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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Autumn's Glory

Autumn's Glory,  10 x 8" Acrylic on canvas
©2010, Helen Read
ready to frame

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

This painting is one of 4 abstracts that depict the 4 seasons:

The 4 Seasons - Each of these 4 paintings measure 10 x 8", acrylic on canvas
©2010, Helen Read
ready to frame
Top Left - Spring Arrives!
Top Right - Summer in Color
Bottom Left - Autumn's Glory
Bottom Right - Echoes of Winter

(click on the links above to see the individual paintings)

For information on a discount on the purchase of the set of 4, please click here.

Working in the abstract genre is challenging and more difficult that it may seem!  Even though it is non representational, abstract work must follow the rules of good design.   That can be quite challenging.  But sometimes, the concept one is depicting really is bigger than a representational approach can contain!   Hope you enjoy this venture into abstraction! 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Win this FREE small painting in my summer give away!

Mini Sunflower, 3 x 3" Acrylic on canvas
©2010, Helen Read

As it appears on its easel.

Here is the SUMMER Give-away! That's right .... I'm giving it away in my summer contest studio contest! You can be the winner in my drawing to win the painting and its small easel. Its easy to participate!

Here are the simple rules:
1. You must be a member of my mailing list - which is every easy to sign up on the left side of the blog. My mailing list is secure and never will be sold or shared. Your privacy is respected and guarded!
When you sign up, email me and tell me you have signed up for my list. That puts your name in the drawing!

or if you already are on my mailing list, you can participate by:

2. Get a friend to sign up for my mailing list. (You can sign them up only if you obtain their permission!) Then, email me and let me know your friend's name and email address and yours. Both names and addresses will go into the drawing!

Oh ... if you have multiple friends (I hope you do) that would like to be on my mailing list, please send them all - your name will be entered multiple times!

3. The drawing will be held on August 15th. Then the painting will be mailed to you!

Simple! huh??

The painting is acrylic on a small canvas (3 x 3"), and it will come with its small easel. It is signed on the side. Perfect to sit on a small book shelf or the corner of a desk top!

One more thing about my mailing list! You will get emails from me several times a month. I am trying to send a longer newsletter several times a year with news and interesting art info and happenings, plus news from my studio. Other emails are short and informative about my work, gifts, drawings, etc. You will not be inundated with stuff in your in box!

Hope to hear from you!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

My July Newsletter w/Free Offer

News and Studio Notes from Helen Read
July 2010
In This Issue
What's New?
The Art of Still Life
Win a FREE Painting!
Summer recipe
Quick Links

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Well - Summer is moving very quickly this year! Don't I say that every summer!? I think I do, but every year it seems to speed by even faster. You've probably been busy too!

In the months since my last newsletter (I know... its been a while since then!), I've been doing a huge variety of things that have been fun and interesting and necessary! First, in the past 12 months, I've completed 11 graduate hours of credit for my teaching job. These hours were somewhat spread out, but it was a steady path of paper writing, reading, and other related activities. The past year of work was demanding and challenging, as is true of every teaching year. I've also done some travel related to family needs and milestones and passages, as well as some for fun. And, I've managed to continue working (albeit at a slower pace) on my art! Now that summer is here, and I've finished my last course and done a little travel, I'm preparing for the arrival of family and another trip before school begins!

After such a fast paced year and before then next one starts, I'm back in touch with a longer newsletter to bring you up to date with what's going on here! I hope you enjoy the content of this newsletter! As always, please forward it on to friends of yours who enjoy creativity, painting, and fine art!
What's New?

New Paintings - Variety!!
I've had lots of fun this year exploring new ways of using art as a visual language. Some of the works I've been working on are quite abstract. (See the abstract works above at the top of this email!)
Spring Arrives!,
Echoes of Winter,
Summer in Color
Perhaps you are wondering about autumn.... it is being worked on in my studio right now!

Some of the works are very representational. See the image, Yesterday (Dried Roses) above.
Other recent works not shown here are Knee Deep, Snowy Egret
or Undulation 3.
(Click on the links to see them.)

You will see more of my work through out this newsletter, but you can also see the latest work as it comes off the easel by bookmarking and visiting my blog, Brushstrokes, etc. You can also find me on Facebook as well, where I try to post my work quite regularly. I also have a website (which doesn't change quite as frequently)!

Finally, I'm pleased to announce that I've been invited to join an online juried art gallery called Artists International Gallery. It is still under construction, but will be up and running soon. I will send a link as soon as I can.
The Art of "Still Life"

Longnecked Pears, 8 x 10" oil on canvas, ©2010,HelenRead

Anything but Nature Morte! (translated, Dead Nature)
Still life painting has been an art form since the earliest artistic depictions. These paintings typically consist of inanimate objects arranged together in a pleasing composition. This type of painting can be seen in ancient Egyptian art, early Roman and Greek art, and of course in the works of the Renaissance. It has been used by artists in more recent times such as VanGogh, Cezanne, and Picasso. For a time, still life seemed old fashioned and sometimes too busy and lacking much relevance, but once again it is becoming of interest to artists and collectors. Still life today has a more contemporary feel, however. Sometimes paintings are rather starkly arranged. They may contain very few objects and may be very simply placed. Sometimes they are of flowers or fruit, or can just as well include utilitarian objects. And as in bygone times, many artists are interested in showing things in an almost hyper-realistic way. Although the objects are in fact inanimate, their arrangement is lively and interesting! Above you can see a recent still life I have just finished, Three Longnecked Pears, which is done in a very realistic and traditional style.

Bending the definition of still life slightly in the images below,
Dried Flowers and Barely There, you see a somewhat different approach to still life, although these are still realistically rendered. Maybe these are more accurate renderings of Nature Morte!

Please click on the links in the text above to find out more about each painting!

Why Join My Email List?

Studio Friends - great opportunities and Freebies from time to time!

You already know that as one of my studio friends, you get this email newsletter as well as other short emails from time to time to let you know about my latest work, about free offers, and about other bits of news from the world of art!
This was the free print I offered last month to the first 12 people who responded to my email offer. I was pleased to send these little 5x7" prints (matted and ready to frame) out to my friends from Hawaii to Nova Scotia with many stops in between. That just about spans the North American continent! For those of you who now have one, I hope they are bringing you enjoyment!

Please pass on my information to your friends. They won't be inundated (as you know) by my emails - but they will be given an opportunity to interact and take advantage of some of the fun things I offer!

New Summer Contest! Win a FREE miniature painting! Drawing will be held on August 15, 2010.

That's right! I'm going to be giving away a miniature painting. Here are the rules to be entered into the drawing!
1. Be on my mailing list! (this also includes people who put themselves on my mailing list in order to enter the contest! The sign up for my mailing list is on the left side of this newsletter.)
2. Send me the name and email address of at least 1 person not currently on my email list. Please check with this person and obtain their permission beforehand! (I really don't want to violate their email privacy!)
3. Your name will be entered once for every new contact you send.
4. Each new contact will also be entered into the contest.
5. On August 15th, I will draw a name/email address out of a hat and inform the winner, who will then receive a small original painting from me!

That's it! In the past, I've given away other small paintings in a drawing. Its easy and fun, and there is a good chance that you could be a winner!!

Just for fun! Summer Gourmet

My Favorite Summer Salad

Its been hot here this summer! Maybe it is where you are too...
Because of that, sometimes a salad is all that sounds good. I have a simple and refreshing one that I've eaten a lot this summer.
Here is my simple recipe! Hope you enjoy.

Mesculan Mix (or lettuce will work)
Fresh black berries, washed and drained
A whole orange cut into bite sized pieces
Sliced almonds

Dressing (can be increased)
2 T. olive oil
2-3 tsp. balsamic vinegar
several drops of liquid stevia for sweetening (sugar can be substituted)
salt and pepper to taste. whisk until completely mixed.

Arrange lettuce, with berries and orange on top. Top with sliced almonds and drizzle well mixed dressing over all. Perfect for a hot summer night!

Thanks for connecting with me! I love your feedback! Please email me any time: I will be out of the studio for a couple weeks but will continue working along on various things this summer in tandem with the demands of life. I'll be informing you soon of new work as it becomes available.

Please keep fine art in mind for gift giving or for your own home! And, if you are a snail mail user, I have note cards of a variety showing a variety of my work available available on my website. Art brings our world beauty, vitality, and enjoyment!

Helen Read
The Studio Upstairs

A final comforting thought for difficult times:
"You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock." Isaiah 26:3,4

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Snowy Egret

Knee Deep - Snowy Egret, 7 x 11.5" watercolor/acrylic on paper
©2010, Helen Read
Matted in white and ready to frame in 11x14" frame
($12.00 shipping in US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax)

The reference picture for this painting was one I made on a recent trip to South Carolina.  It was beautiful to watch this stately bird slowly, methodically watch for small fish to happen by - and then - suddenly! .... captured.  

Friday, July 2, 2010

Final scan - Three Longnecked Pears

Three Longnecked Pears, 8x10" Oil on canvas
©2010, Helen Read
Ready to frame

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

I've finally gotten a decent (though not perfect) scan of this painting. When viewing it in person, the slightly visible brushstrokes seen in the scan are not visible. This one was challenging on several levels, but I'm pleased with the outcome!

And finally, I'm taking a few days of R & R - to makes some reference photos and recharge! Its always a good thing to step back, rest, think, and plan! I'll be back to blogging soon!
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