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Thursday, June 25, 2009

My new promo - win a FREE painting!

Free Painting Offer!
Join our studio group or introduce your friends & enter a drawing to win a free painting - what could be better!?
One of my summer goals is to increase the size of my email list. Are you a member? Do you have friends who might be interested? I need your introductions!

So, for
each friend referral who is willing to sign up for my email list, I will enter your name into a drawing for a free painting. (If you are not yet a member, please apply the same guidelines to yourself!) The free painting is not just any painting, its your commission of a floral done in watercolor. For the winner, the painting will be post card size, and you choose the flower! I will complete it and mail it to you, ready to frame.

In order to be properly entered into the drawing, please do the following:
1. Obtain the permission of your friend(s) (this is very important, because I don't want to violate your friend's trust or begin sending information to them unexpectedly!)
2. Email me the names and email addresses of the friends you are submitting. Be sure to include your own name so I know who sent the addresses! my email address --
In the subject line include - Friends!
3. I will send an email to your friend, verifying they agree to be added.
4. Your friend will receive a small gift for being added. (A small set of notecards)
5. Your name goes into the drawing which will be held on July 15.
6. The winner will be notified and decide what flower I should paint.
7. Within a week or so, your painting will arrive!

Your name can be entered multiple times, depending on the number of friends who sign up for our group.

I hope you will have some fun with this and participate by sending me introductions! It seems like a win-win-win situation!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The road less traveled

Road at Wood's Edge, 6x8" Oil on canvas
©2009, Helen Read

Another small-ish study. This one is done in oil and on stretched canvas. I'm enjoying what I'm learning about shape, color and value. Hope you find these as intriguing as I do!

Monday, June 22, 2009

A New Auction - Hollyhocks in Bloom.

Hollyhocks in Bloom, 8x8" Oil on Canvas
deep wrapped canvas, painted around sides - framing is optional
©2008, Helen Read

auction ended.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Another small landscape study:

Meadow, 6x8" Oil pastel on paper
Matted in white and ready to frame
(Please add $10.00 shipping in the US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax)

Another small landscape study. The colors here are a bit more intense than in actuality. (In the middle of computer issues, I don't have as much control over the color at the moment - as it appears to you.) In these small studies, I am searching for color combinations, for value structure and for a sense of place. More to come with these!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The kind of landscapes that intrigue me!

Morning Light - Landscape study - 6 x 8" oil pastel on paper
matted in white and ready to frame
(please add $10.00 shipping in the US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax)

I've been hinting that I'd like to return to landscape as a subject matter. I continue to find myself intrigued with the idea of landscape as a way to express some basic elements of art: value, color, space, shape. But they also lend themselves to an emotional expression.

What I find interesting about the small study above is that it has a very clear abstract value skeleton, I guess I would say. Just the lights and darks, minus color, are interesting and bold.
They, in themselves, create a rather interesting shape within the space. The variance of value from dark on the right to light on the left, give a sense of depth and space beyond. Then, the play of color is also interesting - fairly close to a complementary (yellow/violet) color scheme which begins to dissolve in the darker right side into a more narrow scheme of green and violet.

Trying to balance all these ideas and pull off an interesting finish is the challenge that intrigues me. When all is said and done, it creates a piece of work that demands a second look ... and perhaps a longer gaze.

When you look at the small study - none of the colors are very actual. I have used colors that do not really appear in the natural world as I've used them - and yet ... they harmonize and create understanding. That's what I like about this idea of landscape painting and why I want to pursue it. It borders on abstraction - and yet, it isn't.

One of the masters of this kind of work - an American artist that I can never quite get enough of seeing - is Wolf Kahn. I encourage you to check out his work. He is an amazing artist with a long history of work through the 20th century (and still working) - and an extraordinary life story as well!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Floral - abstracted

Peony, 8x8" oil on canvas, $120.00
ready to frame

On one of the few sunny days we have had this spring, I took a macro photo of a lovely white/pink peony in our neighborhood. When I began to look at it, it really lent itself to an abstracted view. I love the lines and shapes, and the soft colors found within the white were so intriguing. So, this is my rendition - showing the lovely abstraction that so much of nature contains.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Time for an auction!


Whimsical, Funky Cat - 8x8" Acrylic on Canvas (deep wrapped, painted around sides)
beginning bid - $15.00

Auction Results! - This painting is moving to North Carolina!

Ok, I know, its been awhile since I posted last. School is finally out - and I am slowly recuperating from the crazy, busy last days of the school year. Seriously - it takes a bit of time for teachers to just get back into real life! While I haven't posted in a week or so - which I hate not doing - I have been painting. I hope to have that new painting ready to show you here in a couple days. I've also been working at getting a computer update accomplished (the one I've been using for 4+ years is on its final breath). And, I've been thinking and planning some new promotions and ideas for some fun here with my Studio Friends. (If you haven't signed up - now is the time! See the spot to the right side of my blog and type in your email address... voila! you are done!)

The little cat painting you see above was finished last year - and I'm putting it out there for auction! Its funky and fun ... done in an expressionistic style. If you are looking for something a little quirky for a small space, maybe this is it! It would also make a great addition to a child's room! I'm starting summer off with a little offering - beginning bid at a drastically reduced price! I have some other fun ideas ready to unfold.... keep checking back!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

From Deep in the Heart of Texas - skyscape

Approaching Front, 6x6" Oil on canvas (2009)

The final version. As you can see, the foreground has been given some definition - and a small amount of background is suggested. The main idea is the drama in the sky. This is the type of terrain and dramatic skies I witnessed so often where I grew up, deep in the heart of Texas!

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