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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

From Me to You ...

After taking a course this summer for my school teaching job, I have discovered a new use for some of the skills I learned. I've made a stylized version of one of my original paintings for your computer desktop. Its a free download - available at the this link.

Scroll down to the middle of the page - ( join my Studio Friends Group while you are on the page, if you are not already a member) - and you'll find the image. The instructions for download are right below the image. I hope you'll enjoy this little decoration and that it will remind you to visit my blog often!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Pasture Land

Pasture, Rainclouds Gathering - 6x8" Oil pastel on paper
©2009, Helen Read
Matted in white and ready to frame
($10.00 shipping in the US; IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax)

Another pastel study! I hadn't planned it this way, but the pastels have been a great way to work out ideas on paper before proceeding to a larger painting. This one was challenging. It is not worked from photos, but rather from memories of the many country roads of rolling fields I've traveled. The drama of the sky and the color it produces is what I hoped to express.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Work Continues

Still a work in progress - but it is progressing! I am continuing my daily work - and will post soon the final version! Check soon!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

New Work in Progress

Just in case you've been wondering - it has been a busy week this week - with a variety of things both in terms of opening contact with some area shops and stores, working on marketing plans, and a bunch of home/family things. But.... I have also been working on a larger landscape, for which I am happy with the progress.

This is a first view of the work in progress. It is much larger - 19 x 26" - so there is simply more canvas to cover. It may look familiar to you. I'm taking one of my recent oil pastel landscapes (small in size) and using it as a prototype for the larger oil version.

Above - you will see a toned canvas - toned in a light pinkish wash - and the beginning of the painting being put into place. Notice the strong values ... this is my goal - get a strong skeletal structure in place. It should make a rather interesting abstract shape in simple values - and then begin to give it definition as to what it is. I've also been very interested lately in creating a sense of atmosphere by the soft edges and value shift.

I'll keep you posted on its progress, so keep watching!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Studio Friends Winner!

Two Sisters, 4x6" watercolor/acrylic on paper

A few weeks ago, I offered a little promotion for my Studio Friends group. The winner of the drawing would get a small floral painting. It was sort of like a commission - they got to pick the flower they wanted me to paint. So, the winner chose - Sunflowers. Here is the small painting done just for the winner! It will soon be on its way.

If you would like to join us as a Studio Friend, go to the box on the right side of this blog and enter your email address! Voila! That's it! This is the way I send out offers and opportunities!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Finely Furred Friend!

Ruff, 6x6" Acrylic on canvas
©2009, Helen Read

Please click here for purchase information

In response to the fun of some previous animal paintings - here is another! This one just seemed to ask for some colorful and expressive paint! I don't have great knowledge of dog breeds - this one is some sort of terrier, I think. Cute face. I hope to do more in this genre.

You can probably see the border is rather metallic. I have used some interference paints and come copper metallics. The dog is painted with a red outline - and then some quick and expressive strokes of gray, blue, white, and oranges.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Just for fun! Birds that make a Fashion Statement!

Fashion and Style Note Card Set - set of 8 (4 designs) with envelopes - blank inside
©Helen Read
Measurements 4.25 x 5.5"

Information about purchase at this link

Finally! I began working on these back at the beginning of the year.... and lots of you thought they were fun and needed to be made into note cards! Well, here they are! They've been awhile in the making as I looked at options to put them on larger cards. That seemed to be one dead end after another. So, I've put them onto the more familiar size card, and I think it works!

Each of the cards features a bird character - in fine fashion! And each of the cards has a famous quote about style and fashion. I hope you enjoy them! They were fun to design.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Rose Colored Sky

Evening Sky - Rose, 6x8" Oil pastel on paper
©2009, Helen Read
matted in white and ready to frame
($10.00 shipping in the US; IL residents, please add 8.25% sales tax)

Still experimenting, as you can see, with color, value, composition - and pastel. There is a mood to this one that sort of developed as I was working. I found it intriguing. I'm happy with the results - and am enjoying the process of learning the capabilities of the old medium that I've begun to use again, in a sort of newish way!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Lone Tree

Lone Tree, 6x8" Oil Pastel on Paper
©2009, Helen Read
matted in white and ready to frame
($10.00 shipping in the US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax)

I'm still working on the underlying value structures that create a great composition. I also find that the more I work in this medium, the more I am able to make it do what I want to see it do! (Practice, I guess, pays off!) Its really fun to experiment and learn the limits of a medium... even though it isn't new to me, the truth is in the past I haven't worked consistently with this medium. The more I work with it, though - the more I like it!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

This week's studio work:

What Remains, 9x12" Oil on Canvas
©2009, Helen C Read - ready to frame

Please click here for purchase information and link

An example here, of the work of this past week. Landscapes are intriguing, for many reasons. It is a great way to put together the essentials of good design, while yet showing an interesting and pleasing visual. Here, I've worked with color harmony, values, and compositional placement. I'm less interested in exact colors rather than color relationships - and how they work together to create a believable whole. And, in many ways - I see the landscape genre as a great metaphor for a personal landscape.

Anyway, this old barn is very representative of the kinds of old farms that still remain in and around the Chicago area in northern IL. They are fewer and farther between, sadly... giving way to strip malls and housing developments and roadways. Its good to make a visual record of what remains.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Another pastel - landscape study

Reflection - 6x8" Oil Pastel on paper
©2009, Helen Read
matted in white and ready to frame
($10.00 shipping in the US, IL residents; please add 8.25% sales tax)

Here you can see, I am still experimenting with what this medium can do - and especially paying attention to underlying value structure to give an abstract interest and "skeleton" to the painting. Also working with color combinations to see what becomes of blending and shading.
The outcomes are intriguing to me. This one almost assumes a impressionistic feel with some of the colors that started to predominate. With these studies, I'm looking for a sense of place rather than an actual place. And I'm looking to create a lyrical feel to the color as well. They are small, but fun to do - to see what becomes!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Summer skies

Darkening Skies, 6x8" Oil pastel on paper
©2009, Helen Read - Ready to mat and frame


Another small study of atmosphere, color, perspective using oil pastel. These studies handle differently than oil paint. I like the effect, and they are a good way to work out compositional structure, color harmonies, and other effects that color produces.

While I am doing these, I am working on some larger oil landscapes as well! I'll be posting that soon!
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