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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

No, it's NOT too late!

But it will be in a few more days!  
This little mini oil painting will be given away on June 20th! 
It's easy to get the details -  Join my list of friends and  you'll receive instructions about how to enter the contest.

Not only that, but you'll get a fun & friendly monthly email with news from my place to yours. It's a great way to stay connected in this disconnected world! 
I include free downloads, my latest work, discounts, and contests. 
I also include encouraging words that we all need to hear from time to time. 

It's easy to join - just click the button below and you'll be "in"!   

Join the fun right here!

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Perfect Beauty!

Peony Bloom, 7x5' oil on gessoboard
©2018 Helen Read 
(ready to frame) 
Domestic shipping included,  IL residents please add 8% sales tax 

     One of my favorite things about spring is the beautiful array of flowers!   Where I grew up, we did not have such an abundance of variety.  There were beautiful wildflowers in bloom, and sometimes they covered the fields in blue or orange or yellow for a few weeks  ... but in term of garden flowers, it was mostly too hot.   Now, where I live, after the long siege of winter (which sometimes seems endless), we have a delightful succession of colors and shapes and sizes and ... scents!!  
    My first real introduction to peonies was in one of my first homes in Wheaton.  It was an old farm house that had a neighborhood grow up around it.  And along one whole side of the home were about 40 feet of peonies in various shades of pink.  They were a delight of springtime with a scent that was indescribable... a little like a rose, but something of it's very own.  
    My current home has a lovely display of peonies in the backyard, and so it was inevitable that a painting would have to happen!  It's been a very busy few weeks with the end of the semester at work - but - I found time to capture the exuberant color and beauty of a single lovely bloom before peony season is over!  

It comes ready to frame and domestic shipping is included!  Add a little bit of vibrant color to your walls!  It is drying and will be ready to ship in a few days!  

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Red, red robin ... Giveaway!

Red Robin,  3x3" oil on canvas
©2018 Helen Read

This little guy will be given to one of my newsletter friends in the month of June! 
It's an original oil mini painting, and will have a small easel for display.
Just the thing for a bookcase or desk top!  

And it's FREE!!  I'll be having a drawing in June and it will wing it's way to one of my friends at their home!
To find out all the details, be sure to read my June newsnote - it's coming soon!
Oh... you need to sign up?!   Easy... just hit the button below!  

Yes! Let's stay in touch!

Monday, May 28, 2018

Ahhhh - apple blossom time!

Apple Blooms,  6x6 colored pencil on clayboard
©2018 Helen Read

(ready to frame) Includes domestic shipping - IL residents, please add 8% sales tax

It's just for just a few days in the spring... the profusion - the scent - it's magical! 
And then, the blossoms have fallen.    They become a pink or white carpet
underfoot for just a few more days. You can miss the whole cycle, if you aren't looking for it!  
It truly is a lovely few days!

This is one of the most busy time of  year for a school teacher.  Students are trying to finish the semester (some of whom need some prodding), grading must be finished up, final exams are scheduled, then there's more grading, and finally closing things down for a few months.  Finding the time to create comes in starts and stops.  So, this is the perfect time to work with colored pencil.  You don't have to worry about paint drying too much or not enough.

I've created this colored pencil drawing on clayboard, which is a super smooth surface that accepts the
pencil quite well.  The work you see shows a little progression from the white surface to colorful shapes.

And, do you wonder what it might look like framed? 
Although this comes to you unframed, a simple black frame brings out the vivid color quite beautifully! 
It is ready to ship to it's new home - and domestic shipping is included!  

Just a reminder for those who might love to receive a FREE painting! 
In June, I'll be giving away a mini oil painting with a little easel for display.  You'll find out all the details in my June newsnote, which will be sent in the next few days!  

If you aren't receiving it, it's super easy to sign yourself up!  I love to stay in touch and always bring you beauty, interesting news and articles, free downloads, and discounts!  Just click the button below and you'll receive the next note from me to you very soon! 

Yes! Let's stay in touch!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Spread the LOVE!!

 Who doesn't need a little love?  
Every month, I send out some love to my friends - a colorful newsy note that arrives in your inbox.  You'll see what's been going on in my studio, get to read some of my thoughts on creativity and making art, and I always have some free things that are just for you! 
You never know, every few months I have a little give-away painting that someone will receive
(so far in the last few months, they've gone to friends in Georgia, Florida, & Texas!)
I like to include some interactive art that you can personalize and you'll get some insider previews and  discounts. 

It's easy to sign up!  Just click the button below!
My next note will be sent out in the next week or so  - sign up now so you don't miss my next
fun note and it's surprises!  

(I use a secure email server and your info will never be shared!)

Yes! I want to sign up!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Peonys and Canning Jars

French Peonies,  7x5" oil on gesso board 
 ©Helen Read 
(ready to frame)
Domestic Shipping included - IL residents pleas add 8% sales tax 


Oh, I love the soft scents and shades of summer peonies!  And I can see the buds forming on my plants just this week.  In a few more days, the first round buds will open in a beautiful display! 
And the simplicity of a casual arrangement in a canning jar is the perfect warm weather centerpiece. 
This little painting features the soft colors of flower and jar.  I love how the colors come together to make a statement of harmony.  

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Walk with me!

Arbor Path, 16x12" Oil on canvas
©Helen Read
Ready to frame

Free Domestic shipping.  IL residents please add 8% sales tax. 

Today was just this sort of day!  Spring is arriving... and it seems over night that leaves have popped open and the grass has grown 3 or 4"!   The bright sun is juxtaposed with bands of shadows... and an intriguing pathway leads  us toward more discoveries!   Such a delightful time of year, which is why I love painting it in all it's glory! 
There's something wonderful about being outside - and then, bringing the beauty of Creation inside to enjoy, no matter what time of year.


Maybe you didn't know that you could be included!  I'd love to stay in touch with you! 
Did you know I send out a pretty cool news note each month? 
It's visual (of course) and I include a variety of fun things with you in mind.  Every month I have something(s) that I offer my friends, like a free painting give away contest, or a download print, or great discounts....
If you like colorful artwork and creative expression, you'll enjoy receiving a little artistic pick-me-up each month!
It's so easy to be included!  Just click the button below, and you're in!  

Yes, Please! Sign me up.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

The Question of Creativity...

I hear it all the time… “I’m not creative”.    I kinda know what people mean when they say that, - they don’t know how to draw or paint or sculpt.  But, that’s not all there is to creativity - and as an art teacher, I know that these skills can be learned!  I also know that creative expression is so much broader than 1 area of art! So, I don’t think it’s true! I think each of us is creative in one way or another!  

  We all have a personal point of view - a different way of seeing things. A different "take" on the way we see the world around us... and when we express that personal viewpoint in our own way, we are exercising creativity!

The enjoyment of bringing into being something that hasn’t yet been done before - at least not in the exact way in which we do it - and by putting our own personal touch on something (whatever that something may be) we have exercised creative expression! We are, by nature, makers and doers!
Creativity can be visual (which is the way I express my view of the world), but it can also be with the use of written language, or movement, or musical harmony, or culinary creations, or carpentry, or a so many other possibilities!

So, let’s celebrate our creativity!  Let it root and develop and bloom, which requires purposeful nurture --- feeding it with beauty and wonder; the process of growth!   It requires taking time with intention to let it blossom and become. What feeds your creative spirit?  

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Old Time Floral

Old Fashioned Floral, 6x6" oil on gesso board
©2018  Helen Read 
 Ready to frame 

Includes domestic shipping,  IL residents please add 8% sales tax 


 When my children were small, I was the recipient of hand picked flowers which often found their way into a mason jar to be placed in a visible spot for all see!   Such joy in small gifts like that... a happy smile on a small face, and a mom's warmed heart.  I love those memories... and this painting reminds me of those long ago moments.  
Nostalgia in a blue jar!

Did you know that every month I send out a fun news note to my friends? 
I include my latest paintings and news, but I also include fun things like free downloads, and contests for free paintings, and discounts.   It's colorful and visual and it's a great way to stay in touch with each other. 
It's super easy to receive - just click the button below and you'll have all the fun sent right to your inbox!

Yes! Please include me!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Good for the Soul!

What are the benefits of visual art?

  • Visual beauty brings peace in an often frenetic world 
  • Visual images engage a different part of the brain
  • Visual works engage us with the artist and the world as they see it 
  • Visual works remind us of the Great Creator who is the originator of beauty
  • Visual art gives us space and time to absorb, to consider, to re-engage with that part of our spirit that is often pushed aside in the busyness of life. 

Maybe (probably) there are more benefits! 
Leave a message!  Tell me some more!  

And while you are here... 

Click the button below and you'll be included to receive my once-a-month newsnote that is visual, artsy, and has a lot of fun stuff!  But only if you like
free downloads, 

painting give-aways, 
and insights into the creative life!  

Click the button so we can stay in touch! 

Yes Please! Include me!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Don't Stop Now!

A  little excerpt from my April newsletter.  Let it inspire you to speak the message that is yours uniquely.  

Just before winter is over and just before the full bloom of spring occurs, it is easy for me  to feel like I’m running out of steam. Do you ever get that feeling too? The goals I have seem awfully weighty - and a little too distant.  

This can affect what I’m doing artistically as well as in just about every area of life. I’m reminded how important it is to nurture a positive mindset.  It makes all the difference! 

Do you believe (like I do) that each of us has been created with particular gifts and a unique voice in all of history? It’s kind of amazing, really!  And this means that your voice, in whatever way you express yourself, is valuable and needed!  So, here’s a positive word of encouragement - 
Let your voice speak!

Perhaps it is through art, but it might be through music or dance or writing or baking or gardening or something else!  There are countless ways to voice the message only you are able to speak. Don’t ever feel it isn’t worthwhile or good enough…
you are needed!
I send out a colorful, visual newsnote each month and it's super easy to receive it.
Not only are there messages of encouragement, but I offer free gifts, downloads, discounts,
and other things that make it fun.

Don't miss out!
Click the button below and we'll stay in touch with a fun message
meant just for you!

Yes! Sign me up!!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Royal Purple

Royal Purple, 9x12" oil on gessoboard 
©2018 Helen Read  
ready to frame 

(domestic shipping included,  IL residents please add 8% sales tax) 

Nothing says "spring" to me quite like the bloom of tulips.   Spring hasn't really arrived here in my area - even though it's past due - being mid-April!  So, I've taken to creating spring with paint, while I wait!
This gathering of beautiful purple tulips seems to shimmer and glow. 
I looked up the meaning of tulips... so many flowers are associated with a cryptic meaning.  I found out that tulips are representative of love and passion.  Purple is indicative of royalty.   I must admit, they do have a very regal upright habit, commanding one's attention!

Bring a love, passion, and lots of royal color to your walls! 
This lovely painting is almost dry and ready to ship very soon!

Oh - before you go! 

Did you know that I keep in touch with my friends with a monthly newsnote? It's filled with visual beauty and other fun things like free downloads, contests for free mini paintings, discounts, and late breaking updates and news.  You get an inside look into the life of an artist and get to share some of the fun!
It's super easy to join us! Just click the button below and let me know!

Yes! Sign me up!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Bringing the garden inside!

It's been a long, long wait this year.... and we are still waiting!

And, quite honestly, I'm weary of the wait! 
As I look at my sleeping garden, there's a little bit of hope ~ some green shoots have
sprouted.  But usually by now, spring is here and flowers are in bloom.
So, I'm creating my own spring time with colorful oil paint....

This painting is 9x12", oil on gesso board.  As you can see, it isn't finished yet. 
I started with transparent color - in full strength allowing the white of the gessoboard (smooth surface) to 
allow the colors to glow.   Then, I went back with opaque paint to refine the shapes and to add in additional color to create the highlights and darker values. 

It has a painterly feel, with loose strokes and broken color, 
and hopefully, I've conveyed a sense of joyful profusion!  

More work will bring it to it's final form in just a few days!  

Monday, April 2, 2018

Yay ... there's still time!

It is NOT too late!

Yes!  It's true - I often give away little paintings...
I usually have a special offer....
And I have free downloads! 

There isn't any "catch".... but you won't know about these gifts and offers unless you get my newsletter. 
It comes out every month - and April's newsletter will be sent very soon! 

It's so easy to sign up - and then all the details for how to participate or download a freebie
will be sent right to your inbox! 
If you love colorful, expressive art - then you'll enjoy my very visual newsletter.  It's fun, newsy, and it's a great way to stay in touch.  Just hit the button below and you're in!  
Oh... and you'll be sent an email right away to welcome you with a special message. 

So why not?  Don't miss out!  I love creating for my friends! 

Click Here and You're In!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Wildflowers - finished

Wildflowers   9x6" oil on gessoboard 
©2018 Helen Read 

ready to frame
 Domestic shipping included,  IL residents please add 8% sales tax

It all started with a wander through the woods on a beautiful sunny day.  It's one of those moments of renewal that I often take time to do.  Along the trail, this was the moment that most stood out to me as a surprise greeting - an array of sunny yellow wildflowers blithely dancing on the breeze.  They seemed to literally glow as the sunlight cast it's beautiful golden light, while the darker backdrop of the woods gave them even more definition.

This kind of unexpected surprise is what makes landscape painting so compelling to me - it transports me into the beauty and joy of God's creation.  It seems to me that He has shared something special as a personal gift! 

To see the beginning stages of this painting in video format of this painting, please click here. 

 Please join me on Facebook!

 I'd love to add you to my monthly newsletter list!  It's super easy when you click the button below. 
You'll hear from me about 1x a month, and my newsletter has great stuff!  Free downloads, special contests, tips and news, and special offers.  I love connecting through art and making new friends!  

Click here and you're in!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Just a start! Wildflowers


Just getting started on a new landscape! 
I thought you might like to see the first sitting (in 4x speed!) 

Kinda fun to watch it get a start.   I'm painting on gessoboard with transparent oil paints to start - later when the first layer has been laid in, I'll add opaque paints.  

Of course, there's more to be done on this!  So check back later this week and see the final result!   

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Congratulations! A winner in Texas!

The Fledgling,  3x3 oil on canvas
©Helen Read

The March contest winner of this little mini painting lives in Texas! 
How exciting!   In just a few days this little guy will be winging his way south to a new home. 
Included in that package will be a small easel for display in a bookshelf or a desk top. 
I love painting these little gems and giving them to my friends, which I do every few months.

It's easy to participate in my contests; when you get my newsletter at the beginning of the month, the details are found there!   Each & every month, I give my newsletter friends something special.  It might be a contest for a free painting, discounts on original work, a free download or some other surprise! You'll also get a peek at the newest work from my studio and news from my house to yours.   It's a great way to stay in touch!  

Now, you're wondering how to join my email list! 
It's easy... click the button below and that's about it!  You'll be getting a newsletter near the beginning of each month.  So, join the fun ~ I'd love to have you among my friends!  

Click Here and You're In!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Flower Sale!

and I need to do a little spring cleaning...
I have a few beautiful flower paintings that haven't found their home yet
So, through the month of March, I'm offering the ones you see below  @ 25% savings from their usual selling price. 
Plant your garden!

Right in your own home for year round color!
Coneflower, 5x7" oil on canvas
Painted around sides - no need to frame
©Helen Read

(Usual selling price $90)
Includes domestic shipping!
IL residents, please add 8% sales tax. 

Front and Center - Coneflower -  8x8" Oil on canvas
Painted around sides - no need to frame
©Helen Read

(usual selling price of $150)
Includes domestic shipping!
IL residents, please add 8% sales tax.  

Coneflower 2,  7x5" oil on canvas
Painted around sides - no need to frame
©Helen Read

(Usual selling price $90)
Includes domestic shipping!
IL residents, please add 8% sales tax.

The above 3 Coneflower paintings can make a beautiful grouping,

To buy all 3 together, take 30% off regular selling price
(That's $99 savings!  Wow!)

Includes domestic shipping!
IL residents, please add 8% sales tax. 

Winter Blooms, 8x10" oil on canvas
ready to frame
©Helen Read

(usual selling price $180.00)Includes Domestic Shipping
(IL residents, please add 8% sales tax) 

Spring Tulips,  12x9" oil on gesso board
Ready to Frame
©Helen Read

(usual selling price $245)
Includes Domestic Shipping
(IL residents please add 8%sales tax) 

Poppies in Bloom, 6x12" oil on gesso board
Ready to Frame
©Helen Read 

(usual selling price$160)
 Includes Domestic Shipping
(IL residents please add 8%sales tax) 

This great discount expires March 31st!   Click the button now before it's gone or time runs out! And your painting will be on it's way to you!    

And... While you are here, 
don't go without joining my email list! 
Every month, you'll get a newsletter where I send out special discounts, offers, give-away contests, and freebies
 - but only to my email list friends... it's super easy & lots of fun!

Click Here ~ You're in!

Sunday, March 4, 2018


Scentsational,  8x8" oil on gessoboard
©2018 Helen Read

Ready to Frame

Includes domestic shipping,  IL residents please add 8% sales tax. 

The beautiful rose, by any other name...  would still be just as challenging to paint!
I love roses with all their twists and turns and spiraling shapes that have many changes in color and value.
Painting them presents a challenge though. Depicting their intricacies with various tints and shades of paint requires great observation and a little bit of invention!

 I hope you can almost smell their fragrance, as you look down into this arrangement of long stemmed pink roses,
carnations, and baby's breath.

This little detail show the brushstrokes and texture incorporated into the painting, as well as a few of the subtle
colors that are visible upon closer inspection.
And though it comes unframed, this is what it might look like with a simple black frame:

Colorful and cheerful - a visual reminder that spring is on it's way!

What space at your house needs a little floral cheer!?  (this beautiful floral could be on it's way to you right away!)

Oh, and let me remind you - my newsletter is on it's way out!  Maybe you didn't know, but each month I send a newsletter, which is so much more than news!    In it are discounts, give away opportunities, free gifts, and news about the latest happenings in my studio and sphere.  It's easy to sign up... just hit the button below and you're in!

Click here and you're in!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Win This Free Painting!

The Fledgling,
mini painting w/table top easel

Once again....
It's almost time for a little give away!  
Every few months, I have a little give away for my newsletter friends.  You'll find out all about it in my March newsletter, which will be sent in this coming week.  

If you already get my newsletter, you'll get the information soon - if you don't yet get my newsletter, it's super easy to sign up and here's a taste of what you'll be getting:
  • access to great discounts
  • drawings for give aways
  • downloadable art I create just for my friends
  • a peek at new work 
  • news from my side of the easel
  • articles I write having to do with the artist's life, inspiration, motivation, and technique 
  • and friendly conversation 

    It's all about giving you something special as one of my friends, enjoying art together, and staying connected.
    I use a trusted email service provider and your information is always secure. 

    Just fill in the form below and you'll be automatically added to my list. You'll get a thank you email with a gift from me to you - and you'll also get my next newsletter! 

    It's easy  - and I promise to do my best to make you glad you joined the fun! 
  • Click here and you're in!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Day's End

Day's End, 7x5" oil on canvas 
©2018  Helen Read
ready to frame 

(free domestic shipping,  IL residents please add 8% sales tax)

That evening walk... the tranquility of a setting sun.  It's what the soul needs at the end of the day.
It's the moment to reconnect with one's self and to remember in Whose hands the day has been held and in Whom the future rests.  For me, it is that quiet beauty ~ beauty of God's artistry that reminds me to breathe deeply, to let go of the things that
cause me a troubled mind, to relinquish my fears, and to allow peace to replace stress.
I highly recommend intentionally taking moments at the end of the day to reflect and regain balance!

 With a click of the button, this reminder to take time at the end of the day for the reconnection with soul and Spirit can be on it's way to you!   Domestic shipping is included! 
A standard 5x7" frame completes it and it is ready to hang! 

Please read my recent article about why owning an original work is so much different than having a print!
Let me know what you think! 

Friday, February 9, 2018

Have you ever wondered WHY?

Why buy original art?  

It's a legitimate question - there are lots of pretty prints available. 
What makes hanging an original painting different?
Recently sold, Winter Glow, framed

With an original painting, you hold a something that cannot be captured in a print or a photograph:

           You hold the motion of the artist's hands
captured in the textured brushstrokes. 
Textured brushstrokes, each of which contain a mixture of color within the stroke.

You see color just as the artist intended you to see it
as the artist saw or perhaps imagined it. 
Beautiful colors juxtaposed together to create a visual sensation that brings the eye back again for more!
Colors that surprise and energize!

It's less tangible (but quite profound) -
you hold a bit of the artist's emotion in your keeping. 
The motion of stroke and the lively color resonate with JOY!
An emotion that is contagious!

A painting begins with an inspiration - whatever it may be  - and with color and texture and vibrancy, the artist translates a personal response into paint.  Emotion is seen in the way the strokes are applied and the way the colors are mixed and juxtaposed.    When viewing a print or a photograph these subtle tactile elements cannot be replicated.  In a sense,

when you hang an original painting, the artist is speaking intimately and timelessly to you without words...
a message that can only be truly conveyed in the actual painting.  

Original works bring beauty and pleasure, of course, but more than that; they whisper to the viewer's heart deeper the thoughts of the artist.    

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