Saturday, December 20, 2014

2014 Highlights from my studio

The Christmas Holiday is upon us... then, just afterward is the New Year.
Wow, where did 2014 go? 

From my studio, here are some of where my time was spent.  
Of course, I'm not full time in my studio ~ teaching high school is my full time job. But consistent and frequent studio time is very important (as well as time working on matting, framing, and marketing are also part of the mix!)

Changing Seasons, abstract - acrylic on paper (22 x 15")

The Red Door, small pen/ink/watercolor landscape

Three Sisters, watercolor on Yupo 

Descanso Iris, watercolor on paper  (prints available)

Greenhouse Blooms,  watercolor on Yupo

First Breath of Spring, Oil pastel on illustration board

Country Pathway,  oil pastel on illustration board

Cellular Abstract, 15 x 22" acrylic on paper

The Edge of the Garden, Oil on canvas

These 5 paintings were sold to NBC studios for sets on Chicago Fire and Chicago PD - TV series

Callas at Sunrise, Oil on canvas

Hibiscus Bloom, watercolor on paper

Swedish Birches, oil pastel on illustration board

Autumn Colors, watercolor on Yupo

Sunflower drawing -- sold as tattoo art to a blog reader in England!  

Some of these works have sold, some are still quite available!  To see all that may be available from my studio please visit this link

And of course, I've been working on a commission this fall, which is larger and rather complex.  Here is its current state of being.... very soon to be finished! 
 Oil on canvas

Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! 

Monday, December 15, 2014

December - glitter and bows

colored pencil on black drawing paper
©Helen Read 

I'm sure I'm not alone!  December is extraordinarily busy!   I've been busy with all the typical December things - and getting my students ready for final exams and finalizing their last projects of the semester.  I've also been busy with the commission I've been diligently working on. 
And then, of course, family things - work events - celebrations....  
well... lots going on! 

But, what a wonderful time of year!  Celebration is in the air. 
I hope you take some time to reflect on the Reason we stop to celebrate! 
Merry Christmas! 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Landscape commission

Its been awhile since I posted my progress on this painting.  It is coming along and nearing completion... The color, here, is a little too intense due to the artificial light and my limited photo capabilities tonight.  I should have it finished soon and will post again before shipping it across the country to its new home. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Happy Thanksgiving!from my studio to you....
May this season find you enjoying family and friends. And may you remember many good things in this year past, for which you can truly give thanks!
Apples on Damask,  6 x 12" Oil on canvas
©2010, Helen Read 
 Ready to Frame

Light, shadows ... shiny fabrics.  This painting presented a challenge.  The white on white weave of the fabric and the way the light played on it required close observation and attention to detail.  This will make a colorful and interesting addition to a kitchen or dining room.  Let me send it to you!
It is ready to frame. 
(Please add $20.00 shipping in the US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax.)

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Barely there.... The last of fall

Barely There, 10x8" oil on canvas
©Helen Read

Framed in a simple black frame (see below) and comes ready to hang! 
(Please add $20.00 shipping in the US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax.)

Fall leaves are almost completely fallen here now.  We've actually had very wintery weather in the midst of November.... its come a little early.  This painting captures the last clinging leaves and the lovely colors that remain.  It is framed and ready to mail out!   The perfect, unique gift for the coming season!  It can be in your hands in just a few days! 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Landscape commission ~ progress report

These last few weeks, I've been working on a landscape commission pretty steadily.  Scroll down a bit and you'll see some earlier renditions.  I am now working on the foreground and on the right side, I have a little more background to work on.  Then, I'll begin working on the foliage for the tree.  It is progressing!  Slowly, but then, its a larger landscape (20"x 24") so there's simply more canvas to cover!  It will be finished before long, though, and on its way to its new home out east!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday night

Friday evening  .... and it's gotten cold here in the Midwest.  It seemed a good thing to start a fire in the fireplace and begin a new painting.   It's been a long week with teenage students, early mornings, grading, professional development, faculty meetings, etc. 

I'm welcoming the weekend!  

Monday, November 10, 2014

November Gathering, again!

November Gathering, 8x8" Oil on Canvas
©2007, Helen Read
$120.00 - deep wrap canvas, painted on sides - framing optional
($12.00 shipping in US - IL Residents please add 8.25% sales tax)

A few Novembers ago, I posted this painting... which I still love! The hostas had turned a beautiful yellow which was juxtaposed with the deep violet of the mums.  All of these were growing in my yard.  The colors vibrate with fall colors.   This painting is ready to find a new home!  It may be just perfect for yours! 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Landscape commission on my easel

I've been busily working on a commission just lately... also trying to do a few other things at the same time, but this shows the progress I'm making on the commission.  It gives a good progression from rough sketch to beginning to apply paint - and now beginning to get some details put in. 
It measures 20 x 24" and I started by toning the canvas a tint of violet.  The rough sketch is made from a group of reference pictures I was given.  The rough sketch is at the top.  Then, I did an oil sketch on the canvas and began blocking in some shadow areas.  Finally I painted the sky, trying to pay attention to the altering colors of blue withing a clear sky.  Then, I began putting some details in with the trunks of the tree in the foreground.  It is weathered and gnarled, but yet quite graceful.  And in the last picture, you can see some of the back ground mountains and cliffs.  Its obvious I have a lot more to do, but it seems to be taking shape.  I will post the progress I make in the coming weeks. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Egret watercolor ~ Throwback Thursday!

Knee Deep - Snowy Egret, 7 x 11.5" watercolor/acrylic on paper
©2010, Helen Read
Matted in white and ready to frame in 11x14" frame
($12.00 shipping in US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax)

From a few years ago!
The reference picture for this painting was one I made on a recent trip to South Carolina.  It was beautiful to watch this stately bird slowly, methodically watch for small fish to happen by - and then - suddenly! .... captured.  

Great gift idea! 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A little autumn color

Autumn Color, 7 x 4.75" watercolor on Yupo paper 
©2014, Helen Read 
matted in white to fit a 12 x 9" frame
(Please add $10.00 shipping in the US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax)

A view from my backyard this fall..... I caught the beautiful palette of colors just as the sun shown through the leaves, lighting up everything in sparkling light!   Every color in the spectrum made itself known in the dazzling light!   I painted on Yupo paper, which is very smooth and gives a very loose feeling to the work.  You will also see the application in a few areas of salt, which give an interesting texture to the final outcome.  This is matted in white and ready to frame in your frame! 
Add a little color to your decor!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

My Students' Work!

Being a high school art teacher can be long and tiring... often with little feed back from my students.  But this week, they showed some pretty solid progress in their drawing skills!  I'm proudly posting some of their works!

We spent a little time finding reference pictures, making a grid, transferring the image, and shading it realistically (pencil on paper).
This is from 2 of my Drawing 1 classes, and the improvement in their skills is rather exciting!  This is a sampling of my approximately 55 students in Drawing this semester. 

Well done!! I'm proud of you!! 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Yellow Halo

Yellow Halo, 11 x 7.5" watercolor on paper
©2008, Helen C Read
matted in white and ready to frame in 14 x 11" frame
($12.00 shipping in US - IL Residents, please add 8.25% sales tax)

After being out of town last weekend and catching up all this week, I'm looking back and reposting a floral painting from a few years ago.  I was captured by the tiny yellow flowers that hovered above the center of this pink zinnia.  They appeared to be like a little halo.  This comes to you matted in white, ready to frame in a 14 x 11" frame.  It is ready to ship! 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A new commission I've started ~ first steps

I've been commissioned to do a landscape painting of a southwest mountain scene.  And this is my beginning.  Here, you see a toned canvas (20x24") and a lightly made pencil sketch. 

This is the next step.  I've used a light wash of color to show my basic composition.  The left side of the painting is still a little vague and being worked out.    I'll keep posting as I continue with my progress! 
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