“I find that I have painted my life - things happening in my life - without knowing.”. - Georgia O'Keeffe
It isn’t critically important to be able to explain yourself, that is, the details of how you do what you do, particularly at the pinnacles of greatness. Many great artists died without ever having the opportunity to explain their work. Baseball's greatest hitters weren’t required to relate with eloquence the details of their anticipation of a pitch, their vision and their swing. Their art, their swing is all the language they need. Picasso also said “I paint things as I think them, not as I see them.” That place, in sports and other places has a great name, its called “in the zone.”
Helen Read’s pursuit of art began in college as she majored in Fine Art at Wheaton College, then applied her eye for art in advertising, until the twists and turns of life demanded more from her. She responded by working to obtain her masters in order to teach multiple art forms at a Chicago area public high school where it is of critical importance that she communicates clearly the rudimentary skills of media in art. But she also operates her own art studio.
Even a Wikipedian glimpse into the biography of most artists will reveal the artist as part of a community. Throughout history, artists have gathered to create community, famously with Picasso heading to Madrid for formal training and its influences, then on to Paris, for something though less formal, significantly more influential. Before Picasso was Bohemianism, which started in the 19th century in Europe, then headed west to the U.S.
Surfing the surface of Helen Read’s artistic community requires a more digital language, as she nurtures connections with people who enjoy visual art through several avenues, including blogging to share her latest work, social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter), her own website and a growing email list permitting her to keep in frequent touch with her art friends.
Her own art sales are primarily through her online sites and by word of mouth. “I belong to several online juried galleries and keep my own sites current and interesting. I have done local exhibits of my paintings, as well. My work resides in private collections across the country. Its a rather fluid and interesting era in which we, as artists, now live, connecting around the world with the availability of the internet. I'm always learning more about how to do that well."
She straightforwardly calls art a visual language and through it “I speak about the world around me, my thoughts and ideas, and my faith.” Scanning her web site reveals evocative landscapes (have I been there?), still lifes of beautiful botanicals and delicious fruits, florals with influences of Georgia O’Keeffe, and bold, vivid, geometric abstracts that, if you permit them, will take your mind and spirit into an imaginative spot you thought you’d left behind somewhere you don’t even know. Helen completes the thought: “Art reflects (either consciously or subconsciously) what life is all about.”