Join me on Facebook!

Monday, January 28, 2008

And here is the postcard ~

This is the rest of the weekend work I did on advertising materials. This is a small postcard - the other side has pertinent contact information. I am not sure how or if this will be useful for creating a greater presence and building knowledge about what I'm doing. Time will tell, but I think it is worth a try!

The Business Card has arrived!

There is more to building a presence in art than just the paintings... although you don't have much without that component! This weekend I spent a lot of time working on my business card. It has been on my "list of things to do" for several months! I wanted something that was representative and memorable - visually interesting - and I really just hadn't had the time to devote to the development of the ideas. Yesterday, I finished the business card. This is side 1 - side 2 has pertinent information about how to contact me and what I do. It is printed on a grainy oatmeal card stock. All in all, I'm pleased with the outcome.

I am also finishing work on a postcard to be mailed to friends/acquaintances who are not aware of what I'm doing artistically. I'll post that in the next few days.

I love crossing off a lingering item on my list!

Friday, January 25, 2008

A Red Head

A Red Head, 5 x 7" Oil on canvas

For more information on the availability of this painting, please click here.

The interior of a cabbage is very intricate and quite abstract! The outer leaves are equally interesting in their color and how the light plays along the head of the cabbage. In this painting, I could only capture the suggestion of what is going on inside the head - but I love the abstract shapes and the contrasting colors between the light rib interiors and the reddish purple into bluish purple of the leaf areas.

The picture below shows step one. In this case I did not tone the canvas first. I was interested in keeping the lightest areas pretty white. I like phase I of this painting - it almost resembles a water color, although it was done with light washes on the stretched canvas. After that dried, I then went back with thicker paint and liquin to achieve the more detailed parts.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Tete-a-tete ~

Three Lemons, 6x6" Oil on Canvas

This is the first still life of the new year for me. I wanted to focus on the underpainting being a warm, vibrant color - to add a sense of warmth to the 3 yellow lemons. I was so captivated by the undertone showing through in places, I wanted to leave it there plainly. As you can see, the underpainting is a very dark rose color. It show through in some of the shadow areas as well as through the skin of the lemons. There are also undertones of green in the lemons. Some of the shadowed areas were quite warm, and other areas were much cooler in color. The stroke marks are visible and with the broken application of color, this painting has an overall impressionistic feel to it.

My title isn't too original - but, as I looked at it, it seemed as if the 3 lemons could be deep in conversation!

Oh - one more thing - I just noticed that this posting makes my 100th post since starting my blog in July. As you can see, it isn't a daily thing - but almost! Thanks to those of you who come by for a visit often... you make this very worthwhile!

Please click here for more information or availability of this painting.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Broken Dreams, 9x11" mixed media (collage and oil pastel)

Broken dreams are a fact of life. I've lived a blessed life - especially when compared to others who experience extreme circumstances, disabilities, illnesses, or fight to survive on a daily basis. And yet, I have known my share of broken dreams - some of which are passing disappointments and some of which have been life changing and require daily acknowledgment and management. These last few weeks, I've been dealing with the reality of living with broken dreams day by day. I suspect that all of us have those moments, and they are painful and hurtful and confusing.

What do you do with brokenness? It can so easily breed bitterness and cynicism, which are unpleasant (and unattractive) companions in life. But is is far easier to talk about letting go of those often legitimate feelings than it is to just do it! Even though I am a person of faith, one who is truly committed to my faith, I find no easy answers in the grittiness of daily life. The disappointments are real and they can't be waved away with some sort of magic wand.

I am learning to do this though -- I'm learning to give my small disappointments and my life changing broken dreams to Someone who knows my heart, who sees the span of my life, and who can take broken things and make them into a new thing. A better thing. I am learning that God's dreams are bigger than mine ~ and that he has deep concern and compassion for the things that touch and sometimes really pierce the core of my life.

He lets me give him the pieces though. He lets me put the little pieces of my hopes and dreams and expectations that are hardly recognizable anymore into his hands. He doesn't demand that I do so - he offers to take them from me. He also lets me put the pieces back in his hand, when I take them up again and hold them in my hands - often worrying, sometimes weeping. It's still a mystery to me what He will do with the broken dreams of my life. The end result will probably look nothing like my own vision of my life's dreams. I feel confident in this, though, His dream for me is to take the cuts and scars and pieces and make something new and better than I could have ever imagined. I'm waiting for the unveiling!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Think Berries for Valentine's Day!

A set of 10 in time for Valentine's Day.
L'amour des fraises!

These measure 4.25 x 5.5", 2 of each design is included - with white envelopes. A bit of a gourmet approach to valentine's day ...

The image of the strawberries and shadows was created using acrylic paint and colored pencil.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Completed berries ~

I have now finished my set of strawberry illustrations that will be used as Valentine Notecards. All 5 images feature a strawberry or berries, created with layers of paint and pencil to give a sense of depth and 3 dimensions. All have some sort of shadow and heart shape within the image.

A somewhat more gourmet approach to Valentines - but hopefully a fun way to remember the day! I'll post info on purchasing the notecards soon!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

January's blanket

White Frosting, 5x7" Oil on canvas

Please click here for information or availability of this painting.

January arrived here in the midwest with a thick frosting of white snow! This is a plein air painting, even though I did not actually sit outside to paint. Instead, I painted the 3 sentinels of my back yard in the midst of a snow storm from my back upstairs window. The 3 evergreens are about 40 - 50 ft high, and I only painted the uppermost section. It was a very gray day with snow falling in large wet flakes all day, and the weight of the snow draped over the branches of these trees slowly weighed them down.

I also really loved the abstract shapes of the white snow on the dark evergreen background - who says abstract "art" isn't something we see in nature every day? There weren't very many colors on my palette for this - although I did put a pale pink under painting on the canvas before I began. The method I used for this frosted effect was a very thick impasto application of paint. It took a long time to dry enough to scan - I pushed it a bit and scanned a somewhat tacky painting last night ... so I could post it today!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Berries ~ for Valentine's Day!

Images 1 and 2 for upcoming Valentine's Day Notecards
(acrylic and colored pencil on illustration board)
images are copyrighted 2008, Helen Read

Keep watching! I'm working on some Valentine's Day Notecards featuring Strawberries! Their shape is naturally quite heart-like, and of course, the color is Valentine Red! These 2 feature the berries but with a very heart-shaped shadow.

Besides this, I am continuing to work on my daily paintings ... the newest of which will be posted soon. It was completed last night, but with very thick applications of oil paint, it is taking a long time to dry. Since I scan my actual painting to post the image, it must be completely dry before I can post it.

More to come on the note cards as well!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Cleaning the studio! Great offer!

I'm cleaning my studio to make room for new work in 2008! And, I need to make some room.
So, I'm trying a new idea - the 5 paintings above are being offered with discounts for 1 week only. (January 7 - January 13, 2008)

Here's how it works:
Buy 1 of the above paintings and take off a 10% discount (original price on all is $100)
Buy 2 paintings - for a 15% discount
Buy 3 paintings - 20% discount
Buy 4 paintings - 25% discount
Buy all 5 paintings - 30% discount

(IL residents add 7.25% sales tax)
Shipping is $10 for the 1st painting, and I'll pick up additional shipping for orders of multiple paintings.

You can email me for more information at:
or visit my website for specifics on this offer.

I am hoping to (obviously) make room in my studio, but also to invite others to own an original oil painting! For those new to the art world, there is something very special about owning an original rather than a reproduction. The colors are more vivid than a photo, the texture is 3-D and very tactile, and the sense of value is much higher and more lasting with an actual stretched canvas. It's never been easier - or more affordable - to hang an original oil painting!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Work in the new year...

As is so frequent, I'm waiting for paint to dry.... It takes awhile - especially with thick applications of paint, which is what my next small painting has.

In the meantime, I want to direct you to Quill Cottage and Miss Sandy, who recently was given a painting I did this summer. She has written so beautifully and found deep personal meaning in the painting. Her site is always fun and interesting and inspiring.

Besides waiting for paint to dry, I am also working on ideas for Valentines Day ... more to come soon on that as well! I hope the Christmas holiday season was a wonderful one for you and your family. My family was all home, so things stayed quite busy. But a regular routine seems to be returning to us. I am looking forward to more frequent posts of my paintings again!

In the meantime, I'm posting an older drawing which is part of a
private collection.
This is colored pencil on paper. It measures approximately 11 x 14" and is of a wonderful (very) old elm tree in our area of Northern Illinois.
I was especially intrigued by the wonderful contrast between sunlight and shadows on the tree itself... and also all the cast shadows of the trees. In my mind, this picture evokes a visual image of the first Psalm - which makes mention of the person who builds their life on God's ways - they are like a thriving tree planted near the water.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...