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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010 In Review!

Here are just a few of the year's studio works ....  some of my personal favorites!   2010, in spite of the economic down turn, has really been a good year!   Not necessarily in the way we think of "good" - but in the bigger picture, it has been.   I've continued to work in my studio.  I've continued to post to my blog ....  all of this while taking 11 hours of graduate work, working full time as a high school teacher, and finding time to be a parent, friend, daughter, etc.   

There have certainly been difficult moments in 2010.  My dad passed away about 8 months ago.  My family is in a state of change with children becoming more independent.  Changes in the world of public school teaching have also altered a lot in the work place.  The economy has impacted every artist I know.  And of course, life can just be demanding! 

However - in spite of that - there has been much good as well!   I've completed 33 works of art and worked on a few more that are still in process.  I've had time to consider my goals and plans and purposes in what I'm doing.  I've spent quality time with family and close friends across the country.  I've seen new places and been inspired by new ideas.  And most importantly, I've been held securely in God's good hands.  That's been a huge comfort in uncertain times!   

So, here's to a good 2010 .... and looking ahead to new and exciting adventures in 2011!   In this new year, may we choose to walk in closeness to the God who loves each of us dearly. 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Southern Exposure

Boone Hall Lawn,  8 x 10" Acrylic on canvas 
©2010, Helen Read 

Private Collection 

The last landscape of the year.  This was fun to do and taken from a photo reference I made this summer in South Carolina.  I used a a technique called pointillism to render this.  It was mostly green, but with a few other colors thrown in.   The challenge was pushing the green back from the somewhat acidic color it can be in acrylic.  This photo is slightly more golden than the original ... getting the colors true was the most difficult part in the scan.   

Friday, December 24, 2010


Wrapped,  9 x 12" colored pencil on black paper
©2010, Helen Read 

Merry Christmas!   As I've been working along on this one,  the idea of being wrapped and Christmas and gifts has all come together in a few Christmas-y thoughts!  The very best gift of all time came "wrapped" in the form of a tiny newborn.  The wrapping was lovely, no doubt, as all newborns are in their newness of life!   However, this particular gift - given a little more than 2000 years ago, was delivered into this world, a gift from our heavenly Father - Almighty God.  In this wrapping was his own son!   Out of the unspeakable beauty of heaven, Jesus came in humility to this world for the purpose of rescuing us from the grip of darkness!  A gift freely given.  A gift for all who would simply believe that His ultimate sacrifice was enough to shatter the grip of the spiritual and eternal death that has stalked each one of us and holds us captive.   

What motivated this kind of entry into our history and into our realm?  His love.  Pure and simple, it was the immeasurable love of God and the same love of Jesus that brought him to us, to live among us, to make a way for us to live with him forever.... if we so choose!  

What a gift!  Our rescuer came for us before we even knew we needed to be rescued!  That gift came wrapped as a newborn baby, was announced to shepherds by angels, and worshiped by wise men who followed an unusual star miles and miles.  This same Jesus is still worshiped today - King of all kings.  Lord of all lords.  Mighty God.    Our Immanuel ~ God living among us! 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Green Christmas Bow

This is still a work in progress.  So far the bow is mostly done - but the background needs to be done now.  It is colored pencil on black paper.   The challenge is in getting the reflective qualities of the bow, the proper colors of green, and the overall 3-D feel on a 2-D surface!    Its been a fun challenge.
But ... now ... more to do!! 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Pink Poinsettias

Pink Poinsettias - Watercolor on paper
©2009, Helen Read

This one was sold .... but it speaks Christmas!  
Merry Christmas!!  

Sunday, December 19, 2010

December Sunday Morning

This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it! 

I have had a crazy week!   It was the last week of class before Christmas break, so lots of things to get finished and grade!   I'm more than ready for a rest!   So, for the next 2 weeks, I get to hang out with my kids, bake, decorate, and most importantly - *CELEBRATE!* the wonderful and amazing birth of the son of the Most High God, Jesus Christ, on this earth!  
When I think about that with more than just my head, but with my heart, I can barely imagine it!
We needed to be rescued from complete darkness, and we couldn't do it ourselves... so, God made a way because he loves us!  That way included Jesus coming to earth as a human - living a human life, but without any sin - and then willingly giving up that life .... trading his life for ours. 
Christmas is a wonderful time of year!! 

The painting above is  7x5" - oil on canvas.  Please click here for more information.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Apples on Damask - still life

Apples on Damask,  6 x 12" Oil on canvas
©2010, Helen Read 

I think this is at least in its final stages if not completed.  I'm still trying to decide if it needs a few more adjustments.  The most challenging thing was the damask tablecloth.  The white on white design and also getting the design to look as if it was laying flat and making the curve over the side of the table edge took a bit of work!  The apples are Braeburns - except for the 1 Granny Smith - and they have quite a few undertones of gold.    All in all, a challenge - but fun to finish! 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Auction - ending ~ Fri. 12-10

A quick reminder!
Tomorrow ~ this auction is over!

Hi everyone,

I'm just sending a quick reminder that tomorrow (Friday, Dec. 10th) is the last day of this auction.  I've set the starting price quite low - and so far, its still quite low!  What a great opportunity!!   Should you know anyone else who might be interested, please feel free to forward this note! 

I would love to send this your way, just in time for Christmas! 
Please click the image to be taken to the auction site! 
Flowers in pink and blue
Flowers in Pink and Blue
   This painting is an original oil painting measuring 8x8" and is 1.5" deep.  Its painted around the sides, so no framing is needed. 

May you have a wonderful Christmas season!  And a great new year! 


Helen Read

Please visit my blog, Brushstrokes, etc. or  Visit my website! 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Special Gift Ideas and Offers!

Dear Helen,

Can you believe it?  Christmas is on its way!   I know I have a lot to do before it arrives!  But, I do want to give you a few possibilities for stocking stuffers or gifts of fine art!   Check out my ideas below!    Of course, you will see many, many possibilities when you visit my website!
At Auction Right Now
Flowers in pink and blue
Flowers in Pink and Blue
Click the image to check the progress of this auction.  The starting price is a "steal"!  Maybe it would make the perfect gift!  I would love to send it off to you!

Auction now through Fri., Dec 10th.

Starting Price - $25.00
Great Stocking Stuffers!
Floral note cards
Floral Note Card Set
The perfect stocking stuffer!
A set of note cards featuring original art work!
Pictured above are floral note cards with envelopes, also available are Fruits of the Spirit, Whimsical cats, Comical birds, sea shells, and hearts. 
Please click the image to see all note card sets and find convenient purchase links.

Other Gift Ideas
Nest eggs
Nest Eggs Print
This lovely print is ready to frame! It is a print of one of my original oil paintings, and was recently featured in Wheaton Alumni magazine.
It measures 5 x7" and is in a matting with outside dimensions of 8 x 10"
Please click image for more information and a purchase link.

$ 25.00
plus shipping - $7.00
Please visit my auction, which is going on for the next 5 days, and stuff someone's stocking this year with note cards, or place a gift of fine art underneath the Christmas tree!   As an added gift to you, please note the contest below!
As always, if you know someone who would be interested in these ideas, please forward this email to them! 

And, as you know, I'm always trying to build my email list - please have your friends sign up! Its fun, its easy, and they will have the opportunity to participate in the offers I send out!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas,

Helen Read
The Studio Upstairs
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Visit Helen's blog, Brushstrokes, etc. to see the latest from her studio!
or  Visit Helen's website.

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Items will be shipped by USPS within 3 - 5 business days.
Free Gift Drawing!For each purchase made in the month of December, your name will be included in a drawing for a free gift from my studio!
Offer applies to December 2010 purchases. 
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The Studio Upstairs | PO Box 251 | Wheaton | IL | 60187

Monday, December 6, 2010

Saturday, December 4, 2010

What I'm working on .....

I haven't been idle - but I have been busy!   In the few moments here and there, I've been working on this painting which is oil and measures 6 x 12".  The challenge has been to render the damask tablecloth - which is white on white.  Now to work more on the apples and back ground.  Stay tuned! 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Whimsical Cat Note Cards ~ great gift idea!

Cat Note Cards -  A great gift idea!  

Set of 8 (4 designs) w/envelopes
blank inside
($3.00 shipping in US - IL Residents please add 8.25% sales tax)

Please note - for multiple prints going to the same address,
shipping cost adjustments will be made in the form of a refund based on actual costs of shipping.

Great idea for a stocking stuffer, or for that person on your list who enjoys the craziness of cats! 

To see other note cards from my studio, please click here. 
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