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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Hearts ~


Bleeding Hearts, approx 5x7" pen and colored ink on paper

The last post of January ... looking ahead to the new month. Another in my small pen and ink flower series. This one seemed appropriate for the month of February!


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Creation sings ....

from our worship service this Sunday morning:

Indescribable
(worship song by Laura Story)

From the highest of heights
to the depths of the sea,
Creation's revealing Your majesty.

From the colors of fall


to the fragrance of spring

Every creature unique in the song that it sings. All exclaiming:

Indescribable,
uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing, God!

All powerful,
untamable,
Awestruck, we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim,
You are amazing, God!

Who has told every lightning bolt where it should go
Or seen heavenly storehouses laden with snow?


Who imagined the sun and gives source to its light?
Yet conceals it to bring us the coolness of night?
None can fathom....

Indescribable,
uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing, God!

All powerful,
untamable,
Awestruck, we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim,
You are amazing, God!

__________________________________________
(paintings in order of posting: landscape in red and blue, 2009, oil pastel
Belton Mequite, 1976, acrylic on panel
Cloudscape, 1998, graphite on mylar
Snowscape, 2008, oil on canvas
©Helen Read)



Saturday, January 24, 2009

Love is in the air ... and Valentine's Day is right around the corner!

Strawberry Note Cards for Valentine's Day or
a Small Delicious Oil Painting!

I'm posting some wonderful ideas for a special Valentine's Day note or a one-of-a-kind gift!
Remember someone special in a unique way! Order information is given below.


(Original artwork, copyright 2008, Helen Read)
Set of 10 Note Cards (5 designs) w/envelopes
Featuring Strawberries and Hearts.
Cards measure 4.25 x 5.5"
$12.50/set
(Shipping $3.00 in US, IL residents, please add 7.75% sales tax)






Berry Bowl, 6x6" Oil on canvas (ready to frame)

(Beautiful, juicy berries contained in a heart shaped bowl! ... Love!)

SOLD




Thursday, January 22, 2009

White Amaryllis


copyright 2009, Helen Read
White Amaryllis, approx. 5x7" pen and ink (colored ink)
on paper

Still using the new ink pencils. This is a true pen and ink drawing - using micron pens. Then, added to it, I made additions of color with the ink pencils. I used a heavy watercolor paper for the ground. I like the effects of the washing of color, though it is easy to go too deep. I've also learned to apply the pencils to dry paper and then wash... if more needs to be applied - I need to wait till it dries.

Overall - the effect is similar to a botanical scientific rendering. I like what I got ... a very different outcome than using other painting materials! Its a little like comparing apples to oranges - one is not necessarily better - just different.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Continuing the theme:


Little Red Hen, 2009 - 4 x 5.5" black and colored ink on paper
all images copyright by Helen Read

The theme continues with small comical figures. I'm not totally sure where I'm going with these, but they are fun to do - and it has been fun to experiment with new materials. Well, lets keep watching .... we'll see what becomes of these!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Comical experiments ~


A Purple Beret, 4 x 5.5" Black and colored ink on paper.
copyright 2009, Helen Read

One of my goals, this new year, is to experiment with new ideas and new materials. I know I've done some bird caricatures in the recent past, but this is a bit different. All of this one is done in ink. My daughter gave me a new material (new to me at least) - ink pencils. So, to create this one, I used a micron pen and then new ink pencils that were later washed w/brush and water. The effect looks similar to watercolor - but it really handles pretty differently. So - I like this new material.... and am enjoying the caricature drawings, which are a pretty different path for me as well! Hope you enjoy seeing something new!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Winter blooms


Wintersweet, approx 3 x 5.5" watercolor/acrylic on paper

I've been asked to work on a "flower of the month" card set and here is the first flower for that idea. This is a flower which blooms in winter on bare twigs before leafing. I love the colors and structure of the flower. I will be working with this image for printing next!

Meanwhile - all the holiday festivities are now done at my house. I've had a wonderful few weeks of having my kids all home for the holidays. It meant that life didn't happen in any normal schedule ... (except for having to show up at school to teach my classes). Now things are getting back to normal and I'm back to work in my studio.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A little bit of news!

The article that I posted on Sunday, Staying Creative in Difficult Times, has been published by a great online magazine - Creativity Portal. This online publication always has interesting articles and ideas! It is worth a visit and a bookmark!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Staying Creative ....


Broken Dreams, 2008, approx 10x 12", mixed media on paper

During a particularly busy week - starting a new semester at school, family and other visitors in the house, various activities at church, end of the year and beginning of the year bookwork, amidst the constant desire to stay creative, I've written down a few thoughts that are helpful to me, and hopefully will strike a chord in others as well ~

Staying Creative …
In a season when financial difficulties are breeding a sense of fear that seems to permeate our culture, the artist may well ask, “how can I continue to create and to grow and to sustain my creative spirit?” I suspect that many of us face this as we look at the reality of diminished sales, the practical need to pay bills, and the responsibility to provide for our dependants. It is easy to find ourselves being swept up by the dismal news and its paralyzing effects.
What can we do, as artists, to maintain a creative spirit and continue to create and grow in our craft? Many of us already have another income source, which must be prioritized. Many of us find ourselves with time at a premium because of the need to develop income from other venues. Nevertheless, the creative spirit within cannot be allowed to atrophy or to disappear; it is essential to how we have been created!
In these recent months of gloomy news, I have taken a few steps that have been essential to my artistic spirit. Perhaps they will be of help to others, as well. I have also found that the following order of steps is significant.
Commit. Recognize that one of the essential ingredients of my heart, spirit, and personality is creativity. Commit to honor that and cultivate it regardless of circumstances. This is a way that I honor my Creator, who is the very Author of Creativity.
Pray. Believing that God honors the creative spirit, I pray specifically for ideas, for possibilities, for energy to pursue them, for open doors. I love the answers! So often they are way beyond anything I could have dreamed up.
Brainstorm. I work with pencil and paper in hand. What are the wackiest ideas I can dream up? What are practical ideas? How can I experiment? Write everything down, no matter how ridiculous! I keep a journal just for this purpose. On the right side of the page spread I date and write my ideas – on the left side I date and write the ways I’ve put them into practice. Most of the time, one idea leads to another… the idea that really works may be several generations from the first inkling! I write it all down because great ideas have a way of slipping away!
Act. Prioritize and refine those ideas. Put 1 or 2 good ones into practice! See where they will go. Give it a try. What happens if it doesn’t succeed? Try again from a different approach. This can sometimes be the most difficult step. This is where it either fails or succeeds…. Yet, to never try is certain failure! Georgia O’Keeffe is reported to have said, “You must never think you will fail.” That seems like sound advice.
Then, continue the cycle! Recommit. Continue to pray. Keep thinking of new ideas. Don’t stop trying!

Who knows what might be? None of us knows what the future might hold. However, we all have a choice of seeing the glass ½ empty or ½ full. For myself, I’m choosing to see the glass ½ full, waiting for the other half to be filled with new ideas, new possibilities, new creative works that are waiting to take form. This attitude of “what might be” takes us much farther down the road of adventure and success than being stuck in the reality of “what is.” Perhaps another word for this could be faith. As artists, we need this quality of spirit. But just as significantly, in this particular time, our culture needs this from us as well.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New work - 2009


Landscape in red and blue, approx 7x9" - Oil pastel on illustration board

One thing I hope to do in the year ahead is experiment! Try new things. Play with techniques. Combine old ideas and create something different and new. An idea I've been turning over in my mind for awhile is "what might be" landscapes. Taking the known and putting a few twists to it to create a sense of the unknown and yet ... somehow a bit familiar all at the same time.

Of course, I have things to continue doing - things unfinished and still in process. More of the magnified botanicals are still out there - work yet to be done. More (I plan) of the whimsical fun stuff as well! I hope that 2009 will be a year of expanding and overflowing in multiple directions.

It would be easy to become discouraged in this time of economic slow down ... something that I believe has been felt quite noticeably amongst us in the visual arts community. But - be that as it may - during this lull, I hope to connect and learn and create and expand my own skills and abilities and ideas, bringing enjoyment - even if through the internet - to many viewers!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Its January 1st - Make a Fashion Statement!

Fun Thoughts on Fashion & Style!





Whimsical Birds with something to say!
The above 4 small paintings are now available as prints!
Each is printed on heavy matte paper and matted in white.
outside dimension 8x10" - ready to frame
$10.00 each
set of 4 - $35.00






Single Colors or set






(shipping & handling - $3.00 for single prints, 2 prints - $5.00, 3 or 4 prints - $7.00)
IL residents please add 7.75% sales tax.
Please note - "Add to Cart" button may not allow ordering flexibility. Please add to cart what is desired, if shipping costs seem incorrect according to note above, I will adjust!
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