Monday, November 13, 2017

Birds of a Feather

Birds of a Feather, 6x6" oil on gesso board 
©2017 Helen Read 


These 2!  Captured with a bit of personality showing!  (Perhaps a little mischief!?) 

You can almost hear what they are thinking!   

Watch this painting unfold in a few seconds (of course, it took longer than a few seconds to paint!)  Its always fascinating to see how it begins and how it comes to its final form.
You can also see it on YouTube here:


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Some Student Work - Fall Drawing 1 Class

Every year I like to post some of the work my students
in High School are doing.  This is a Drawing 1 class at Wheaton North High Schoo - so though they may have had some background in drawing, it is not a background of instruction. 
Most of my students come to class first thing in the semester liking to draw but not really experienced.  

This work shows so well what students are capable of achieving in the first 10 weeks or so of class!   I'm proud of them - they have worked hard and it shows!  

These drawings are a small representation of student work where they've taken the instruction and really applied what we've learned in the unit on value and shading techniques.  
They picked their own subjects, transferred the images, and shaded with graphite. 

As a teacher, it's very exciting to see this kind of growth!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

The Joys of Autumn

"Autumn, the year's last loveliest smile." ~William Cullen Bryant

A blaze of color, the quiet settling of leaves, the flocks of birds on a yearly pilgrimage, 
there's a rhythm and constancy about the seasons, and autumn - a preparation for rest - is one of the most beautiful. 

Even in the midst of all this beauty,  I look ahead to the long siege of winter with some trepidation. 
Here, where I live, it seems to last forever under a chilled white blanket.  

So Autumn, for me, is a time to soak it up and to take joy in the small beauties it presents...

To Give Thanks
...not just because we celebrate Thanksgiving in the Autumn, but because each day has its own small gifts. 

 The glorious "hello" of the morning as the sun rises

 The intricate tracing of color in fallen leaves 

Gifts can be found in the most ordinary of life's experiences... if we choose to see them as gifts.  
This is what I'm training my eye and my heart to see - God, the Creator of the cosmos, is presenting beautiful small gifts day by day as a way of saying,  "It all matters!  Beauty matters.  My creation matters. Small things matter."  and most importantly,
"YOU matter!"

These gifts of beauty are His love notes to each of us - but we must take time to see.  We must take time to see the blaze of red lit up by the sun and reflected in the water... only lasting a few minutes to the seeing eye before it's gone, but nevertheless, a whisper of colorful love. 
the dawning of golden light with it's band of glowing clouds - a gracious good morning and the promise of a new day of opportunities.  Scriptures tells us that His mercies are new each morning  - here is a visual reminder of that promise.
an array of color from purple through reds and oranges and yellows, 
gently traced throughout the veins of leaves...Why? 
For beauty's sake; for the delight of it. 

Taking joy in these small ordinary things trains the heart to watch for the gifts that God gives and to 
live with gratitude. 

Watch with me! 
Take joy in the small gifts of the day.
Give thanks to a good God who whispers love and promises of mercy and who takes delight in His creation.... and most especially takes delight in You! 

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