Saturday, April 19, 2014

Descanso Iris

Descanso Iris,  11x 7.5" watercolor on paper
©2014 Helen Read 
Matted in white to fit 14x11" frame
(Please add 12.00 shipping - IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax)

This lovely iris seemed to be glowing from the interior.  It stood among many in the beautiful Descanso Gardens and was worthy of a portrait! 
Creating the colors that adequately describe it was a little challenging, but the glow seems to be there.  It is ready to send to your address to to bring you a bit of glowing light.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Greenhouse Blooms

Greenhouse Blooms, 7x11" watercolor, acrylic, ink on paper
©2014, Helen Read 
matted (white) and ready to frame in 11x14" frame
(please add $12.00 shipping in the US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax)

If you scroll down one entry, you will see that this festive rendition of a floral came from a recent trip to Los Angeles where I had the opportunity to wander through the L.A. Arboretum.  The prolific blooms and variety of flowers was something rather amazing to my mid-west winter-weary eyes!  This painting tries to capture some of the beauty and color that surrounded me.
Offered here with a white matting, it will come to you ready to frame! 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Floral abundance - experimenting with new paper

This week, I've had a wonderful time visiting my son and daughter-in-law in Los Angeles. Among so many things, I got a morning at the arboretum. This little watercolor painting is still in progress, but you can see its progression in the 2 images.  More work is still needed, and will be done soon!  

The paper I used is much like Yupo.  Very smooth and does not absorb the paint.  Thus, the wet paint sits on the surface and the wet into wet effects are very interesting.  

I have dozens of reference pictures from this visit and lots of new ideas are forming!  I'll post more on this one soon!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Experimenting ~ New materials, New technique

Marshes, approx 6.5 x 9" Oil pastel on illustration board
©2014 Helen Read
matted and ready to frame in 11x14" frame 

(Please add $10.00 shipping in US,  IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax)

Does one ever stop experimenting?   Hopefully not!   Recently I've worked with a new brand of oil pastel ~ Gallery by Mungyo and using Res-n-gel as an extender.  This is done on a smooth illustration board (no tooth).  And I've also been working with a new look at color harmonies.  So, here's a little view of something I worked on this evening.  I will always love the sense of texture that is inherent in pastel work.    More experimentation needed, I think.  But I like the vibrant colors and the blending that is possible. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Foliage and Rose

Foliage and Rose, 9.25x11.25" ink and acrylic on illustration board
©2014, Helen Read
Ready to mat and frame 

(Please add $12.00 shipping in the US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax)

This painting/drawing is done in both ink and acrylic paint used as water media.  Sometimes its extraordinarily difficult to get true colors to show with a photo or a scan.  I think I've finally captured it.  The rose is slightly yellow and has blues and lavenders in the shadows.     I took the reference photo for this last summer - the rose captured my attention because of its delicate coloring and the beautiful rich foliage surrounding it.  It is painted in the style of a botanical illustration with detail, but also has some elements of a more contemporary feel.

I suggest a white matting for it, and a frame of approximately 14x16".

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Changing Seasons, finally finished!

Changing Seasons,  22x15" acrylic on paper
©Helen Read, 2014
Ready to mat and frame

This abstract painting has been long in its production!  It is finally finished.  I've tried to portray the changing of seasons simply through color and pattern.  There is a suggestion of a quilt below the surface.  I arranged my empty canvas in squares before I began.  I included certain smaller squares throughout that are intended to draw the eye through the composition.  There are small passages that include some metallics.  My intention in this piece is to provide an overall "feel" to the piece while giving the view many areas to look at more intently.  I also hope it provides a sense of change that we experience as we move from the abundance of color and growth to the sparsity of a season of rest and quiet.  

For more information on the purchase of this piece, please email me.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Teacher Institute Workshop Day

Heading Home, Oil Pastel on board
approx 12x10"

Once a year, teachers in our county have a Teacher Institute Day.  Today, I had the pleasure of going to a workshop by Carol Zack on using oil pastels.   
I'm not new to them, I've worked in oil pastels in the past; but Carol had some new methods and ideas.  All in all, it was a great time ~ and this painting was the outcome. 
 Looking forward to more paintings to come! 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Slow but continuing progress....

Such slow progress.... very tedious work, but I am making progress!
I hope this will be the last post before its truly completed.  
There are many layers here - lots of color upon color.   Its still dictating to me what needs to happen! 
Its kind of exciting to be creating - yet, not really knowing what the end result will be.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Driven to abstraction! The work continues....

My work is continuing on this larger abstract.  Scroll down a bit and you'll see what it looked like a week or two ago.   The fun thing about doing such a piece - I only have a loose idea of what it may be.  It seems to dictate to me as I go.  So, as the artist - my understanding of it is developing as I work.  I look forward to seeing its final form too!   It remains a surprise for all of us!  

Monday, February 10, 2014

In progress.... working on an abstract

22x15" acrylic on paper 

This one is very much in progress.   The white squares you see are areas that have been masked... they will be removed eventually revealing some under painting below.  Its been rather slow going - and I've struggled to understand where it needs to go.  But I will continue to work through it.  I'll post the progress here, as I continue. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Valentine's Day Special!! Now through 2/14/2014

Just for Valentine's Day ... a special offer! 
One of a kind!  Purchase now and receive it in time for Valentine's Day!
Winter Wood, 8x6"Oil on canvas
©2013, Helen Read


Purple Veined Petunia, 5x5" Oil on canvas
©Helen Read

 Red Velvet, 5x5" Oil on canvas
©Helen Read

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Red Door

The Red Door,  5.5x7.5" watercolor and ink on paper
©2014, Helen Read 
matted in off white matting and ready to frame in 9x11" frame

The red door grabbed my attention!  A quiet street, gardens and flowers, a white picket fence, and a red door demanding that we stop and look!  And it all seems to fit perfectly!  This small painting is from a scene in Cape Cod... and is posted in the Virtual Paintout website.
I've worked in both watercolor and ink to create the sense of place. 


Thursday, January 23, 2014

January .... a look back

Presence, 22x15" - acrylic on paper 
©2011 Helen Read

There seems to be no end to all the busy-ness of this season!   Its been a great season of family visits... and there's been extraordinary busy-ness at work with an old semester (final exams and grading) finishing up and a new semester (150 or so new names and faces to learn - and a new semester to get started).   
This is a joyful painting from a few Januarys ago... I'm reposting it as I work on some new things in the studio.   I very much hope to have something new and interesting posted soon!! 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A new year.... a new abstract continues.

2013 has ended and now we begin 2014.   I look forward to new ideas, new work, and new postings. 
In review, last year was incredibly busy.... and my studio work reflected that.
But, was also working on a series of abstracts, which are continuing into 2014. 

The one above is one of those which is now nearing completion. 
This represents the day of creation when the waters of the earth were separated from dry land.  
What is a little difficult to see here, is the iridescent colors and the glimmer of metallics in a few places.  It isn't quite done, but it is getting near!