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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

More of 2011 in Review

Miscellaneous drawings and paintings of 2011
Scroll down for a look at abstracts and landscapes of 2011

Light and Reflections, 8 x 12" Colored pencil on black paper
House Wren, 6x6" Colored pencil on gray paper

Wren in Grass, 6x6" Acrylic on canvas 


Agave, 6x6" Acrylic on Clayboard 

The Edge of Shadow,  9x12" colored pencil on black paper 

Blossom,  8x8" colored pencil on clayboard 

Spiraling Leaf, 6x6" Graphite on Clayboard 

Winter Resident, 6x6" Oil on canvas 


Ship, 9x11" Pen and Ink on Paper 


Its been a busy year!   But not entirely busy with art.... I've continued to teach high school, full time and take a rather full load of graduate classes.   In between these things and keeping relationships alive with children, family and friends,  I paint!!   And, thankfully, I have sold more this year than in recent years with our slow economy.   Maybe this is a hopeful sign that recovery is on its way!?   I hope so.

As I look back over the year in terms of art, its been a good year - with new and different kinds of work, larger sizes for many of the works, and new ideas!  

Happy New Year!

May we enjoy the blessings of 2012 as we look back with gratitude on 2011.

Monday, December 26, 2011

2011 in Review - Landscapes

Looking back, its been a year of quite a few landscapes!  Most of these have sold, but several remain available...

Coastal Road,  5x7" Acrylic on canvas

Dusty Landscape,  5.25 x 7.5" Acrylic on paper
This comes matted in a 8x10" off white matting.  Ready to frame. 
Points North, 5x7" Acrylic on canvas

Sardinian Sunshine, 6x6" Oil on canvas 

Maroon Bells,  11x16" Oil on canvas
SOLD - Commissioned

Rosie's Pond, 5x7" Watercolor on Paper
SOLD - Commissioned

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Wrapped, 9x12" colored pencil on black paper
©2010, Helen Read

Merry Christmas!  It is a wonderful time of year to stop and celebrate with family and friends. 
This year, may I take a moment to wish you a very Merry Christmas. 
I wish you a warm and wonderful celebration, and I wish for you "the best gift of all" 
the Gift of our Savior, Jesus.  A gift equally open to all who will receive it. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Psalms on Note Cards

A new set of note cards?  I'm not sure yet if I will produce these. 
They use some of my abstract works with words from the Psalms. 
I'm open for comments! 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Year in Review - abstracts

I've worked on several abstracts this year.   I continue to be intrigued by abstractions and how to make them compelling by simply using the elements and principles of design well.
These were fun to do, and while working on them, I feel like I learned a lot about my materials and how to use them. 

So this post is about the finished abstracts this year.
I am still working on a few that have not yet been finished. 
The top two are rather large - 22x15"  Both are acrylic on paper.
The third one is smaller, in fact, its roughly post card sized; also acrylic on paper
and the last one is a medium sized piece, and acrylic on rice paper that is mounted on foam core.

What intrigues me about these are the repetitive shapes and the somewhat poetic colors.  I hope to continue working out some of these ideas in the new year.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Pond Reflections

Rosie's Pond, 5x7" watercolor on paper
©2011, Helen Read 


I love the tranquility of a pond.  This one seems to reflect just that kind of tranquility.  It brings back so many memories of my childhood.    This is a small commission ...  a Christmas gift, on its way to an unsuspecting recipient! 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Winter Resident

December Featured Painting!
Through 12-31-2011

Winter Resident, 6x6" Oil on canvas
©2011, Helen Read
ready to frame
(Please add $10.00 shipping in US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax)


Here, where I live - we have cardinals that reside with us all winter.  Their bright colors are so evident on the snowiest and coldest days.  I often wonder how they survive, but they seem to do quite well!  I also see their presence as a beautiful expression of how God provides for our needs in the not-so-plentiful seasons of life! 

For just this month of December, I'm featuring this painting at $30.  That's an amazing discount!  After December, if it hasn't sold, it will revert to its usual price of $100.  Now's a great time to purchase for Christmas giving or for your own home!  It's an eye catching spot of color to brighten winter! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

What I've been up to lately

 This is actually a commission, but its kept me busy for the last few weeks.  It measures 11 x 16".  I started by making the canvas.  I prefer to make my own; there's a great craft in stretching a canvas, sizing it and priming it.  It is painted with oils (Gamblin). 

It will be out of the studio very soon ~ off to its new home.  I'm happy with its outcome!  Its been a fun thing to do ~ I hope the client likes it as much as I do!    I'll post the final picture when its completed.

For more information on commissioning a painting - please email me

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Spiraling Leaf

Spiraling Leaf, 6x6" graphite on clayboard
©2011, Helen Read 
Ready to Frame 
For more information about the purchase of this drawing, please click here.

This small drawing is pencil on clayboard.  I really like the way clayboard and graphite work together! It is a very smooth surface on a rigid board, about 3/8" thick.  
The curl and shape of these kinds of leaves intrigue me.  This drawing starts to lean toward abstraction as I tried to emphasize the wonderful shapes it has.   This would make a very nice addition to  a small space!   Its easy to have it sent to your house!   Click the link above to find out how!  

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Autumn in full color

Autumn's Glory,  10x8" Acrylic on Canvas 
©2010, Helen Read 
Ready to frame

To find out how to hang this colorful abstract on your wall, please click here. 

This painting is one of a set of 4 depicting the 4 seasons.  To see the set, please click here.  

Autumn is here!   It is really quite beautiful, although I always feel a little sad about saying goodbye to the warm weather, the birds, & the leaves.   In this painting, it seemed the best way to comment on the season was to allow the canvas to explode with color!   Where I live, the color is glorious!  

Saturday, October 29, 2011

November Featured Painting - Sardinian Sunshine

Sardinian Sunshine,  6x6" Oil on canvas
©2011, Helen Read 
ready to frame 

For the month of November only,  this painting is featured for 


This painting is one that I did for Virtual Paintout.  One uses Google Street View to find a spot worthy of painting - and then a painting is done (thus the name - Virtual Paintout) 
I really liked this view particularly for the dramatic shadows on the side of the white wall. 
The whole thing gave the feeling of being in sun drenched Sardinia!  
For the month of November only, this painting is featured at $30.  If it doesn't sell, it will revert to its usual price of $100.   Maybe it would make a nice gift!   Or maybe it would be perfect for that small space or shelf that needs some original art!   Either way, its ready to be shipped to its new home!  

Friday, October 28, 2011

LAST CALL! $30 for just a few more days!

October's Featured Painting is almost over! 
through the end of October.

Green Agave, 6x6" Watercolor and Acrylic on clayboard 
©2011, Helen Read 

(ready to frame.  Shipping $10.00 in US, IL residents, please add 8.25% sales tax.)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dried Flowers

Dried Flowers,  10x8" Oil on canvas
©2009, Helen Read 

Well, this has been an incredibly busy month!   I have a small painting drying, which I'll be able to post soon.  I've also been working on a commission.... and then a million things with my semester at school too.  So, while I wait for paint to dry, I'm reposting this fall painting from a couple years ago. 
I tried to depict the paper thin, dried white flowers of this vine I found in my neighborhood.  It also had some very interesting brown berries.  I'm sure the birds enjoy it through the winter time.   Fall seems to be rapidly overtaking us now... it won't be long till all we see are dried remnants of summer!  

Monday, October 17, 2011

still working .....

I haven't put this aside entirely, though it has been awhile since I've worked on it.   Lately, I've done more work...  

Its large!   28 x 27"  And entirely abstract.  I'm using acrylic on canvas and have attached some textured materials.  It is painted in acrylics and really, I've only just gotten a start (mostly just an under painting so far) - it will be much more painted.    My inspiration?   The cosmos!   I'll be posting updates as I make more progress. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fall is upon us...

Barely There,  8x10" Oil on Canvas
©2009, Helen Read

Where I live, fall is definitely upon us.  Its been gloriously warm this last week, but all the colors are beginning to show and vibrate with color.  It won't be long until just a few leaves are left clinging to nearly bare branches.    

I'm currently working on some larger paintings in between all the other things that seem to keep me very busy with work and family.  I hope to post some updates soon. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Featured Painting for October! Agave.

Agave, 6x6" Acrylic and watercolor on clayboard


The latest from my studio is offered at the very low "featured price" of $30, just for this month  or until it has sold!  This one is done on clayboard, using acrylic and watercolor.  
I love the shadows and jagged edges that show up on the leaves and in the shadows. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Agave, once again - in progress

This is an experiment!   I have used clayboard for graphite and colored pencil.  But, I was intrigued by the info on the packaging saying that it would be suited to water media.... so..... this is watercolor on clayboard.   Perhaps the subject matter is familiar?  Yes, its the same reference picture as the colored pencil I just posted! 

I'm finding out that clayboard does not take the paint like paper!  It does seem to soak in and it isn't easily pushed around - but I also like the way the paint disperses!   So.....  this is just a start.  I'll finish it and post it and give my final analysis! 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Agave - The edge of shadow

The Edge of Shadows, 9x12" Colored Pencil on black paper 
©2011, Helen Read 
Please click here to find out more about this colored pencil painting
with its 2 options - one matted and one unmatted. 

This came from reference pictures I took when visiting Huntington Gardens in Pasadena, CA.  The beautiful shadows and sunlight hitting the leaves were especially startling just after a sudden shower. 
I was intrigued by the interesting edges and how the shape of them was repeated in the shadows as well.   I am always intrigued by the beauty of botanical subjects.  This one attests to my interest!  

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Blossom - finished work

Blossom, 8x8" Colored Pencil on Clayboard
©2011, Helen Read 
Ready to frame

To find out more about how to purchase this original art work, please click here.

Its finished!   I learned a lot about working on this surface with colored pencil.  Actually, I think clayboard is better suited to graphite than to colored pencil - but I am happy with the outcome. 
It is a pretty vivid piece, and would look fantastic framed and hanging in a small space!  I'd love to send it your way!  Click the link above to find out how. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Blossom ~ Progress continues!

8x8" Colored pencil on clayboard 

As you can see, if you scroll down one entry, I've made a lot of progress on this little colored pencil painting.  I'm using Prismacolors on white claybord.   Its posed a few challenges - which I'm still working out.  And, I'm still putting the finishing touches on certain areas.  Overall, its been a good experiment, and I'm pretty pleased with the outcome.   I'll post the final version soon!  

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Blossom ~ work in progress

Work in progress - 8x8" colored pencil on clayboard 

I've been interested in trying this surface for colored pencil for awhile.  I've used it several times for graphite and really liked the outcomes.... and for colored pencil, it also seems to work well.  There is almost no tooth, however, and that is a slight difference for building up layers of color.  Also, I typically work on a not-white surface for colored pencil... my favorite surface is actually black paper with very little tooth.    But, nevertheless, I think this will turn out well.   My reference photo is one I took just after a rain storm when the sun had come out.  You can see a few water droplets still clinging to the leaves.  

See below for the works I've done using this surface with graphite.  

Email me for more information on these finished works!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

September Featured Painting

Featured for the month of September
$30.00 thru 9/30/11
Points North,  5x7" Acrylic on canvas
©2011, Helen Read 
ready to frame

As a feature each month, I've been offering a small painting at a fraction of its normal selling price. In the past 2 months since I've started this practice, its seemed to be a very popular idea with everyone!  These small paintings have sold quickly and those who have purchased them got a great price on a small original. 

This painting was one I did with Virtual Paintout.  A place somewhere on earth is given each month and using Google Maps, we find a place and paint!   This one comes from the area of Fairbanks, AK,
a beautiful wooded country road with a few small flowers in bloom along the roadside. 

After the end of September, if this hasn't sold, it will be available for its full price of $100.  I hope it will go at its "featured price" ~ its ready to send! And I'd love to ship it out!  

Monday, August 22, 2011

Pears ~ still feels like summer!

Three Long Necked Pears,  8x10" oil on canvas
©2010, Helen Read
ready to frame

Please click here for purchase information

Still feels like summer!  So, I'm reposting this little still life.  Today starts the first day of the new school year - so I'm off to work again! 
More new work will be posted soon!  

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Garden Yield

Tomatoes, 6x6" Oil on canvas
©2007, Helen Read 

Gardening - it has its rewards!  My tomatoes aren't quite here yet (this year)... but it won't be too long! 
So, in the meantime, I'm reposting this post from a few years ago (also from my garden!)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Summer grapes

Green Grapes, 5x7" Oil on canvas
©2008, Helen Read
Ready to frame.

For more information on this painting please click here

What could speak more of summer than grapes?  
This small painting would be a perfect addition to a dining room or kitchen. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

Give-Away painting - August 15th!

MiniMum - 3x3" acrylic on canvas, ©2011 Helen Read 

All you have to do to be eligible to win is be a member of my mailing list!!  
I will have a random drawing on 8/15, and this small painting will be going to its new home.  Maybe it will be yours!?!  

If you are not a member of my email list, click the link below. 
Don't worry! You will not be inundated by email from me, and I never share my list!  
You will get an email from me about once a month or so (depending on how busy my life is), where you will find out about the latest from my studio, special offers I may have, or contests I sometimes conduct.  All in all, its a fun way to stay in touch. 

For Email Marketing you can trust

Or, now you can also join by text message!
Text  HELEN to 22828

You will be prompted to send your email address.
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