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Monday, October 9, 2017

I'm giving gifts and surprises!!


Don't you love to get gifts? 

It's always fun to receive a gift ~ and I also enjoy giving gifts!  
For my newsletter friends - every month I create something fun just for you ... I really try to give you a reason to look forward to opening my email when it comes.  

In the last few months, I had a contest to win a free mini painting, and now it lives with one of my friends in Georgia.
On another month,  I offered a free print - anyone could download it, print it, and enjoy it! 
What's coming up next month???  
 Sign up and find out!!

Freebies, give-aways, contests, discounts, news  - and other surprises!!

All you need to do is fill out the form below and you'll be added to my list.
Then watch for my next newsletter which comes near the beginning of each month. 

So easy!

Sign up now!




Monday, October 2, 2017

The Edge of the Marsh



The Edge of the Marsh, 8x10" oil on gesso board 
©2017 Helen Read 
(ready to frame)
$180.00
(Please add $15.00 domestic shipping.  International shipping quoted by location.
IL residents please add 8% sales tax)

Autumn is full of color; expected color and surprising color hiding in shadows and in the undertones that we so easily miss seeing.  Along the edge of the marsh, there is color everywhere! 


Thursday, September 28, 2017

In Comes October!

Golden October, 12 x 9" Oil on Linen Panel
©2016 Helen Read
$245.00
Ready to frame
(Please add $20 shipping in the US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax) 





A year or so ago, the colors of our fall leaves (here in the midwest) were lovely.  This year, after a summer of almost no rain, it's mostly just brown.  So, I'm posting this painting that is a still available to celebrate the beauty of October yellows against the beautiful clear blue sky! 

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Geraniums in Full Bloom

September Geranium, 8x8" graphite on clayboard
©2017 Helen Read 

$120.00
(ready to frame)
(please add $15 domestic shipping,  IL residents, please add 8% sales tax)




Sunlight and shadow - beautiful detail.  These things are so easily depicted in graphite on a smooth surface.  In this case, I've used the ultra smooth surface of clayboard with a variety of pencils.
These are some of the last blooms of summer time.  I always feel a little sad at the end of summer, even though I truly enjoy the beauty of the fall colors.  Nevertheless, summer flowers are fading and on their way out.
I've tried to capture the full life of the geranium with this drawing.... holding on a little longer, perhaps, to summer!  

Friday, September 22, 2017

Goodbye Summer!

Evening Embers, 10x8" oil on linen panel 
©Helen Read
$180.00

ready to frame and hang
(Please add $20 shipping within the US, IL residents please add 8%sales tax) 

What a busy end to summer it has been!
I've been working on a few new things in the studio, but have had many interruptions.  So - I'm reposting this lovely sunset painting from almost exactly 1 year ago.  Don't you love the last burning rays of a summer sunset?
THIS summer, I have witnessed almost nothing of the sunsets we enjoyed last summer... it has been a much more cloudless summer, and dry.  So, I'm glad I captured the beautiful drama of the skies last summer!

I'll be posting new work soon!
Enjoy this one as a farewell to summer on this first day of fall! 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

And the winner is.....

American Goldfinch, 3x3" oil on canvas
on wooden easel 

This little painting will be making it's new home in Georgia! 

Congratulations to the contest winner,
who is one of my wonderful Newsletter Friends! 

I will be offering contests such as this one to my newsletter friends every few months. 
Newsletters should be fun!  They should have news, of course (to go along with their title), but they should offer a lot more.  And that's exactly what I've been trying to do... offer something interesting, something fun, and something you will think is valuable!  

If you aren't sure about adding your name - maybe worried about getting flooded with lots and lots of emails? - worry no longer! 
I'm just me ... I don't have a huge company with a whole lot of marketing strategies. 
Actually, I work full time as a high school art teacher and I keep regular studio hours when I'm not at work! 
As you can probably tell, I don't have time to write more than about 1x a month - and when I do, I want it to be something you'll really enjoy. 

So, I'm adding fun things each month.  The opportunity to receive discounts, participate in contests, give aways, etc come to you month by month.  And I hope we can develop some dialog so I know what is important to you and what kind of art you most enjoy. 

Scroll down to the previous blog post and you will find a sign up form. 
When you sign up for my newsletter, your name will be added to my list.  My emails come to you about the first of each month and I use a secure safe email service.  Please don't worry about your info being shared elsewhere - it never is. 
Also, when you sign up, you will get a special "thank you" email.  

So what's holding you back? 

Join the fun!
You can never have too many friends! 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Don't Let This Pass You By!


That's right!  Last month, my special offer included a "member discount" for one of my newest 
paintings AND a contest to pick a winner for a free original painting! 

There's just 1 catch....

 I only make this offer available on my newsletter list.  

It's actually a win-win, because you will get: 

  • About 1 email a month with lots of visuals and news from my studio (and sometimes other news!)
  • Special monthly discounts, give-aways, and contests 
  • A chance to give me input about future projects and work. (Your opinion counts!)
  • Also, you will often see things first or hear about new ideas before anyone else does. 
  • If you send me your birthday month, I'll send you a little something special
  • New members get a little gift for signing up!
  • Being a newsletter member is  FREE!  (Not much in our world is free, when you think about it)
  • And your information is safe - I use a secure service and I never share your information 

It's so easy to sign up.  Just fill out the information below and you'll be signed up and will receive the next newsletter which will come out around the first part of October!  

So, why not? 
There's nothing to lose and lots that you'll enjoy receiving from me!
And while I'm thinking of it, maybe you have friends whom you know would be interested in joining too.  
So please share my information with them.
(And let me know by email if you referred a friend.  If they become a member, I'll send you a thank you!)



Saturday, September 9, 2017

By Any Other Name....


Unfolding, 8x8" graphite on clayboard
©Helen Read 

$120.00(Please add $12.00 domestic shipping, IL residents please add 8% sales tax) 


Every day at school,  I teach students the art of drawing.  Now that
school has started this fall, I'm back in my classroom teaching students to see and draw
Line
Shape and Space
Texture
To shade for light and shadow (Value)

Yes, it can be pains taking.  It can take a long while to accomplish what the eye sees.
It takes time and perseverance to achieve the sense of 3 dimensions rising from a 2 dimensional surface. 
But, the results are so pleasing.  Even black, white, and gray comes alive! 

While I do love color - I also love the simple beauty of graphite drawing! 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Autumn Approaches

Withered Beauty - sunflower, 15 x 15" Watercolor/mixed media on paper
© Helen Read 
matted in white to fit 20x20" frame
ready to frame 
$175.00
(Shipping $15.00 in US, additional costs internationally, IL residents, please add 8% sales tax) 




There is a beauty - even in the withering - the paper thin drying of the petals, still retaining a bit of their color.
Autumn is approaching... you can feel it in the air.
Yet, even in this transition from full bloom into dormancy, there is a certain beauty.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Let's Help!! Hurricane Relief Auction

You cannot watch the news without a heavy heart~
Here's a way to offer some support for those affected by Hurricane Harvey

I've started an auction of these 2 original oil paintings.
All proceeds will be donated for disaster relief in SE Texas and Louisiana.
Auction ends Wednesday 9/6/17 approx 5pm - CST
 
Star of Bethlehem (Chicago Flower Market), 8x10" oil on gesso board
©2017 Helen Read
(ready to frame) 

This auction starts at $120 bid with free domestic shipping! 

SOLD!

Sunflower Basket, 10x8" oil on gesso board
©2017 Helen Read 
(ready to frame)

This auction starts at $120.00 bid with free domestic shipping! 

SOLD!


I was born and raised in Texas, so this disaster seems a little close to home, even though I do not currently live in that area.  This auction is a way that I can turn a surface, paint, and my vision into practical help.  And, it is a way that someone (like you) can own lovely original artwork! 

I hope you will participate.  Time is limited to just a few days.  Click the links to see how the auction is progressing, lend a hand and make a bid!  I'd love to package these paintings and send one of them to your house! 

Update - Post Auction

Both of these paintings have found their new homes and over  $300 was raised for hurricane relief in Texas. 
Thank you for your interest!   May we all continue to keep these people and those of Florida in our prayers.   

Monday, August 28, 2017

Original MiniPainting Giveaway!

This MiniPainting Could Alight at Your House!


Little Finch, 3x3" oil on canvas
©2017 Helen Read

As tiny as a little finch itself, this small painting is textured and detailed and
it will be sent to a lucky winner
in September!  

My September newsletter will be sent in another few days with the full information about how to enter the contest and win this original painting (with it's small easel).  It is the perfect size to sit in a book case or a table top.   If you have not already joined my fun email group, it's easy to do!   You'll get to participate in give-aways and contests, get freebies and gifts, and receive news and discounts.  Just enter your information in the form below and you'll be added to my list and get my newsy newsletter!  

MiniPainting with it's easel.

Don't miss out!   Join the fun and enter to win this little original painting! 


Here's the sign up!
Oh, and if you include your birthday I'll send you something special that month! 
(Your year remains your secret!)


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Garden Surprise

Garden Surprise, 7x5" oil on gesso board
©2017 Helen Read 
$80.00
(please add $10 domestic shipping , IL residents please add 8% sales tax) 



Small treasures - small surprises.  The world of God's creation is full of life, and color, and abundant growth!
Look at all the various shades of green, punctuated with pink and browns and finally a small goldfinch.
Such beauty to be found! 



Friday, August 18, 2017

Let's Be Friends!



In another week or so, I'll be sending out my September mailing
and Guess What!  

There's going to be a little contest for an original little painting give away!
You never know... you might be the winner!

So, all you have to do is sign up below.  Not only will you be included in all the future fun stuff I send  (about once a month), but you will be able to participate in the September contest and you'll get a "welcome gift" that I think you'll enjoy. 
 Its completely free.... so you have nothing to lose, but its only available to my friends who receive my email news. 

Here's the sign up!
Oh, and if you include your birthday I'll send you something special that month! 
(Your year remains your secret!)


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Finches and Flowers

Finch on a Flower, 6x6" oil on gesso board 
© 2017  Helen Read 
$80.00
Ready to Frame! 
(Please add $10 domestic shipping, IL residents please add 8% sales tax) 


Just a few days ago, as I stood in my kitchen looking out the window, this is what I saw!
From my little finch feeder, a small finch darted down to a coneflower and sat perched on top.

It was not much bigger than the flower itself
and apparently was weightless
 

because the flower didn't seem to even notice it was there; still standing tall, graceful and unwavering.
Such colorful beauty - all framed in the deep greenery of the rest of the garden.
 It deserved, I thought as I watched, to become a little composition to share!
 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Brushstrokes, etc. is 10 years old!

Kolrabi, 7x5" oil on canvas  2007

In 2007,  I began working on a much more consistent basis.   My effort was to paint a little bit every day, which I believed was possible even with a family and working full time as a high school teacher. 

Knee High, Snowy Egret, 7x11.5" watercolor and acrylic on paper  2010

What a valuable exercise and commitment!   My work has been varied and has led me down roads of new explorations.  Often I've brought my travels into my work 
Coastal Road, 5x7" oil on canvas   2011


 Painting became another voice.... a way of bringing delightful things into the realm of the visual to share with others.  I've always loved landscapes - which is a reflection of my love of the natural world.  And I've always loved looking deeply into the "ordinary" to find what surprises might be seen!

Jewel Weed,  8.5x7" watercolor/acrylic on paper   2012

Herrick Lake,  8x10" oil on gesso board   2015

As I devoted more time and effort - the results of my commitment have taken flight.  I've been able to communicate the beauty of creation all the more clearly.   And one enduring truth has come clear:  We never stop learning...
there is always more to learn, new ways to grow, and new ways to express that inner voice.
Tall Oaks, 20x16" oil on canvas   2016
 I've had the wonderful opportunity to paint the beauty I see and share my work in local exhibits.  And, it's a wonderful honor to send original work to customers across the United States, as well as in Europe and Asia. 

Lovely Lavender,  6x9" oil on gesso board   2017
Yes, a lot has happened in the last 10 years.  I hope a succession of growth is obvious from top to bottom of these paintings.  Now, I anticipate the next years!   I am excited to think how this journey of visual
expression will develop!   This endeavor is not always easy.  I still work full time, I still have a family (though they are no longer young and in my home, they are nearby and time with them is a high priority - helping, loving, nurturing a new generation),  and of course, just the daily tasks of life!  But, my calling as an artist cannot be ignored, so I follow the path - into joyful color, beautiful shape and form, textures and values. 

What I have learned through these last years is
• Perseverance is vital
• Committing myself to growth is necessary ~ learning is a life long journey
• I must commit to spending the necessary time to see, to be intrigued, to enjoy, and
then to express visually 
• I have little to say if I do not share my work!
• I need the accountability of friends (you!) which motivates me to persevere!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Who Doesn't Love ....

A Great Offer? 



Summer Scents -  7x5" Oil on gesso board
©2017, Helen Read 
If you are a member of my Studio Friends eMail List, you will get a newsletter at the beginning of the month that has a great offer - or maybe more than one great offer!   Maybe you already are a member, and if you read my last email just a few days ago, you know that I'm stepping it up!  

I have a lot of 
new ideas to make your participation a lot more 
fun!

Here are some things you'll be seeing (but only if you are on my list!)
a monthly newsletter full of visual images of new work and other newsworthy things going on in my world!
(in my August newsletter, I shared my latest studio work and some big family news with pictures... oh, and in the next newsletter, I'll have even more family news to share!) 
A special offer at a very special price for that month with free domestic shipping! (Hard to beat that!)
(see the above painting which is the August offer at about 40% off it's regular pricing) 
If you send me your birthday month, you will get a special birthday email with a birthday give away!
From time to time, you'll get special discounts or coupons - just for my list members. 
There's a free gift for new members who sign up and a gift for those who refer their friends who become new members of my list.
Look for periodic freebies that you can download - just for fun ( something you'd enjoy doing, seeing, participating in, or find inspiring) 
On various months, I'll run contests and drawings that will offer fun give-aways!  

And who knows!  I'm always on the look out for more ideas!   

My aim is to create something fun, be interesting & informative, and bring value to my friends.
 
One thing I want you to know ~  it's something that I dislike - therefore, it's something I won't ever do - is share your address and information with anyone else!  
 That is why I use a safe email server that protects your information and only sends you the emails that I create. 

So!  What's holding you back!?  
It's easy to sign up!  
 Use the box below - and I'll send you my August newsletter as well as a gift from me to you!
You'll automatically receive future newsletters with all the benefits I've mentioned above!   I look forward to the beginning of a beautiful friendship!  


Just a reminder that the reason I've asked for your birthday is so that I can send you a little birthday greeting.  (please notice I have not asked for the year!  It's never polite to ask someone's age! )    Once you've signed up, you can expect to receive my August newsletter that went out last week - and a little thank you gift too! 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Star of Bethlehem

Star of Bethlehem, Chicago Flower Market
8x10" oil on gesso board
©2017  Helen Read 


SOLD


Wandering through a flower market (even if quite small) is such an experience for the senses!
There is no end of the colors and variations of colors.  From greens in every possible shade to reds, yellows, purples, oranges, and whites!  It is a will riot of colors and shapes and sizes, of smells and textures... all of it speaking of diversity and beauty!  A testimony of God's creativity!

This little glimpse of the market place is almost dry and will be ready to send soon!

Join my email newsletter list and immediately save your shipping costs!  It's easy and you'll get monthly newsy emails from me with a variety of special offers.  Just click the invite button below!


Friend invite! Join me!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Sunflower Basket

 Sunflower Basket, 10x8" Oil on gessoboard
© 2017 Helen Read 

SOLD



You've probably guessed it!  Sunflowers are one of my favorite flowers to draw and paint.  They are big and bold and they radiate a lot of color!   Aptly named for the sun, don't you think!

Bring some cheer into your home - all it needs is a frame and it's ready to hang!

* Includes domestic shipping - US Priority Mail.  International shipping costs will be quoted by location and additional shipping charge will be applied.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

How I got from here to there.... my process

video


Its always kind of interesting to see a process, don't you think? 
This week, I've been working on a new painting - which is not quite dry yet ...  not quite ready to post in it's final form.  But I took pictures of it along it's journey from first strokes of paint to its near finish.    You'll see I did not start with a drawing - I just began laying in layers of transparent color where they should occur within the painting.

Then in the wet paint, I "drew in" where I wanted the basic shapes to be.
With both transparent and opaque paint, I began to lay in color and form, shadows and light to bring this painting to life.  It's a little different approach than I have typically used - but it gives the final painting a lot of freedom in the way paint is applied and the way color mixes.  

Here's a little better view of the end.... I'll be posting this one soon!  (It will be looking for it's new home!) 

Star of Bethlehem, (Chicago Flower Market), 8x10" - Oil on gesso board
©2017  Helen Read


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Abundance and Diversity

Chicago Flower Market, 5x7 oil on gesso board 
©2017 Helen Read 

This little painting is going to its new home in North Carolina! 
This spring, I painted this from a visit I made to a small but delightful flower market in Chicago. There was every color and size of flowers in complete abundance. There was every iteration of green and so many textures in the foliage! Abundance and diversity - hallmarks of God's creative hand!

It's easy to bring home a colorful, vibrant and original work of art!  
You can visit my website to see much of what is available, or scroll down through this blog.  
The wonderful thing for the artist about creating art is that we get to share  our vision - what we see in our own unique way - with others.  Hopefully, this artistic vision bring joy, beauty, and delight to it's new home! 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Framed! The final touch!


The value of framing!  


A painting always feels more finished - more presentable when the right frame is found, 
the painting is secured in it, and finally it is displayed. 
The wrong frame, however, can have the opposite effect. 

What makes the frame the right one? 

A lot depends on the picture being framed as well as the taste of the one who will display it. 
But, here are a few things to keep in mind: 
1.  You do not want the frame to "speak" more loudly than the painting. 
Simplicity is a good rule of thumb. 
2.  Consider the colors in the painting.  What kind of frame enhances them best? 
In this case a simple black frame.  
3.  Consider the style of the painting.  This painting is more contemporary in style, so 
a very sleek black frame seemed to work better than a natural wood colored one. 
4.  Finally, consider the subject matter in the painting.  Depending on the subject, you may have a type of frame that is more appropriate than another.

Personal taste is also a factor, but the considerations above are perhaps more important guidelines. 

Enjoy the process of choosing the right frame!  The right frame makes a world of difference and puts that finishing touch on a lovely work of art!  

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Lovely Lavender

Lovely Lavender, 6x9" Oil on gesso board 
©2017 Helen Read 
$125.00
Includes domestic shipping.  (International shipping will be quoted by location)
(IL residents please add 8% sales tax) 


It's almost magical - a whole field of lavender!  Not only is lavender beautiful and it has a lovely old fashioned scent, did you know that it has been used for centuries as an insect repellent!?   But - back to the painting! 
In this scene, you see rows and rows of it's beautiful color with little peeks of green showing through.  The shadows are also quite interesting and full of color.  All of this within the view of distant hills and trees. 
Delightful display of color! 

This one is still drying, but will be ready to send within a short time.  
It is ready to frame and will look stunning on any wall!  



Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A 4th of July Celebration - $49!

Yes, the 4th of July is just around the corner.... summer is well underway!   
And it is time to CELEBRATE!!  

Just for a few days - now until July 7th - I'm offering these 6 small gems at a very celebratory price! 
$49.00 which includes domestic shipping!  (IL residents please add 8% sales tax)
 Each of these small colorful gems is ready to frame. 
  
Sold - Sunflowers in Cobalt
Sold - Chicago Flower Market


I'm cleaning out my studio to make way for new work that will be coming soon, so now is a great opportunity to hang original work in your home!    

Just email me which one you'd like to have me send (1st email receives the painting), and I'll confirm it with you and let you know how to finish the details with Paypal so I can put it into Priority Mail to your home. 

Oh, and please join my email list!  When you are on the list, you receive the first word about such exciting offers as this one!  Just click the button below to be added, your email address is safe with me!! 
  


Yes, add me to your list!

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