She told us that for the last few years she had been painting street scenes and scenes of groups of people, all in a limited palette of neutral colours. She was selling well but galleries were asking for more of the same and she felt the need for a change. She felt like breaking free and using more colour. She was also inspired by a slogan she saw a sign at the Tate Modern: "Art Changes, We Change"
She ordered a lot of large canvases and bought acrylic paints in bright colours and started playing and experimenting with colour.
She started working through "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron and said it had been an amazing support to her. The writing of morning pages helps clear the issues that come to the fore and help free one to be creative.
She also dreamed of having a larger studio, and made a collage of pictures of studios.
She then heard of a studio which was available and it was very like the one she longed for.
Helen's advice is to let the painting lead one; to start painting, and see what happens, rather than having a set objective in mind. Don't judge it too soon. She now doesn't say anything is wrong, and any experimental colour work can be used as an underpainting.
Helen keeps an inspiration board in her studio and puts up things that make her happy. She also finds that collage assists her work, and cards of different images give her ideas.
She has been painting from a model a lot lately and incorporates her colour experiments into these works. She usually has several paintings on the go at the same time.
She has done an ASTAR workshop, www.astar.co.za and went on a course with American contemporary figurative painter Martin Campos when he visited South Africa. Other artists who inspire her are Helen Frankenthaler, Chris Waltney and Dan McCaw.
Helen ended with a quote by Robert Hodgins- see photo below.
Thank you Helen for inspiring us and giving us so many new ideas!
Below are all the entries brought along for our monthly challenge, which was "Green".