St. Patrick's Day gift!??
Its available and ready to send!

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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Forest Secrets

Forest Secrets, 6.5 x 9" Oil Pastel on Illustration Board
©2015, Helen Read 
Matted in white and ready to frame in 11 x 14" frame
(Please add $10.00 shipping in the US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax)


A couple lines from a Pablo Neruda poem, Lost in the Forest, caught my attention: 
"... Something from far off it seemed
deep and secret to me, hidden by the earth..."
Have you ever felt the secrets of the forest press in as you've journeyed through?  Mysterious, lovely ... yet, the unknown awaits.   This can be true literally or figuratively.  It seems that I'm ever on that journey, finding my way through - captured by the beauty, and yet also containing that measure of uncertainty for all it holds.
And so I remember this: 
"Don't fret or worry.  Instead of worrying, pray!  Let requests and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.  Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down."   Philippians 4:6-7 From The Message


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Island Sunset

Island Sunset  10x8" Oil on gessoed panel 
©2015 Helen Read


Can you hear the chirp of the night insects and the frogs as the sun sets?  Can you feel the warm breeze and hear the quiet rustle of the sea grasses?  Do you hear the quiet call of a few shore birds at the end of the day? 
This was the setting this summer as I sat watching the sun slip behind the horizon just a few miles off the coast of Georgia on Jekyll Island.  The peace and quiet of the sunset was truly breath taking.  The dramatic sky of dark clouds shot through with vivid colors, almost beyond description, was lovely to watch - and then it began to dissolve into darkness.  But this moment was captured and it quietly stands still for time. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Setting Sun -- a work in progress

This is still a work in progress.  I am working on how to portray a dramatic sky, just as night is falling - without it being too garish and yet trying to depict the colors and value changes authentically. 
I took this photo during the summer as I watched night descend over the water on the eastern coast of Georgia.  The colors were just spectacular - unreal!  

The foreground hasn't been painted yet - the values are very dark with sea grasses in clumps. I hope to post the final painting in the very near future. 
This is 8x10 and I have used oil on a gessoed board. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

.... Its in that awkward in-between stage

Do you ever feel that way?  I do...  all the time.  I don't remember ever Not feeling that way along the way in any work of art I'm working on!  And its never comfortable... and I often feel like starting again - or throwing it out.  But, usually when I keep working through the problems, I find I work through it some how.   But, in the meantime, its frustrating.     So there ya have it!  That's what I am feeling about this one right now.    I'm taking a little break from it! 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A larger floral watercolor progresses

Started last week, this larger watercolor is progressing. My goal is to capture the sparkle and vibrancy of the colors.  And I also plan to do something to make the background a little more interesting.   It is larger than many of my recent watercolors.  It measures 22 x 15". 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Coastal Water Sunset

Coastal Water Sunset, 6x4" watercolor on paper
©2015 Helen Read 
matted in white to fit an 8x10" frame
(Please add $10.00 shipping in the US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax.) 

This summer, I had the opportunity to see this sunset.  I visited a small island in the southeast. The colors and the contrast of light against dark were stunning!  Breath taking, really....
I can still hear the sounds of the night; crickets, frogs, the sound of the wind in the sea grass... and of course, a few insects buzzing.    This small painting is an eye catcher for its color and contrast!  It would make a bright spot in any room.  It is ready to send!
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