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Monday, May 30, 2011

From the past ... Stargazer in a vase

Stargazer in a vase - watercolor
©2007, Helen Read 

Life has kept me more than busy these last weeks - so I'm posting an older piece which is in a private collection now.  I hope to have something new to show you very soon!   In the meantime: 

Happy Memorial Day
May we remember and give thanks for those who
have given their service and their lives for the freedoms we enjoy.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Last Weekend's Activities

Last weekend was the annual student art show at the high school where I teach art!  Its a huge production - cleaning out the library, setting up our student work, and then having the school view it and open to the public for weekend viewing ... then, it all comes down on Monday, so the library can be a library again!   But, as you can see, (though these few shots don't give the full view, by any means) hundreds of pieces are submitted and shown, and the students absolutely love seeing what their classmates have done! 

As a teacher, its gratifying to see everything in 1 spot!   We don't really get to see it all unless its shown in this way! 

So, I'm exhausted ... and as the semester winds down - I will continue to be very busy with school.   I'm ready for summer!!  (Perhaps more than the kids are) Though it will be a summer with graduate work and planning and preparing curriculum for the fall, it will be a slower pace!   The intensity of teaching can be exhausting!! 

Monday, May 23, 2011

The newest work - in progress

3 Marbles -  9 x 12" colored pencil on black paper 
©2011, Helen Read 

Quite obviously, this is still in progress!   But its an exercise in drawing accurately shiny things.  The shadows and reflections still have to be added, and the 2 larger marbles are much more complete than the smaller one, which has only been started.  

I'm using Prismacolor Premium colored pencils - on black smooth paper.  

Check back soon for a new update!   

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sunflower - colored pencil

Facing West - Sunflower,  approx 6 x 8" colored pencil on black paper
©2007, Helen Read 

Maybe, just maybe, spring is arriving here in the northern mid-west.  It has been along and chilly wait this year!   My students in school are now working on colored pencil paintings.  
I did this one awhile ago - but thought I'd post again!  

Monday, May 16, 2011

Prototype - abstract

Untitled,  3.5 x 5.5" acrylic/watercolor on paper 
©2011, Helen Read 

This one is a small prototype, planning for a larger work.  I really like the sense of color that it exudes, and what you can't see is that it is also quite iridescent.  Stay tuned!  More will come.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Spring Beach

Stillness,  11x14 acrylic on paper
©1995,Helen Read
Private Collection 

This is pulling something from the distant archives!  One of my first acrylic landscapes. 
It has a nice feel to it - and uses the pointillism technique. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Crab Apple Landscape

Crab Apples in Bloom,  9x12" Oil pastel on paper 
©2008, Helen Read 
Ready to mat and frame 

For more information and a purchase link, please click here.

Its that time of year here in my town - the crab apple trees are blooming wildly!  They look like white clouds - or sometimes pink clouds.  The one in my front yard is definitely white, though! 
And they smell wonderful!  
They don't last long, though - soon the blooms are all on the ground looking like snow.  But the pleasure of their beauty is wonderful for about a week!  

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Nest Series, oil on canvas
©2008, Helen Read 
In honor of Mother's Day, I'm reposting this series - which is in a private collection.
I painted this showing the progression of my experience as a mother - a full nest, which was just wonderful!  I have three great kids ... I couldn't have been blessed with more wonderful kids, either. 
I loved each day being a mom with a full nest! 
And then... they began to fly from the nest.
They left behind a reminders of themselves - and now all three are flying (mostly) on their own.
Its a difficult transition in some ways... and yet, its what we raise them to be - productive, independent adults who are contributing to their world in unique and valuable ways.
Of course, they do come back to visit - they do keep in touch - we continue to have a wonderful relationship over a huge stretch of miles .... and yet, sometimes the nest feels quite empty.

So, when the nest feels empty - I try to remember that they are following their callings.  They are doing well.  They are using their unique gifts.  They are having a positive influence in the world. 
And that was the goal.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Bleeding Hearts

Bleeding Hearts, 7 x 5" Oil on canvas
©2008 Helen Read 

Private collection

In honor of the Bleeding hearts that are now blooming in my yard (finally spring seems to have arrived), I'm posting this older painting.  These are such interesting little flowers... and so beautiful as they dance on their delicate stems.  

Monday, May 2, 2011

New Abstract

Untitled Abstract, 22 x 15" Acrylic on paper
©2011, Helen Read 

This one has taken a long while to finish.  It is composed of many small circles and dots, shifting colors and nuances of colors very subtly.  

The idea behind it is the scripture that states "In the beginning the Word already existed.  He was with God and he was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  He created everything there is.  Nothing exists that he didn't make.  Life itself was in him, and this life gives light to everyone." (John 1:1-4) and "...through the Son he made the universe and everything in it.  The Son reflects God's own glory, and everything about him represents God exactly.  He sustains the universe by the mighty power of his command."  (Hebrews 1:2-3) 

I really like the idea that by his power he holds everything together and sustains all of the systems and processes of our universe.  

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