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Friday, August 18, 2017

Let's Be Friends!



In another week or so, I'll be sending out my September mailing
and Guess What!  

There's going to be a little contest for an original little painting give away!
You never know... you might be the winner!

So, all you have to do is sign up below.  Not only will you be included in all the future fun stuff I send  (about once a month), but you will be able to participate in the September contest and you'll get a "welcome gift" that I think you'll enjoy. 
 Its completely free.... so you have nothing to lose, but its only available to my friends who receive my email news. 

Here's the sign up!
Oh, and if you include your birthday I'll send you something special that month! 
(Your year remains your secret!)


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Finches and Flowers

Finch on a Flower, 6x6" oil on gesso board 
© 2017  Helen Read 
$80.00
Ready to Frame! 
(Please add $10 domestic shipping, IL residents please add 8% sales tax) 


Just a few days ago, as I stood in my kitchen looking out the window, this is what I saw!
From my little finch feeder, a small finch darted down to a coneflower and sat perched on top.

It was not much bigger than the flower itself
and apparently was weightless
 

because the flower didn't seem to even notice it was there; still standing tall, graceful and unwavering.
Such colorful beauty - all framed in the deep greenery of the rest of the garden.
 It deserved, I thought as I watched, to become a little composition to share!
 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Brushstrokes, etc. is 10 years old!

Kolrabi, 7x5" oil on canvas  2007

In 2007,  I began working on a much more consistent basis.   My effort was to paint a little bit every day, which I believed was possible even with a family and working full time as a high school teacher. 

Knee High, Snowy Egret, 7x11.5" watercolor and acrylic on paper  2010

What a valuable exercise and commitment!   My work has been varied and has led me down roads of new explorations.  Often I've brought my travels into my work 
Coastal Road, 5x7" oil on canvas   2011


 Painting became another voice.... a way of bringing delightful things into the realm of the visual to share with others.  I've always loved landscapes - which is a reflection of my love of the natural world.  And I've always loved looking deeply into the "ordinary" to find what surprises might be seen!

Jewel Weed,  8.5x7" watercolor/acrylic on paper   2012

Herrick Lake,  8x10" oil on gesso board   2015

As I devoted more time and effort - the results of my commitment have taken flight.  I've been able to communicate the beauty of creation all the more clearly.   And one enduring truth has come clear:  We never stop learning...
there is always more to learn, new ways to grow, and new ways to express that inner voice.
Tall Oaks, 20x16" oil on canvas   2016
 I've had the wonderful opportunity to paint the beauty I see and share my work in local exhibits.  And, it's a wonderful honor to send original work to customers across the United States, as well as in Europe and Asia. 

Lovely Lavender,  6x9" oil on gesso board   2017
Yes, a lot has happened in the last 10 years.  I hope a succession of growth is obvious from top to bottom of these paintings.  Now, I anticipate the next years!   I am excited to think how this journey of visual
expression will develop!   This endeavor is not always easy.  I still work full time, I still have a family (though they are no longer young and in my home, they are nearby and time with them is a high priority - helping, loving, nurturing a new generation),  and of course, just the daily tasks of life!  But, my calling as an artist cannot be ignored, so I follow the path - into joyful color, beautiful shape and form, textures and values. 

What I have learned through these last years is
• Perseverance is vital
• Committing myself to growth is necessary ~ learning is a life long journey
• I must commit to spending the necessary time to see, to be intrigued, to enjoy, and
then to express visually 
• I have little to say if I do not share my work!
• I need the accountability of friends (you!) which motivates me to persevere!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Who Doesn't Love ....

A Great Offer? 



Summer Scents -  7x5" Oil on gesso board
©2017, Helen Read 
If you are a member of my Studio Friends eMail List, you will get a newsletter at the beginning of the month that has a great offer - or maybe more than one great offer!   Maybe you already are a member, and if you read my last email just a few days ago, you know that I'm stepping it up!  

I have a lot of 
new ideas to make your participation a lot more 
fun!

Here are some things you'll be seeing (but only if you are on my list!)
a monthly newsletter full of visual images of new work and other newsworthy things going on in my world!
(in my August newsletter, I shared my latest studio work and some big family news with pictures... oh, and in the next newsletter, I'll have even more family news to share!) 
A special offer at a very special price for that month with free domestic shipping! (Hard to beat that!)
(see the above painting which is the August offer at about 40% off it's regular pricing) 
If you send me your birthday month, you will get a special birthday email with a birthday give away!
From time to time, you'll get special discounts or coupons - just for my list members. 
There's a free gift for new members who sign up and a gift for those who refer their friends who become new members of my list.
Look for periodic freebies that you can download - just for fun ( something you'd enjoy doing, seeing, participating in, or find inspiring) 
On various months, I'll run contests and drawings that will offer fun give-aways!  

And who knows!  I'm always on the look out for more ideas!   

My aim is to create something fun, be interesting & informative, and bring value to my friends.
 
One thing I want you to know ~  it's something that I dislike - therefore, it's something I won't ever do - is share your address and information with anyone else!  
 That is why I use a safe email server that protects your information and only sends you the emails that I create. 

So!  What's holding you back!?  
It's easy to sign up!  
 Use the box below - and I'll send you my August newsletter as well as a gift from me to you!
You'll automatically receive future newsletters with all the benefits I've mentioned above!   I look forward to the beginning of a beautiful friendship!  


Just a reminder that the reason I've asked for your birthday is so that I can send you a little birthday greeting.  (please notice I have not asked for the year!  It's never polite to ask someone's age! )    Once you've signed up, you can expect to receive my August newsletter that went out last week - and a little thank you gift too! 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Star of Bethlehem

Star of Bethlehem, Chicago Flower Market
8x10" oil on gesso board
©2017  Helen Read 
$180.00
( Please add $12 domestic shipping) 
(IL residents please add 8% sales tax)




Wandering through a flower market (even if quite small) is such an experience for the senses!
There is no end of the colors and variations of colors.  From greens in every possible shade to reds, yellows, purples, oranges, and whites!  It is a will riot of colors and shapes and sizes, of smells and textures... all of it speaking of diversity and beauty!  A testimony of God's creativity!

This little glimpse of the market place is almost dry and will be ready to send soon!

Join my email newsletter list and immediately save your shipping costs!  It's easy and you'll get monthly newsy emails from me with a variety of special offers.  Just click the invite button below!


Friend invite! Join me!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Sunflower Basket

 Sunflower Basket, 10x8" Oil on gessoboard
© 2017 Helen Read 

$180.00
(Please add $12 domestic shipping)
(IL residents, please add 8% sales tax)



You've probably guessed it!  Sunflowers are one of my favorite flowers to draw and paint.  They are big and bold and they radiate a lot of color!   Aptly named for the sun, don't you think!

Bring some cheer into your home - all it needs is a frame and it's ready to hang!

* Includes domestic shipping - US Priority Mail.  International shipping costs will be quoted by location and additional shipping charge will be applied.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

How I got from here to there.... my process

video


Its always kind of interesting to see a process, don't you think? 
This week, I've been working on a new painting - which is not quite dry yet ...  not quite ready to post in it's final form.  But I took pictures of it along it's journey from first strokes of paint to its near finish.    You'll see I did not start with a drawing - I just began laying in layers of transparent color where they should occur within the painting.

Then in the wet paint, I "drew in" where I wanted the basic shapes to be.
With both transparent and opaque paint, I began to lay in color and form, shadows and light to bring this painting to life.  It's a little different approach than I have typically used - but it gives the final painting a lot of freedom in the way paint is applied and the way color mixes.  

Here's a little better view of the end.... I'll be posting this one soon!  (It will be looking for it's new home!) 

Star of Bethlehem, (Chicago Flower Market), 8x10" - Oil on gesso board
©2017  Helen Read


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Abundance and Diversity

Chicago Flower Market, 5x7 oil on gesso board 
©2017 Helen Read 

This little painting is going to its new home in North Carolina! 
This spring, I painted this from a visit I made to a small but delightful flower market in Chicago. There was every color and size of flowers in complete abundance. There was every iteration of green and so many textures in the foliage! Abundance and diversity - hallmarks of God's creative hand!

It's easy to bring home a colorful, vibrant and original work of art!  
You can visit my website to see much of what is available, or scroll down through this blog.  
The wonderful thing for the artist about creating art is that we get to share  our vision - what we see in our own unique way - with others.  Hopefully, this artistic vision bring joy, beauty, and delight to it's new home! 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Framed! The final touch!


The value of framing!  


A painting always feels more finished - more presentable when the right frame is found, 
the painting is secured in it, and finally it is displayed. 
The wrong frame, however, can have the opposite effect. 

What makes the frame the right one? 

A lot depends on the picture being framed as well as the taste of the one who will display it. 
But, here are a few things to keep in mind: 
1.  You do not want the frame to "speak" more loudly than the painting. 
Simplicity is a good rule of thumb. 
2.  Consider the colors in the painting.  What kind of frame enhances them best? 
In this case a simple black frame.  
3.  Consider the style of the painting.  This painting is more contemporary in style, so 
a very sleek black frame seemed to work better than a natural wood colored one. 
4.  Finally, consider the subject matter in the painting.  Depending on the subject, you may have a type of frame that is more appropriate than another.

Personal taste is also a factor, but the considerations above are perhaps more important guidelines. 

Enjoy the process of choosing the right frame!  The right frame makes a world of difference and puts that finishing touch on a lovely work of art!  

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Lovely Lavender

Lovely Lavender, 6x9" Oil on gesso board 
©2017 Helen Read 
$125.00
Includes domestic shipping.  (International shipping will be quoted by location)
(IL residents please add 8% sales tax) 


It's almost magical - a whole field of lavender!  Not only is lavender beautiful and it has a lovely old fashioned scent, did you know that it has been used for centuries as an insect repellent!?   But - back to the painting! 
In this scene, you see rows and rows of it's beautiful color with little peeks of green showing through.  The shadows are also quite interesting and full of color.  All of this within the view of distant hills and trees. 
Delightful display of color! 

This one is still drying, but will be ready to send within a short time.  
It is ready to frame and will look stunning on any wall!  



Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A 4th of July Celebration - $49!

Yes, the 4th of July is just around the corner.... summer is well underway!   
And it is time to CELEBRATE!!  

Just for a few days - now until July 7th - I'm offering these 6 small gems at a very celebratory price! 
$49.00 which includes domestic shipping!  (IL residents please add 8% sales tax)
 Each of these small colorful gems is ready to frame. 
  
Sold - Sunflowers in Cobalt
Sold - Chicago Flower Market


I'm cleaning out my studio to make way for new work that will be coming soon, so now is a great opportunity to hang original work in your home!    

Just email me which one you'd like to have me send (1st email receives the painting), and I'll confirm it with you and let you know how to finish the details with Paypal so I can put it into Priority Mail to your home. 

Oh, and please join my email list!  When you are on the list, you receive the first word about such exciting offers as this one!  Just click the button below to be added, your email address is safe with me!! 
  


Yes, add me to your list!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

A Cheerful Good Morning!


Still drying!   This small gem - bright and colorful - seems to spread it's cheer. 
It is 7x5" oil on gesso board. 

A bright start to summer painting!  

Saturday, June 10, 2017

A White Iris

video




White Iris,  7x5" watercolor on 300# paper
©2017  Helen Read 

SOLD 

This week I received a commission to do this lovely little watercolor painting.  The video shows it's progress from first ideas, through the final rendition.  
It's always fun to see how the painting unfolds and becomes itself, often dictating to me along the way what it needs and how I need to make alterations.    It still needs to be matted and framed, but this here you see it's final form.  

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Another Sunflower Tattoo!

Sunflower ©2017 Helen Read 




I'm always a little amazed at the way in which we are connected through the internet!   Just this week, I've sold my 3rd sunflower tattoo to people who have found me online.  Several of those have been to people in the UK, and this one will be worn state side.  Each of them is similar, but is also unique - something that will not be worn by anyone else!  It is an honor to have someone wear my art, and in some cases I get to help them honor someone who was important to them.    And sunflowers seem to be the image that is most requested!   
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