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Friday, December 28, 2012

Final Painting of 2012

Cooperstown Lake, 5x7" Acrylic on paper
©2012 Helen Read 
private collection

This small painting is done with a pointillism approach.  A variety of broken colors place in juxtaposition, so that the eye mixes the colors.  This approach takes some time, but in the end has a very nice effect.  

It seems as if 2012 came and is leaving rather quickly.  Its been a busy year artistically, and this is the final painting of the year.   Interspersed with all my artistic activity, I've also taught full time at the local high school, taken 15 hrs. of graduate credit, and had a variety of family milestones - both the engagement and marriage of my middle son and now, the engagement of my youngest - my daughter. Life seems to be taking on many changes!  

May I wish you a wonderful 2013!  

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas! 
May the true story of Christmas fill your heart with joy this season! 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

As Christmas approaches ...

Pink Poinsettias
©2009, Watercolor on paper
(private collection) 

My time has been so limited these last weeks! 
Its not that I haven't been working - but my time has been spread very thinly between teaching, preparing for the season, and family happenings.  
Also, the works I've been doing just lately are larger.  But I will have something new to post soon. 
In the meantime, 
May I wish you a blessed season of peace and joy.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A few more steps...

I've made a little more progress - though it is still FAR from complete. This is simply a foundation for what will be! Yes - it will be an abstract!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Something new - a work in progress

Considering Genesis 1:1 today.

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was empty--a formless mass cloaked in darkness. And the Spirit of God was hovering over its surface." 

I'm working on a 22x30" piece of #140 Arches watercolor paper, using Golden acrylic paint.  This is just a bare start, so please continue to check back to watch how this idea develops.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Looking ahead!

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

Just a few weeks from now, we will be in the midst of the Christmas Holidays. 
Wishing you a season of peace and joy as you
prepare for the season,  remembering the Reason for the season! 

I'll be posting more soon! 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Morning Fog

Morning Fog,  5.5x6" Watercolor on paper
©2012, Helen Read

This is something I am doing for another project, but its been suggested that this needs to be made
into something larger.  So, perhaps that will be coming.
This is what I woke up to the other morning from my back window - quite ethereal and
mysterious!   It made a nice little study. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Free App available now!!

Now available!   
On-the-go access to the latest from my studio. 

A FREE App for your iPhone or Android

You will have access to 
• A gallery of photos
• My facebook page
• My twitter acct
• My YouTube videos

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Bird and Berries ~ Featured Painting for the Holidays!

Bird and Berries, 7x5" Oil on canvas
©2012, Helen Read 
Ready to frame
(please add $12.00 US shipping, Int'l shipping is additional, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax).

What a busy season it has been.  After returning from a cross-country trip for my son's wedding,
it has taken me just a bit to get back into stride with studio work and
my regular daily work teaching.  So, this little painting has taken a little time, but I'm posting it now.  What a great time to get a gift for yourself or for someone else at an exceptional value!  

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Edge of Shadow

The Edge of Shadow, 9x12" colored pencil on black paper
©2011 Helen Read 
$100.00 (unmatted)
(shipping in US, please add $12.00, International shipping is additional,  IL residents, please add 8.25% sales tax)
$115.00  (matted to fit a 16x20" frame)
(shipping in US please add $12.00 for matted size,  international shipping is additional;
IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax).

Unmatted option - $100.00 + shipping

Matted option - $115.00 + shipping

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Barely There

Barely There, 10x8" Oil on Canvas
©2009, Helen Read
Ready to Frame
(shipping $12.00 in US - IL residents, please add 8.25% sales tax.) 
Reposting a fall painting from a couple years back.  This is just what it looks like around here at this time of year.  The very few clinging leaves are paper thin and dried, rustling as the wind blows. 
A little stark - but beautiful in its time and season.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

November Gathering

November Gathering,  8x8" Oil on canvas
©Helen Read 
$120.00 - deep wrap canvas, painted on sides - framing optional
($12.00 shipping in US - IL Residents please add 8.25% sales tax)

This is a repost of a "November painting" a few years ago.  
The colors are in a complementary color scheme - and very true to the kinds of colors we find this time of year. 
Still one of my favorites! 


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Leeks in November!

Leeks in November!  7x6" colored pencil on gray drawing paper 
©2012, Helen Read 

Yesterday, in early November, I pulled a few leeks from my garden.  I don't have much that is still growing - a few leeks, cabbages, kale, and lettuce.   As I washed the roots, I had to laugh! 
Such a wild array of protrusions!   And, I thought them worthy of a picture with exaggerated color.  
A little celebration, I guess, of line and shape ~ and a Creator's sense of humor!  

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Fall Harvest

Apples on Damask,  6 x 12" Oil on canvas 
©2010, Helen Read 
Ready to Frame
(shipping $20.00 in US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax. Int'l shipping is additional
Posting another painting from a couple Novembers ago.  This still life was one in which I was challenged to create a damask setting with its reflected light on the fabric, the pattern in the weave and shadows.  Also, of course, I wanted to get the deep reds and green of the apples with their reflected light. 
I used a very traditional approach - starting with a grisaille painting. 

It would be the perfect addition to a dining room or kitchen!  I'd love to package it up and send it to you!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

November has come!

November Tree, 8x6" oil pastel on paper
©2010, Helen Read 
Ready to mat and frame

I've just returned from a week in California for my son's wedding, so I'm a bit behind with studio work.  Until I post November's featured painting, here is something reminiscent of the past and which bespeaks the month of November. 
Hard to believe our autumn is about half done. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Gift from my Daughter!

After Georgia O'Keeffe, approx. 20x22" Oil on paper
painted by Wendolyn Nelson  2012 

I was given a gift!   My daughter, who is in her final year of college (art major), is studying Georgia O'Keeffe for one of her classes.  Knowing how much I enjoy the beauty of O'Keeffe's work, she gave me a study of one of her paintings which she completed in class this semester!    What a great gift
Thank you Wendy!   I'm excited to frame it and hang it!    The shapes and spaces are quite lovely!  Once again, I'm reminded of why I love O'Keeffe's work!   And why I'm thankful for a daughter who speaks my language of visual art!   

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Withered beauty

Withered Beauty - sunflower, 15 x 15" Watercolor/mixed media on paper
©2012, Helen Read 
ready to mat and frame 
(Shipping $20.00 in US, additional costs internationally, IL residents, please add 8.25% sales tax) 

Finally finished, this watercolor (with ink and acrylic touches) is finished.  I was attracted to the beauty of this sunflower bloom as it withered and dried.  What lovely shapes and angles; and quite interesting colors as well.  This one is much larger than some of the watercolors I've posted lately.  It would grace a larger space with its eye catching color and subject matter. 

It is ready to be shipped, but will have to be shipped in a larger sized flat box.
Matting and framing are not included 

For more information - please email me!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Continuing progress

It's been a very busy week with evening obligations at work - but with small bursts of time here and there, I'm continuing to work on this painting of a dried sunflower head. More is yet needed! More is coming soon!

Monday, October 8, 2012

A work in progress

Though I'm still making my way through a very busy fall, I am continuing studio work! Here's what I'm working on now - in it's earliest stages!

This is a dried and shriveling sunflower head. It's very sculptural, and its papery thinness is visually intriguing. It reminds me of a ring of fire! This is a larger work - 15x15". At the moment I'm working in watercolor on #140 arches watercolor paper.

I'll continue to post my progress! Hopefully more in a few days!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

October Feature - Epaulette

October's Featured painting!
Just for the month of October
Epaulette, 6x6" Oil on canvas,
©2012, Helen Read
ready to frame


Where I live, here in the midwest, this is a very common sight!  Red winged blackbirds seem quite drawn to the bull rushes and cat tails, always it seems at water's edge.
This eye catching  painting can be hanging on your wall within just a few days.   It will only be featured at this price for the month of October, then if it hasn't sold, it will revert to its usual price. Act quickly before its gone! 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

1 subject, 2 mediums to express it!

Once again, I'm showing a couple older works from a year ago. These show the different outcomes of working with the very same reference photo, a photo I took at Huntington Gardens in Pasadena, CA and working with 2 different mediums.  The outcome is recognizable as the same thing, but the overall feeling is entirely different! 

The Edge of Shadow, 9x12" colored pencil on black paper
©2011 Helen Read 
$100.00 (unmatted)
(shipping in US, please add $13.00, International shipping is additional,  IL residents, please add 8.25% sales tax)
$115.00  (matted to fit a 16x20" frame)
(shipping in US please add $13.00 for matted size,  international shipping is additional;
IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax).

Unmatted option - $100.00 + shipping

Matted option - $115.00 + shipping

Green Agave, 6x6" Watercolor and Acrylic on clayboard
©2011, Helen Read
( Shipping in US - $13.00, International shipping is additional,
IL Residents, please add 8.25% sales tax)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Last year at this time

Blossom,  8x8" colored pencil on clayboard
(Clayboard is masonite with a very smooth kaolin clay finish on which to work)
©2011, Helen Read
Ready to frame 
(Please add $13.00 shipping in US, international shipping- additional, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax)

Looking back a year to see what was happening in my studio is always an interesting exercise. 
One of my works was experimenting with clayboard and how it accepted colored pencil, graphite, or paint.  Here I have used prismacolor pencils and gotten a very nice effect. 
The reference picture is one I took just after the rain!  The foliage and the flower still held the water droplets.  All very intriguing and quite beautiful.  

Thursday, September 13, 2012

At water's edge

Westwind - Water's Edge, 7x5" Oil on canvas
©Helen Read
(ready to frame)
(Please add $10.00 shipping in US, international shipping is additional)
IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax 

Last weekend, on an absolutely beautiful day, I went out to a nearby lake to do some plein air painting, and here is the result.   The cat tails and broken reeds gave such a beautiful texture to the scene and the colors of the green and blue of the water were truly lovely.    In our area, it is very rare not to see a small red winged blackbird clinging to a cat tail along the water's edge.
Here, though a little bit hidden, his red wing peeks out! 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Time has almost run out - but its not too late!!

The Studio Upstairs
September 10, 2012

Just a few more hours remain! 
That's right!  
The auction time in nearly over.   Now's a great time to pick up a small still life ~ an original oil painting for nearly nothing!  
On Tuesday, about mid day, the time will run out though. 
Click on the images below to go to the auction site and see what might be happening!

Three Lemon Still Life 
3 Lemons, 6x6" Oil on canvas   
Green Grape Still Life 
Grapes, 5x7" Oil on canvas

Strawberry Bowl Still Life 
Berry Bowl, 6x6" Oil on canvas

  Each of these small paintings is painted with oil paint on a small stretched canvas
and is ready to frame.
Thank you for your ongoing interest in art and in my studio!   I hope you will pass on this information to your friends too!   I will be in touch soon with news and new images! 

Helen Read 
The Studio Upstairs

This email was sent to by |  
The Studio Upstairs | PO Box 251 | Wheaton | IL | 60187

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

New Auction through September 11th

7 Day Auction through September 11th. 
3 Great paintings at Great Starting Prices!  
Decorate your kitchen or dining room with
Fruit Still Life Oil Paintings!   
Three Lemons, 6x6" Oil on canvas
Ready to frame.

Green Grapes, 5x7" Oil on canvas
Ready to frame

Berry Bowl, 6x6" Oil on canvas
Ready to frame

Monday, September 3, 2012

September's Featured painting ~ End of the Summer

September's Featured Painting

                                                                  End of the Summer, 5x7" watercolor on Yupo
©2012, Helen Read 
this price includes a simple black frame with glass
(Please add $10.00 shipping in the US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax
International shipping - $25.00

Here is the finished painting!  Once again, I'm painting on Yupo and finding its qualities very interesting.  It holds the paint in a completely different way than the usual watercolor paper does - and surprisingly, texture is very easy to create as well.   In this painting, it begins to move a bit toward abstraction because of the way that the paint pools and puddles.  

Just for the month of September, this painting and its frame are featured for $30.00.   It is a one of a kind, so when it sells, it is gone.  If it does not sell by the end of September, it will revert to its usual price.   Grab it now, at its great price, for that small wall that needs color!  

A work in progress

Work has just begun on a new watercolor painting.
As you can see - it depicts grapes, but it is also somewhat abstract.  
I'm working on Yupo again, which has some very interesting qualities. 
So... we shall see where this goes and how it develops.
In someways, it is becoming its own painting, telling me where to go as we proceed. 
The outcome will be a surprise for me too! 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Time is running out!!

Just a few more days - until September 1st - to have this small oil landscape
sent to you at an amazing price!   

Fence Line, 5x7" Oil on canvas, ©2012, Helen Read 

Its ready to ship!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Original Watercolor Paintings featured in my Etsy Shop

 August Botanicals
These 7 small paintings are currently being featured in my Etsy Shop. 
The link above will take you there!  
They range in cost from $15.00 to $85.00
(based on the size of work)

Please click over and take a look!  What a great time to start or add to your collection of original works of art!   Should you wish matting to be added, there is a small additional charge for that. 

Along with the end of summer comes the beginning of a new school semester.  This week, I've returned to the classroom to meet my new students (about 160 of them this semester).   The semester, ready or not, is underway now.   My summer has been great and I hope yours was too!  I was able to do some travel and my family was in town for a wonderful visit too!   
Now, the fall is in view and fall activities are already beginning! 
In spite of the busyness of the new semester - I'll be working along in my studio! 
Keep in touch!!

Update:   Variegated Foliage (top center) - SOLD

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Dappled Light

Dappled Light,  8x6" watercolor on paper
©2012, Helen Read
ready to mat and frame

and on its way to Malaysia

Sunrise in the east!  As it washed through the trees and bounced off the evergreens in the foreground, I was charmed by the colors I saw!  I've tried to depict the oranges and yellows and the variety of greens as the sun began to peek through the branches.  This one takes on a somewhat abstract quality with the washes of color and the simplified shapes. 


Here's the process I used: 

First, using my reference photo, which I took this morning from my porch, I made a 
very minimal line drawing of the basic shapes and started with some 
washes of color within the areas I saw the colors.

I also put in some blues for the most shadowed area.  I didn't plan it this way, but I did end up with the primary colors as under washes. 
At this stage, I also put in some Miskit to keep certain areas white or the color of the wash that
I wanted to keep in that color. 

Now it was time to continue applying more color. 
I wanted to keep some areas of my under washes visible, so I had to be careful in how much paint to apply.  In my watercolors, the color green can easily become too garish.  To modify that, I added some rust to it, and some deeper yellows. 

After I added most of the color I needed.  I removed the Miskit by rubbing it carefully.  Now some new white was revealed, but I did not want it to remain a pure white. 
So I needed to add some very light washes.  Also, I added some details with fine lines. 
Its nearly done.  Some adjustments to the pure white areas that I uncovered needed some light
washes of color.  You can see the final version of this painting at the top of this post. 
Just a few more slight color adjustments were needed.  

I used pan watercolors by Pelican and #140 Arches watercolor paper. 
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