Helen has been painting this new Garden Series to music, painting the subject matter that she sees before her, the landscape that surrounds her.
As the pandemic hit, it coincided with her having her first garden. Looking back over the past few years, it seemed that much what was important was out there - small flowers, birds, insects, all surviving and thriving year after year, sprouting new buds and hatching, the cycle of life happening before her eyes. Helen spent a lot of time studying them, filming and photographing them, studying behaviours of birds, listening to their calls, redirecting and rehydrating the insects, bees and birds that had run into trouble. Alone in her garden she felt truly immersed in this silent and busy world especially in the absence of people. Tiny things became very large in her life and this subject matter started to spill over into her paintings at the same time.\
The Garden is a loose term as the inspiration in reality is a vast wild space, overgrown, and used as an extension of a field for grazing cows. Within this landscape there is woodland, even an orchard. The word garden implies a smaller more contained space but this area is wild and untamed at times, a constant source of inspiration.
Helen was struck by this magical overgrown garden with bindweed coiling round the roses, in fact all the stuff happening in her Blind Man’s Buff series is happening in these new paintings of nature fighting for sun. The Celandine paintings came from seeing what looked like metal glinting from afar and when she went up close she realised it was the flowers shouting for attention. As well as the flowers, birds in the garden were also putting on a display for attention. She painted these in what she calls her poster series on cardboard, as she liked the idea of them being posters sending out their messages. There are also elements of wallpaper incorporated into the work inspired by fragments she found in the house from times gone by. In this poster series the three dimensional view she sees becomes flattened and, as in all her work, she incorporates elements of abstraction and mark making.
Helen likes working on different media - for the large Golden Daisy painting she worked on the canvas unstretched against the wall, enjoying the hard surface beneath that allowed her to really scratch into it and be a lot less precious, introducing new materials into the paintings too, with pencils and chalks. She even incorporates real flowers into this work which is a natural continuation from her past Spring Series where the flowers were painted in a flat form as if pressed in a book. By introducing real flowers there is this sense of preserving time, capturing a moment in time forever.
You can unsubscribe or change your preferences at any time by clicking the link in our emails.