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Thursday, August 4, 2022

Beautiful Chaos ~ abstraction from nature


Beautiful Chaos
30x22" acrylic on watercolor paper
(matted in white for a 36x28" frame)
Ready to frame 

An abstracted view of spring just as it begins to flourish with new growth and life. 

One of my favorite times of year - after the long siege of winter grays, new color and new life bursts forth, almost as if it is singing a song of joy!  

For all the information, click here!

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Coming in August! A tiny painting give away.


Do you love to receive gifts?  Who doesn't?? 

I also love to give gifts! 
In my next newsy note that will come out in early August,
this little painting will be a give away to someone from my group.
Blanket Flowers,  3x3" oil painting,
painted on a rigid panel with a canvas surface and magnetic backing.

It's not too late to join us!  When you do, you'll get a fun, colorful message in your inbox once each month.  You'll see what new things I've been working on, I include a variety of great things like: discounts and pre-debut special pricing, give away contests, and free art downloads. You'll get an insider's view of what's going on in my studio and what's currently on my easel. 

When there's something new, you'll get all the details and fun suprises! 
Be an "insider"!  It's easy - it's free - it's fun - and you won't be overrun by inbox stuff! 

This is how you can join!

Yes! Sign Me Up!

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Here's this month's gift!


I love giving gifts of art to my friends!  Every month I have something for you - it could be a free print that you can print (such as the bluebird above), or a discount, or a contest for a free original mini-painting plus always a friendly news update on art, my studio and life!  

Art lovers get one very visual friendly email a month.  It's a great way to stay in touch and to let you know what's happening from my end.  I always love it when you reply and I get to know what's going on with you too!  

It's easy to sign up!  Just click the link which will take you to a short form to fill out.  I use a secure email server, so you info is protected and never shared.  Then, you'll receive an email from me on the first Tuesday of the month with fun surprises!  :) 

Yes! Sign Me Up!

Monday, July 4, 2022

Beauty on the Wing!

 What better time to feature the beauty of birds than mid-summer?!


Spring Song and Bright Plumage,
when sold together and shipped to the same address
4x4" oil on panel
Ready to frame
Click here for a purchase link!

Special pricing is applied when both are purchased together
and shipped to the same address.

Bright Plumage,
4x4" oil on panel - Ready to frame
Click here for a purchase link

Spring Song,
4x4" Oil on panel
Ready to Frame

Click here for a purchase link

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Delphinium Watercolor

7.5 x 5.5" watercolor on paper
matted in white to fit an 8x10" frame
© Helen Read 

A few years ago, the most beautiful delphinium bloomed (unexpectedly) in my yard!  It was a deep, rich purple color and almost took my breath away!  Sadly, the following year, it did not return.  But I found a ragged little delphinium at the end of the season plant sale and brought it home, wondering if it would survive our rather severe winter temperatures.  The following spring, it bloomed... but not with the deep purple color I was expecting.  It was a lovely lavender that leaned toward light blue but also with some rosy tones.  Several years later, it has now spread and sent up multiple blooms of this soft lavender-blue!  Of course, that was an invitation to paint it's portrait!  

It's ready to send to its new home!  Find out all the details here! 

This lovely painting will bring a spot of calm color to a bedroom, office, or living room... well, just about anywhere!  A framed option is also available.  See the details at the link above.


Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Charmed by Lilacs


Lilac Charm, 
10x8" oil on gessoed panel
©Helen Read 

I love lilacs and am so happy each spring when it's time for them to bloom.
Their sweet scent and lovely color is gone all too soon, though... then we wait another year until they return!  The great thing about a painting is that it never fades or wilts!  The colors are vibrant and beautiful year round!  

This lovely painting is available unframed or framed (see below).
All the details are found at my website:
click here.

Below see what this painting looks like when framed, and also what it might look like in a room.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Creatively Uninspired? Here's Help!


Inspiration ~
that magical feeling that artists have as they create!

Hold up! Maybe not! …what if “inspiration” is over rated? If you are like me, there are times when inspiration seems illusive, and you find yourself saying things like:

“I don’t know what to create”
“I’m out of ideas”
“I’m not inspired by anything”
“I don’t feel like creating”

That’s when an internal voice entices us to stop and wait for inspiration to arrive with a spark of creativity. I’ve experienced that… and sometimes I still have those feelings crop up. But, I’m learning to get to work in spite of them. Listen to what this well-known composer said:

“I’m inspired about every 5th day, but I only get to the 5th day when I show up on the other 4 days.”
~ Tchaikovsky

Inspiration comes to us as we are working. Crazy, isn’t it? It’s rare that inspiration arrives while we are waiting for it. We may have an idea we want to explore, but really, it is as we are working that inspiration truly comes to call. Does that seem surprising?

It comes in the nitty gritty, when we encounter unexpected snags that need a solution. Problems lead to new ideas and new approaches. It’s as we are creating that possibilities begin to flow. On the other hand, procrastination (or waiting for inspiration) usually results in unrealized creativity or unfinished work. What might have propelled us forward is delayed or derailed. (This applies to just about any area of life, doesn’t it?)

I’ve said it before, and I believe it every time I start a new work; Every painting (or sculpture or drawing or piece of music) is an act of faith ~ we are giving substance to what is unseen. I’m finding that by stepping into my creative work regardless of how inspired I may (or may not) feel, inspiration will usually follow!

It may not feel like much is happening for the first 4 days, but wow! exciting possibilities await on the 5th day! As it turns out, Inspiration is there waiting for us to show up!

Download my FREE Inspiration Tips pdf!  These are three things I use and that you can do right now that will invite inspiration!

©Helen C Read
Photo Credit: Jon Tyson


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Sunday, June 12, 2022

Lakeside Sunflower Landscape Painting


Lakeside Sunflowers
11x14" oil on canvas 

Visiting the Chicago Botanical Gardens, I was captured by the serenity of this lakeside scene.

Such profusion of color. It was as if each of these sunny flowers had turned their faces toward me nodding in the breeze.

Deep shadows contrasted with the sparkle of sunlight.  A reminder of the abundance and
delight of nature.

 For all the details & pricing on this painting, visit my website. 


Shown framed in a black matte wood frame - 3/4" across the face, 1.25" deep
Framed or unframed domestic shipping is included. 


Sunday, June 5, 2022

Wildflower Landscape in Progress

 Scroll down a bit and you'll see this same landscape done in watercolor.  Using the same reference photo, I'm now working in oil paint.  There are certainly differences because of the medium. 

Here's the progress so far!
It measures 11x14" on stretched canvas.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Waterside Wildflowers


Waterside Wildflowers,  5.5x7.5" watercolor on paper
matted in white for 8x10" frame. 

More information on this painting here!  

 Late last summer, I spent a day at the Chicago Botanical Gardens.  It is a beautiful acreage of plant life in all  shapes, sorts and sizes.
This little lake had a profusion of flowers growing wild along the edge.  I'm glad I snapped a photo, because it has come to life once again in watercolor!  

 Ready to ship and hang! 
There is an option for framing.  Check out the link above for all the details. 

Friday, May 13, 2022

St James Wood


At the end of a busy and somewhat stressful day, a sketchbook pen and ink landscape study is restful. I love the textures and values that can be found with this medium. St. James Wood ~  pen and ink on watercolor paper.  There's great value in getting thoughts and ideas out with sketchbook studies. 

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Eden's Dawn


Eden's Dawn, Abstract  18.25 x 24" oil on constructed canvas
©Helen Read 

unframed, painted around sides
(see images below)

 Link for all the information on this abstract painting. 


As this painting progressed, the abstraction began to look more and more like a garden to me; a beautifully vibrant and rather untamed garden.  I felt a sense of motion and a bubbling energetic life emerging.  Jewel tones insisted on their brilliance, greens required variegated variety, and an unexpected roiling of color began to unfold from above.  


No one knows, of course, what the imagination or hand of God brought into existence at the formation of the first garden. We can imagine, though.  Was it a tidy, orderly formal garden? Or was it something more wild and free, tumbling with abundance, extravagant in color, bursting with energetic life…. beautiful and good, yet untamed and filled with possibilities? 


This painting explores that question using color and brush stroke, with an unconventionally constructed canvas.  Experience an idea of Eden’s Dawn.


This painting is painted around the sides. No framing needed. The canvas is a constructed canvas, with unfinished edges and fraying becoming part of the composition. The canvas was primed and gessoed prior to painting. 


(Detail of the right side of the painting. Highly textured.)

(painted around all 4 sides. Painting is 1" deep)



Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Herrick Woods


Herrick Woods
7x5" - matted in white for 8x10" frame - Watercolor on paper |
shown in a solid wood frame w/cherry finish.
Ready to ship!

The woods holds a sense of wonder for me, particularly when the golden light of autumn filters through leaves just beginning to change.

Nearly every color of the rainbow can be seen for the eye that looks deeply.
This painting is an invitation into the beautiful, jewel tones of God's lovely creation as seen with wonder! 

See all the details on this painting right here!

Thursday, April 28, 2022

An Old Canvas - New Ideas

 Years ago, I stretched a canvas by piecing together pieces of canvas, priming it, and giving it several coats of gesso.  I wasn't completely sure where to go with it.  I added a few layers of thin paint and put it aside to think about.  

And it's sat, untouched, ever since. 

This week,  I picked it up again and have been working with a very expressionistic style to create something of interest, incorporating some of the interesting features of a pieced canvas.  

It's still evolving but there is something happening on this canvas now. 

It's still coming together.  I have a few more ideas before it is finalized.
It's been very freeing to work in this uncharted way,
listening as I go... sensing the direction.

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