About the Artist
Helen grew up in Scotland and moved to Ontario, Canada as an adult. For many years she painted in watercolour, but she now works in acrylic in order to be able to paint at a larger scale.
Although Helen has painted most of her life, she is self taught, through online classes and in person workshops. As a life-long learner, she is always pushing herself to try new things and loves to experiment with new tools or techniques. Her paintings capture the wildness of the Ontario landscape, often using saturated colours and expressive marks made with palette knives and scraper tools.
Her work has won several awards in juried shows and can be found in private collections in Ontario, the UK and in the US.
My work is inspired by trips taken north of Toronto, exploring the Ontario landscape of lakes, rocks and trees. I take lots of photographs and do quick pen and wash sketches to use as reference material when I come back to my home studio. I love being out in nature and spending time hiking and kayaking. Painting is a way for me to bring my outdoor experiences back home with me.
I like to work intuitively when I start a painting and the underpainting will often have vibrant colours that may or may not end up in the final work. My paintings evolve through many layers of paint, keeping the final results fresh and loose to convey the unpredictable wildness of the Ontario landscape. I like to work on cradled wood panels which stand up to a lot of scraping and sanding. Most of the painting is done using tools other than brushes and one of my favourite tools is actually a bowl scraper!