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Friday, January 20, 2023

Distant Mist Watercolor

Distant Mist, watercolor on paper

(Shown framed in a solid wood frame w/cherry finish.)

To see all the info for this painting, please visit my website.

Winter doesn't mean snow everywhere!  In fact, this winter has been quite mild.
We usually have snow on the ground from late November until February or March.  Not this year! 

And there are some trees that don't shed their green leaves until spring.
In the case of this painting, it is live oak trees.  The rest of the woods is brown, the grasses are dry and brittle, but live oak trees remain green a little while longer.  

This painting depicts that chilly wintery mist that can descend in December and January.
It measures 5x7" and is matted to fit an 8x10" frame. 


Thursday, January 19, 2023

Working with Color


 Getting familiar with colors within a palette. 

An exercise to understand the characteristics of different colors within a color family.
Even though I have worked with color for decades, I continually have more to learn!
This is an exercise that brings more understanding to the variety of color within a single color family. 

Get more tips on painting and drawing:

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Along the Canal


Still drying on my easel, this painting is about to be completed.  It's been a journey outside my comfort zone, using a very intense color of rose for the underpainting.  Working with that undertone to provide warmth. but challenging to also give a sense of daylight waning.    

My inspiration/reference photo came from an early evening walk along a canal in Idaho.  It's interesting to me that much of farming there (not at all like here in the midwest where I live) is dependent on the canals along the fields to water and irrigate.  There was a pathway alongside, which really was a little bigger than a foot path.  

Color is an area where I'm exploring and growing artistically.  I've gotten a little bored with my very faithful to nature color use, and found that using brighter, more vibrant color is exciting to my eye.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Nest Eggs Giclee Prints

Now Available!

Beautiful Giclee prints with several options!  

I've had a number of requests for a print of this original oil painting, Nest Eggs. And now it is available in several sizes, with several options including sizes, print surface, framed or unframed.  Follow the links below for more information and pricing.

Giclee printing is state of the art professional printing done on archival surfaces with archival inks. The print has beautiful color and the texture of the surface creates a very close likeness to the original.  In fact, it may be difficult to tell that it is a print!  If the framed option is chosen, it will come ready to hang. If the unframed option is chosen, it will come ready to drop into your frame!
Prints are a wonderful way to add fine art to your home at a very affordable price, well below that of the original.

  • 8x10" printed on canvas, giving it the authentic texture of canvas.
    Framing option - solid wood (walnut) frame that measures 1.25" across the face
    Unframed option  - the canvas print is mounted on an art board and ready to drop into
    your own 8x10" frame
    See more here. 
  • 10x 12" printed on canvas, giving it the authentic texture of canvas
    Framing option - solid wood (walnut) frame that measures 1.25" across the face
    Unframed option  - the canvas print is mounted on an art board and ready to drop into
    your own 10x12" frame
    See more here.

  • 14x16" The image is 10x12" printed on canvas textured paper and matted in silver-gray for a 14x16" size frame.
    Framing option - 14x16" solid wood (walnut) frame that measures 1.25" across the face
    It also comes with premium acrylic glazing.
    Unframed option  - the canvas print is matted and has a light weight art board backing. It is ready to drop into your own 14x16" frame
    See more here.

    All pricing includes domestic shipping.  IL residents, please add 8% sales tax.

Friday, December 9, 2022

Winter Grandeur


 A Tiny Give Away Painting! 

Winter Splendor,  original painting!  Acrylic on a rigid canvas surface.
Just the thing to brighten our winter doldrums!  

In the first week of January, you'll get a colorful newsy note in your inbox with all the details about how to enter to win this little painting. 
It has a magnetic backing, so it can be attached to anything metal.  Or, it can be placed on a tiny easel (available at art supply and craft stores) to sit on a desk or shelf!  

If you haven't signed up for my 1x a month news note, it's easy to do! 
Every month I bring you a colorful look into my studio and what I'm working on.  You also get exclusive discounts, contests, and free art I make just for my friends.  It's all good fun and it's a great way to stay in touch and find out the latest from my side of the easel. 

Use the button below and you're signed up! 
(In the meantime until my January note is sent,
you'll get a welcome note from me with a FREE gift inside!) 

UPDATE:  This little painting has just winged its way to Georgia!


Yes! Let's Stay in Touch

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Site Wide Sale!


Just through Monday 11/28! 10% off all paintings and prints. Use the checkout code FRIDAY2022 at checkout! You'll receive beautiful art (domestic shipping is included), you'll be supporting a small business, and giving hope to trafficked girls (a percentage of all profits will be donated to that worthy cause!)

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Sold & Framed!


It's always delightful to send off a painting to it's new home.  And the framing just makes it that much more exciting!  I love the gold and black frame for this 10x10" painting.  It gives it a touch of Tuscany, I think!   I hope it brings colorful joy to its new home! 

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

October Blaze, Completed



October Blaze, 16x20" oil on canvas

Finished and dry. The beauty of fiery color against the prairie grasses and background trees not yet having turned their colors intrigued my artist's eye. Bring the brilliant colors of autumn into your home year round! 
It is painted around the sides, perfect for a floating frame. Visit here to find out more 

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

October Blaze

 October Came in a Blaze of Color! 

I've had a larger painting on my easel this month.  I'd like to say it just flowed off my brush, but honestly it didn't.  I know why... I've been pushing myself out of my comfort zone and it has been challenging.
I've been searching for new color harmonies, and new ways of applying the medium.  New expression, so this painting has been something of a journey. 

It's still drying, but this is a glimpse of how it has come to be. 

Preparations with sketches, thinking about colors with colored pencil. I did a small watercolor to get a sense of the colors I can envision. Is it pleasing? What am I trying to express?  Do these colors, though not exactly natural, read? 

 I like the juxtaposition of lavenders and golds with orange.  What colors do I need to use in oils?

Here, I'm deciding on a color palette (which, as it turns out, needed adjustment). 

A toned canvas and oil sketching large shapes
Then, I began laying in layers of color. 

Is this working?  I don't know - I'm having lots of second thoughts.  Again, being in uncharted territory (growth!), I find myself doubting everything. 

So, I am rethinking the palette - am I using the right colors that truly harmonize?  Do I need to make changes?  I did a quick and small oil study on canvas paper using some new colors - particularly changing my blue.  I think a few palette changes are going to be a good idea.  This tells me that what I'm envisioning IS possible.

This is the point when I have to just persevere. It feels like it may never come together.  

 I've decided to use a palette knife to create texture, and
I've worked on the foreground - using a smaller brush to create a sense of motion

I also realize I need to work on values (and color) in the tree. 
This shows more work on the foreground
and some changes in the sky
The sky is too monochromatic.  It needs to show some kind of value change, and I think at this point, a temperature adjustment near the tree line. 
So, I'll go a little toward green nearer the horizon and a little toward violet at the top of the canvas. I will also not blend it completely, allowing a hint of my brush work to show.

This is my stopping place as I wait for it to dry.  It has helped to take photos along the way, keep notes, and yes - I've prayed for direction and for understanding as I've proceeded into the unknown!

October Blaze, 16x20" oil on canvas

Friday, September 30, 2022

Sunflower Hedge

Sunflower Hedge, 6x12" oil on gesso panel 
©2022  Helen Read 

In September, Sunflowers adorn the edge of the woods - dancing and nodding in the breeze, 
turning their faces to the sunshine. 
This painting explores the use of warm colors placed next to cool colors.  

Shown with a frame

Framed or unframed, domestic shipping is included!

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Wayside Wonders



Wayside Wonders
7.5 x 5.5" watercolor on paper
©2022 Helen Read 

There are so many things to be seen and that inspire wonder...
Along the sidewalk, these wildflowers were waiting to be seen!
Phlox, oak, goldenrod, and more!

Matted in white for an 8x10" frame
More on this painting can be found here 




Tuesday, August 23, 2022

From the Garden

 Garden Party, 9 x 12" oil on panel 

These lovely coneflowers  were growing in my neighborhood. I've been wanting to paint them for several years.  Yesterday (and today) was the day! 

This painting has sold and is now in its new home in China! 

Monday, August 22, 2022

A Little Glimpse

 "Playing" in the studio is important... and I so easily forget to spend time doing just that.  Trying new things ~ no expectations.  Just seeing what might occur. 

It's good for the artist's spirit.  It's a way to subtly build skills. And it's a way to listen to the inaudible directives of art making. 

I'm not sure where this leads me - but watching colors mix and how they play off each other, watching the fluidity of the watercolor... it is captivating to my imagination.  

Friday, August 12, 2022

Lilies and Lace


Lilies and Lace,  8x8" oil on cradled panel
Painted around sides, so framing is optional.
© Helen Read 

This is exactly what is blooming in August along the sidewalk near my house... such a study in contrasts! Daylilies in their bright orange clothing next to the lacy details of Queen Anne's Lace. See more details here:

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