Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010 In Review!

Here are just a few of the year's studio works ....  some of my personal favorites!   2010, in spite of the economic down turn, has really been a good year!   Not necessarily in the way we think of "good" - but in the bigger picture, it has been.   I've continued to work in my studio.  I've continued to post to my blog ....  all of this while taking 11 hours of graduate work, working full time as a high school teacher, and finding time to be a parent, friend, daughter, etc.   

There have certainly been difficult moments in 2010.  My dad passed away about 8 months ago.  My family is in a state of change with children becoming more independent.  Changes in the world of public school teaching have also altered a lot in the work place.  The economy has impacted every artist I know.  And of course, life can just be demanding! 

However - in spite of that - there has been much good as well!   I've completed 33 works of art and worked on a few more that are still in process.  I've had time to consider my goals and plans and purposes in what I'm doing.  I've spent quality time with family and close friends across the country.  I've seen new places and been inspired by new ideas.  And most importantly, I've been held securely in God's good hands.  That's been a huge comfort in uncertain times!   

So, here's to a good 2010 .... and looking ahead to new and exciting adventures in 2011!   In this new year, may we choose to walk in closeness to the God who loves each of us dearly. 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Southern Exposure

Boone Hall Lawn,  8 x 10" Acrylic on canvas 
©2010, Helen Read 

Private Collection 

Friday, December 24, 2010


Wrapped,  9 x 12" colored pencil on black paper
©2010, Helen Read 

Merry Christmas!   As I've been working along on this one,  the idea of being wrapped and Christmas and gifts has all come together in a few Christmas-y thoughts!  The very best gift of all time came "wrapped" in the form of a tiny newborn.  The wrapping was lovely, no doubt, as all newborns are in their newness of life!   However, this particular gift - given a little more than 2000 years ago, was delivered into this world, a gift from our heavenly Father - Almighty God.  In this wrapping was his own son!   Out of the unspeakable beauty of heaven, Jesus came in humility to this world for the purpose of rescuing us from the grip of darkness!  A gift freely given.  A gift for all who would simply believe that His ultimate sacrifice was enough to shatter the grip of the spiritual and eternal death that has stalked each one of us and holds us captive.   

What motivated this kind of entry into our history and into our realm?  His love.  Pure and simple, it was the immeasurable love of God and the same love of Jesus that brought him to us, to live among us, to make a way for us to live with him forever.... if we so choose!  

What a gift!  Our rescuer came for us before we even knew we needed to be rescued!  That gift came wrapped as a newborn baby, was announced to shepherds by angels, and worshiped by wise men who followed an unusual star miles and miles.  This same Jesus is still worshiped today - King of all kings.  Lord of all lords.  Mighty God.    Our Immanuel ~ God living among us!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Whimsical Cat Note Cards ~ great gift idea!

Cat Note Cards -  A great gift idea!  

Set of 8 (4 designs) w/envelopes
blank inside
($3.00 shipping in US - IL Residents please add 8.25% sales tax)

Please note - for multiple prints going to the same address,
shipping cost adjustments will be made in the form of a refund based on actual costs of shipping.

Great idea for a stocking stuffer, or for that person on your list who enjoys the craziness of cats! 

To see other note cards from my studio, please click here. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Candy Drawings

These are actually examples for my high school students
as they begin to use colored pencil to do a still life drawing. 
These are colored pencil on black paper.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

November Tree

November Tree, 8 x 6" Oil pastel on paper 
©2010, Helen Read 
matted in white and ready to frame

Monday, November 8, 2010

Fruits of the Spirit Note Cards

Set of 8 (4 designs) note cards with envelopes
©Helen Read 
A Great Gift Idea!
These cards measure 5.5 x 4.25" and feature the
Fruits of the Spirit from Scripture with the
A Tree is Known by its Fruit.
The fruit paintings are Helen's original art work.
($3.00 shipping in US - IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax)

Please note - for multiple prints going to the same address,
shipping cost adjustments will be made in the form of a refund based on actual costs of shipping.

Please click here to see other notecards featuring my artwork,
including whimsical cats, whimsical birds, strawberries and hearts,
sea shells, and flowers!

For more information on my work, please visit my blog:

Helen Read - The Studio Upstairs
Wheaton, IL - United States

Monday, November 1, 2010

Old Favorites - November Gathering by Helen Read

November Gathering,  8x8" Oil on canvas
©2007, Helen Read 

Happy November!  Its hard to believe we are at this point in autumn! 

For more information on this small painting, please click here. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Free Gift with purchase of Kitchen Art - Oct & Nov

A selection of available small kitchen art paintings

For the months of October and November, with each purchase of a small kitchen art painting, receive a Free Gift!   That's right!  The free gift is a print (see below) of a bird's nest with 3 blue eggs.  It is matted and ready to frame, measuring 8x10" (outside dimension of the mat).  This free gift applies to any small painting that has the subject matter of food!  

Please visit my website to see which paintings are available!  

Nest Eggs, 5x7" print, matted in 8x10" mat, 
ready to frame.

For more information on my work, please

Helen Read - The Studio Upstairs
Wheaton, IL - United States

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Something New!! Silent Auction now through Oct 30, 2010

Hollyhock Stalks,  8x8" Oil on canvas
©2008, Helen Read 
Framing is optional - deep canvas is painted around the sides

Starting bid $20.00
 (Plus $12.00 shipping in the US, IL residents must add 8.25% to the final value for sales tax.)
 Here is how it works.  Email me your bid.   I will update the current bid everyday.  Check my blog or website daily where it will be easy to follow what the most current bid is.  Please update bidding in even dollar increments.  Bidding will be finished on 10/30/2010.  Payment will be accepted through Paypal and shipment will be made by USPS.  

Now is a great opportunity to own an original oil painting ~ a beautiful rendition of
an old fashioned flower - the hollyhock. 
Place your bid today!  Check back soon!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Small Watercolor Paintings - all under $20.00!

Here is a great opportunity to own an original watercolor/mixed media painting for
under  $20.00!

(plus small additional shipping charge)

Each of these is hand painted, dated and signed.
Each is ready to mat and frame and hang in your home! 
What a great gift idea ... for yourself or
for someone you know! 

For more information on each of these, please visit my Etsy site. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Marigolds in a Bottle

Marigolds in a Bottle,  7 x 5" Oil on canvas 
©2010, Helen Read 
ready to frame 

For more information or purchase link for this painting, 

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Summer Floral

Summer Floral,  8x8" Oil on canvas
©2010, Helen Read 

For more information on this particular painting, please click here.

Monday, August 30, 2010

I'm most honored!

I have been honored twice today!   I have been featured in an article in the Dallas Examiner. I hope you'll take a moment to read it!   The article speaks of art as a way of life and a way of communication.   It gives great perspective to art and life; finding balance while still continuing to create and explore!   

Also, a fellow artist who I've gotten to "know" from a distance through blogging has been kind enough to write about my work on her blog.  Please visit Julia's blog, read her comments and take a look at her inspiring work as well! 

Thank you!  I'm quite honored!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Free Sunflower Painting ~ going to Miami, FL!!

Congratulations to Maria, the WINNER of my "small painting giveaway"!    I'll be sending this with it's small easel off to Miami, Florida where it will have a new home.    Maria joined my email list, which is easy to do!   From time to time, I have contests and drawing for those who are on my list.
There will be something new and fun in the future ~  now is a great time to join us! 

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Your email address is completely secure.  It is never shared or sold.  You will receive periodic (approximately once every week to 10 days) with news updates from my studio, previews of the latest work, and notifications of contests, drawings, special offers, and other fun things! 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Summer Rerun - Undulation 2

Undulation 2,  20 x 20"  Oil on Canvas 
©2008,  Helen Read 
Ready to frame 

Please email me for more information on this painting

This is one of my favorites!   I love the abstract qualities found when botanical subjects are
magnified.  This is created from a photo I took of  canna leaves just opening.
The shadows and color were spectacular! 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Summer Rerun - Pasture, Rainclouds Gathering

Pasture, Rainclouds Gathering - 6x8" Oil pastel on paper
©2009, Helen Read
For more information  about this small pastel painting, 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Summer Rerun! Old Barn ~ what remains.

What Remains, 9 x 12" Oil on Canvas
©2009, Helen C.Read
$275.00 - Ready to frame
($15.00 shipping in US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Summer Rerun! Dill-icious!

Dill-icious!   6x6" Acrylic on Canvas
©2008, Helen Read

While busy with family this week, I'm posting a few reruns of some of my past favorites!  
 This one stands out to me because of its very unusual point of view, and 
of course its interesting colors!  

It was a lot of fun to do! 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Autumn's Glory

Autumn's Glory,  10 x 8" Acrylic on canvas
©2010, Helen Read
ready to frame

For more information on the availability of this painting, please click here.

This painting is one of 4 abstracts that depict the 4 seasons

The 4 Seasons - Each of these 4 paintings measure 10 x 8", acrylic on canvas
©2010, Helen Read
ready to frame
Top Left - Spring Arrives!
Top Right - Summer in Color
Bottom Left - Autumn's Glory
Bottom Right - Echoes of Winter

(click on the links above to see the individual paintings)

For information on a discount on the purchase of the set of 4, please click here.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Win this FREE small painting in my summer give away!

Mini Sunflower, 3 x 3" Acrylic on canvas
©2010, Helen Read

As it appears on its easel.

Here is the SUMMER Give-away! That's right .... I'm giving it away in my summer contest studio contest! You can be the winner in my drawing to win the painting and its small easel. Its easy to participate!

Here are the simple rules:
1. You must be a member of my mailing list - which is every easy to sign up on the right side of the blog. My mailing list is secure and never will be sold or shared. Your privacy is respected and guarded!
When you sign up, email me and tell me you have signed up for my list. That puts your name in the drawing!

or if you already are on my mailing list, you can participate by:

2. Get a friend to sign up for my mailing list. (You can sign them up only if you obtain their permission!) Then, email me and let me know your friend's name and email address and yours. Both names and addresses will go into the drawing!

Oh ... if you have multiple friends (I hope you do) that would like to be on my mailing list, please send them all - your name will be entered multiple times!

3. The drawing will be held on August 15th. Then the painting will be mailed to you!

Simple! huh??

The painting is acrylic on a small canvas (3 x 3"), and it will come with its small easel. It is signed on the side. Perfect to sit on a small book shelf or the corner of a desk top!

One more thing about my mailing list! You will get emails from me several times a month. I am trying to send a longer newsletter several times a year with news and interesting art info and happenings, plus news from my studio. Other emails are short and informative about my work, gifts, drawings, etc. You will not be inundated with stuff in your in box!

Hope to hear from you!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Summer Newsletter w/Free Offer

I've just sent out my July Newsletter!
Enter to win a

Read the letter, there's lots of fun information!
Click here!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Snowy Egret

Knee Deep - Snowy Egret, 7 x 11.5" watercolor/acrylic on paper
©2010, Helen Read
Matted in white and ready to frame in 11x14" frame
($12.00 shipping in US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Three Longnecked Pears

Three Longnecked Pears, 8x10" Oil on canvas
©2010, Helen Read
Ready to frame

For information on the purchase of this painting,
please click here.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Kitchen Still Life! 3 paintings by Helen Read

Oh Look! Time is running out!
The auction will be finished on
Wednesday, June 23 about mid day!

See images and links in the posting below!

Its not too late to hang one of these small original paintings in your kitchen or dining room!
The perfect solution for that small space that needs a spot of color!

Friday, June 18, 2010

June Auction - 3 kitchen paintings!

Only through June 23
3 small original oil paintings by auction!
Starting bid on each is $20.00
Bidding is finished on June 23 - mid day.

Do you have a small space in your kitchen or dining room that needs a spot of color?
Do you know someone who would love a painting as a gift?
This is a great opportunity to own an original oil painting!

3 Lemons - 6x6" Oil on canvas
Tiger striped pumpkins - 5 x 7" Oil on canvas
Red Velvet Cupcake - 5x5" Oil on canvas

Please click on each link above to watch the progress or make a bid!

all paintings are unframed
IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax to final bid

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Coming Soon! Auction!!

Red Velvet (pictured here with the suggestion of a frame)
5x5" Oil on canvas - ready to frame
©2008, Helen Read

3 Lemons (pictured here with the suggestion of a frame)
6x6" Oil on canvas - ready to frame
©2008, Helen Read

Tiger Striped Pumpkins (pictured here with the suggestion of a frame)
5 x 7" Oil on canvas - ready to frame
©2007, Helen Read

I have a few too many of my old paintings sitting here. So, I'm announcing several auctions to begin very soon! These 3 will be first! There's a theme here - small paintings that would look great in your kitchen or dining room! They are original, oil on canvas - and are ready to frame.
The great thing about an auction is that the prices start very low, at a fraction of what this size painting usually sells. The end price is never a certainty ... but there's the possibility that you can buy an original painting for very little. I hope you'll participate!

Its not too early to start thinking of that perfect gift for Christmas giving! And you can be quite sure that the hard-to-buy-for person on your list doesn't already have this! These are 1 of a kind, and will always be that!

Stay tuned!! The auction will begin in a few days!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

It's Time to Join My Email List!!

The Latest Give Away from my Studio!

This week, I gave away 12 small prints of a Japanese Iris! The offer I made was very simple. It was sent to everyone on my email list ~ for the first 12 responders I will send a free small print of the flower above. Nothing more! It was only offered to those who are on my mailing list, and of course I am encouraging anyone, everyone, to invite their friends to join us! So, this small print give away is over, but there will be more things coming soon!

So today, I'm sending these little prints from Nova Scotia to Hawaii!! As a way of saying thank you for being interested and watching the work that comes from my studio! I like to do these kinds of things from time to time. Its fun for me and I think its fun for those who participate!

So, if you are here reading this blog - maybe its time to join us!? Its easy. Just go to the box at the right of my blog and put your email address in. You will hear from me, though I will not flood your inbox. I will send updates on news from my studio, previews of my work, and occasional drawings and contests with give aways and fun ways to interact from afar!
And just so you know, your information is held it tightest confidence - it is never shared!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Echoes of Winter

Echoes of Winter, 10 x 8" Acrylic on canvas
©2010, Helen Read
Ready to Frame

for more information or a purchase link for this painting, please click here
and also see a companion painting, "Spring Arrives" by clicking here.