December 19, 2017

Packaged with Care

Packaged with Care, 12x16 oil

If you've ever had to get packages sent off in time for Christmas, you'll know that timing is crucial.  I always start with good intentions, but trying to wrap my head around shopping for Christmas gifts early is difficult.  Perhaps it's a Canadian thing, but I find it easier to get into the spirit of Christmas when  I have to bundle up with 3 or 4 layers of clothing, walk around streets and markets filled with other shoppers, carrying my thermal mug of foamy coffee, while armed with a big tote bag that gradually fills with special treats and gifts.  My point is, there are six days until Christmas and I'm heading to the post office today to send off the final few packages, surely to arrive well into the new year, (heavy sigh), and no real excuse. 

Have a wonderful Christmas, and thank you for following my artistic journey,
Helen :)


November 29, 2017

A Cinderella Story - Sold

A Cinderella Story, 18x24 oil

When I purchased this old chair, it was sitting outside a furniture store with a price tag tied to it, flapping in the wind.  To me the tag said 'save me'.  Although the chair was 'imperfect', all I saw were possibilities.

November 21, 2017

Anticipation - Sold

Anticipation, 12x12 oil

Guess what's inside the package?  I'm the worst person at Christmas time!  If there's a present under the tree for me, I will definitely try to peek into it.

October 31, 2017

Little Visitor - Sold

Little Visitor, 6x6 oil

Recently I've been seeing a few of these little birds flitting around my backyard.  They are quite tiny with very short tail feathers.  I looked them up, (of course), and found out that they're wrens.  Apparently bluejays prey on them, and there's a fairly large bluejay population around here.  I'm guessing the wrens are just visiting and will be moving on soon.

Coming up this weekend, November 4 and 5, is the Burlington Studio Tour.  If you're in the area come by and say 'hi'.  You can see all the artists and the map at    

October 20, 2017

Patience - Sold

Patience, 24x24 oil

I just finished this painting.  As I sit here trying to remember why I chose to paint this painting, my mother's face pops into my head.  I know that she waits for me (and my sisters), to call her rather than calling us.  Although I don't think of her as a crow or raven, more like a robin, (I love robins).  I like the look of the black bird on the black phone, creating one unit, one message... perhaps a reminder.

October 04, 2017

The House in the Middle - Sold

The House in the Middle, 6x12 oil

Saturday, September 30 was 'Culture Day' in Burlington.  I spent the afternoon with a few other artists painting en plein air in the neighbourhood behind the Art Gallery of Burlington.  It's always fun to paint amongst other artists and see how everyone interprets what they are seeing.

Today is exactly a month away until the Burlington Studio Tour, (November 4 & 5, 2017).  I will have new paintings available as well as my plein air paintings, (unframed and framed).  I love being a part of this tour, seeing familiar faces and meeting new ones.  You can see all the artists on the tour and view the map at      

September 26, 2017

Dappled Farm

Dappled Farm, 9x12 oil

Some of my favourite places to paint are farms.  Yesterday I painted at Myers Apple Farm.  Although the weather was extremely hot, finding a spot in the shade with a bit of a breeze made all the difference in the world, (and a bottle of water by my side).  

September 19, 2017

Sitting on the Line - Sold

Sitting on the Line, 5x5 oil

Now that it's mid September, I'm starting to think ahead towards my next show, (Art in Action Burlington Studio Tour).  I have a few small canvases and boards sitting in my studio waiting to be put to use.  So far I've done a few tiny paintings of chickadees doing birdlike things, (among other things).    

September 12, 2017

The Babbling Brook, Lowville Park - Sold

The Babbling Brook, Lowville Park, 8x8 oil

Yesterday I went out to paint in Lowville.  A pretty little village that is part of the city of Burlington.  The stream that runs through Lowville Park will soon have salmon travelling along it's meandering path, dotted with fishermen along the banks.  Yesterday you would have found artists dotted along it's banks, capturing the beauty of the day, no salmon yet.  

August 29, 2017

Ready for Chopping - Sold

Ready for Chopping, 12x12 oil

The end of summer is here!  I spent last week at a cottage that my family and I have gone to occasionally over the past 20 years.  I brought all my painting gear, thinking I would spend some time painting the beautiful scenery.  To my surprise, I only managed to do one painting, (not of the scenery).  I did manage to read a whole book, swim in the lake every day, and play some fun games with my family.

I'm spending this week getting ready for Labour Day Weekend.  I will have a tent set up at the Distillery in Toronto for 4 days! (Sept 1-4, 2017).  
Hope to see you there!  


August 15, 2017

Still Life - Sold

Still Life, 12x9 oil

I love this old black phone.  I had it sitting on a table for a little while, (in my house), and it seemed to make itself right at home.  At any moment it might have rang, or so it seemed.  Most of us have now opted for mini computers that we carry around in our pockets.  Is there still life in these charming phones or are they truly a thing of the past.

August 10, 2017

Love - Sold

Love, 14x11 oil

Here is another painting to add to my continuing theme of 'Salad Bling'.  I was washing a basket of a variety of fruit when this cherry and plum seemed to be instantly attracted to each other.  I think they make a great couple.

August 01, 2017

Little Sparrow - Sold

Little Sparrow, 6x6 oil

I've been trying to paint the different varieties of birds that have visited my backyard this summer.  The sparrows are the regulars.  They've been here ever since I put the first bird house up.  I think of them as my wild backyard pets.

July 25, 2017

Lemon Zing - Sold

Lemon Zing, 30x10 oil

When summertime rolls around and farmer's markets pop up everywhere, I can't help but be inspired by all the beautiful fruits and vegetables.  I've started a series of paintings with the theme called 'Salad Bling'.  

July 18, 2017

Rosy Red Radishes - Sold

Rosy Red Radishes, 24x12 oil

This painting was so much fun to paint!  I'm not a huge fan of radishes, but whether you eat them or not, radishes make a salad look amazing.  I like to think of them as salad bling.

July 11, 2017

Extra Large - Sold

Extra Large, 6x8 oil

There's a big old tree in my backyard that I have hung bird feeders and bird houses on.    Every morning I love to sit on my back porch, (now that summer is finally here), drinking coffee,  watching the birds come and go.  

July 06, 2017

Standing Alone

Standing Alone, 6x12 oil

I was inspired by this flower to play with colours.  I've kept all the colours fairly intense, resulting in a painting that has turned out to be quite graphic.  

June 27, 2017

Fresh Strawberries

Fresh Strawberries, 6x6 oil

There is nothing like the juicy sweetness of fresh picked strawberries.  Unfortunately they only last long enough to paint one small painting before they disappear, (into someone's belly, yum!).

June 23, 2017

Roadside Parking

Roadside Parking, 12x9 oil

June 15-18 was the first annual Parrsboro International Plein Air Festival.  Parrsboro is a friendly little seaside town on the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia.  I was one of the 35 artists painting in this juried event.  We had specific boundaries to paint within every day.  Our blank canvases/boards were stamped on the back at the beginning of the event, (to be sure that everyone started with a blank 'canvas').    

This painting, 'Roadside Parking', is the first painting that I did.  It was a beautiful sunny day.  I managed to get two paintings done on the first day.        

June 06, 2017

The Last Peony

The Last Peony, 9x12 oil

The local Farmer's Market has started up this month.  Two weeks ago there were only a few stalls selling goods.  One selling mainly rhubarb, another last year's apples, and of course the one selling flowers.  Although my garden is full of flowers, my peonies are not even close to blooming.  I picked up a small bouquet of peonies, thinking how nice it would be to paint.  Time got away from me and now I only have one left, which won't last very much longer.

May 30, 2017

My Lemon Bowl - Sold

My Lemon Bowl, 12x12 oil

There are so many uses for lemons, so I know buying a few to sit on the counter as decoration will not go to waste.  Of course, since I have this beautiful still life, I can't help but paint it.    

May 23, 2017

Vine Ripened

Vine Ripened, 6x12 oil

There is nothing like a fresh off the vine tomato.  Although the tomato in the painting was store bought, I purchased my first tomato plant of the season yesterday.  I'm the only one at home who likes tomatoes, so one plant will probably do.    

May 16, 2017

Tulips on the Table

Tulips on the Table, 14x14 oil

Tulips are in bloom everywhere!  Although short-lived, their beautiful burst of colour enlivens the spirit, reminding us a new season of warmth and sunshine is on its way.

May 09, 2017

The Nap - Sold

The Nap, 36x24 oil

I have been avoiding posting this painting partly because I've been so busy getting ready for my current show, (Signs of Life), but mainly because I'm not sure what I should write.  Each painting that I do has many layers of thought about what I want to convey, but to have to put those thoughts into words is the tough part.  So I've decided not to write about this painting and tell you about my show instead.

Signs of Life is about how we go about our day leaving a trail behind us of what we did... a cup or book left on the table, laundry on the line, a toy on the floor etc.  I think it is a fitting theme for 'Mother's Day Month'.

April 18, 2017

The Extended Conversation - Sold

The Extended Conversation, 24x36 oil

Did you need to use the phone?  Almost everyone I know now has their own personal phone.  I remember when the one phone in the house was a constant source of frustration, especially when you were waiting for a call.  

April 11, 2017

Invitation to 'Signs of Life'

The date of my show and the opening have been finalized, and here is the invitation.  I'm working on a couple of final pieces and am really looking forward to this show!  I can't believe my last solo show was in 2013!

The artwork in the invitation is called 'Hanging Out Together', (48x24 oil).  

April 05, 2017


Parked, 18x36 oil

Spring is here! (in some parts of Canada).  I've noticed my garden has started to wake up, but I haven't seen very many bicycles on the roads yet.

March 20, 2017

Unmaking - Sold

Unmaking, oil 36x30 

Currently I am working towards a show I'm having in May.  I think it'll be called 'Signs of Life'.  At least that's my theme that I always seem to be painting about.  It's about what we leave behind when we leave a room.  Those small things that most of us may be completely unaware of, or perhaps just don't care to think about.  The unmade bed, the orange peel left on the table, cup on the floor by the chair etc.  I chose the month of May because of Mother's Day.  As any mother would know,  these small things are what become the unmaking of a house, (or is it the making of a home, I'm not sure).  The show will be in May at the Fireside Lounge, Art Gallery of Burlington.  I'm hoping to have an opening reception, but I won't know the date until April sometime.  

March 13, 2017

Watercolour Paintings

The past few weeks have been busy ones.  I have three paintings on the go, I've just finished teaching beginner watercolour and intermediate botanical watercolour classes and I'm just getting over a cold, (I could have done without catching the cold).  I loved teaching the classes.  I know that some of the beginner students had never painted in their lives and really struggled, but in the end they were creating their own paintings.  Above are a few samples of watercolour paintings I did to use as demonstrations in the classes.  

January 31, 2017

January Paintings

This first month of 2017 has been a busy one!  I attempted to do a painting a day, the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge, but I didn't quite make it.  So here is my collage of 23 paintings in 30 days. 
The paintings with a red dot have been sold.  

January 27, 2017

Botanical Berries

Botanical Berries, 6x6 oil

These red berries tend to be found in flower arrangements quite often.  I picked them up specifically to use as reference in the watercolour painting class that I'm teaching.  In fact, my studio has all sorts of flowers in it at the moment...all for research purposes of course.  I was looking at a book containing botanical paintings of the past, and they all seem to have pale tea coloured backgrounds, probably because the paper that the paintings were on dulled over time.

January 26, 2017

Dressing the Table - Sold

Dressing the Table, 6x12 oil

This painting was mostly done a while back, but needed a few minor tweaks.  I really like the looseness of the brush strokes.

January 25, 2017

Pack o'Pears

Pack o'Pears, 10x8 oil

Yes, my theme this month is 'things in my studio'.  No, these pears are not normally in my studio, although they were in my studio while I was painting them.  I'm bending the rules a bit, but I really felt like painting these pears.

January 24, 2017

Milk, Cream or Soy

Milk, Cream or Soy, 12x6 oil

I am posting this painting, but I think I will eventually work on it a little bit more.  I'm thinking of perhaps adding a flower, or a spoon, (needs more thought).  I'd say this is a work in progress.

January 23, 2017

One of a Kind

One of a Kind, 8x8 oil

It doesn't matter how many flowers I paint, I find it amazing that even within the same plant there is something unique and different about each flower.

January 22, 2017

On the Menu Today - Sold

On the Menu Today, 9x12 oil

Since my theme this month is 'things in my studio', I thought painting these acorns with this dessert bowl would make an interesting combination.

I've noticed that my paintings have been getting fairly tight, so with this one and yesterday's painting I've tried to force myself to be looser by using a larger brush and painting the impression of what I see rather than worrying about exact details.

January 21, 2017

Crazy Skates

Crazy Skates, 12x6 oil

These are an old pair of roller skates that I had as a child.  I call them crazy skates because although I loved them, they also terrified me.  They have no brakes!  I learned to skate by keeping one hand on a wall while carefully rolling one foot in front of the other.  Eventually I was skating up and down the sidewalk, with no disastrous mishaps.  When my kids were ready to learn to roller skate they had the whole ensemble:  roller blades with brakes, wrist and knee protectors as well as helmets.  A different world!  

January 17, 2017

Good Morning - Sold

Good Morning, 6x8 oil

Although it isn't morning anymore, the way this flower is leaning and reaching for the light makes me think of a bright sunny morning, especially on a dreary day such as today.  This is painting number 17 of this month.

January 16, 2017


Smile, 6x6 oil

This old Brownie Bullet camera was what my parents used to take photos of my sisters and I when we were babies.  All black and white photos of course.  When I was in my mid teens I asked if I could have the camera.  I loved it, and took photos with this camera until I couldn't get the film for it anymore.  

January 15, 2017

Unplugged - Sold

Unplugged, 8x24 oil

I had absolutely no idea what I was going to paint today.  I started to play with this iron.  One of the things I find interesting about it is the cloth covered wire, so, it made sense to make that the feature in the painting.

Here is an 'I remember when' story:  This iron was my mom's way back when I was a kid.  When I was about 14 years old I was ironing something with it.  I noticed some of the wires were exposed, where the cord attaches to the iron at it's base.  Well there must have been a loose connection and the wire sparked, the material of the ironing board caught on fire.  I calmly unplugged the iron and stamped out the flame with it.  When I was sure the fire was completely out I went upstairs to tell my parents that I think it's time to get a new iron, and told them what had happened.  I have never ever, in my whole life, seen my father move so fast, as he ran downstairs to the basement, (despite my assurances that I took care of it).  My mom got a new iron, and my dad replaced the wire of this old iron and kept it as a spare.

January 14, 2017

Three for Me - Sold

Three for Me, 6x8 oil

My theme for the challenge this month is 'things in my studio'.  I have a little box of these incredibly stale macaron cookies.  Not a great thing to say if I was selling cookies.  Luckily you can't taste a painting.  The ones in my painting look as fresh as the day I brought them home.

January 13, 2017

I'm not Here - Sold

I'm not Here, 12x12 oil

On this Friday the 13th, I chose to paint this classic black phone.  I was texting with my daughter this morning, a method we often use to communicate.  We can carry on a text conversation while doing other things.  I would type a note in between brush strokes, while she is in class doing what ever she's doing there, probably painting too, since she's in art college.  Quite a different way of communicating than when this old black phone was new.      

January 12, 2017

The Budding Artist

The Budding Artist, 6x8 oil

Well here is painting number 12!  I've noticed something that needs work in this painting but I'm posting it anyway.  Can you see what it is?  A work in progress.

January 11, 2017

Hand-me-downs - Sold

Hand-me-downs, 12x12 oil

Anyone with an older sibling will know the term 'hand-me-down' quite well.  I was always getting my sisters skates, and my younger sister got mine.   It made perfect sense.  In fact when I finally did get my own brand new pair of skates, I found them extremely uncomfortable, they hadn't been worn in by my sister first.

January 10, 2017

Marbles and Glass Jars - Sold

Marbles and Glass Jars, 10x12 oil

I thoroughly enjoyed creating this painting, but it took so much longer than I had planned.  This is painting number 10.