Watercolor on Canson Watercolor Board
by jojo sabalvaro tan
|Detail of Firebird Head|
|One of Helena's paintings|
Helena taught me to let loose and be bold with color. The very first thing we did was splashed color all over the watercolor board, mixing them up by having them flow into each other right on the board. I could not visualize how this would come out as a coherent painting, but she assured me it would. As we were painting, we discussed psychology in life and art. She had a sort of new age approach to both. Going with the flow, she showed me how nuances in the paint flow can lead to unique design elements in the painting, organic shapes that take form.
I have yet to get used to this kind of approach to painting. I am sure it takes years of honing one's instinct to pull it off. It is definitely freeing, even though you can not tell by Helena's finished paintings. If one did not know, you would think that each and every brushstroke on her paintings was meticulously and painstakingly planned, It is certainly time-consuming. Her process is actually more intuitive and free-flowing yet looks very complicated. A mark of a master artist.
Her paintings are spectacular. She is a great teacher and person and I was lucky to be mentored by her. I feel flattered that she thought enough of my talent to invite me to paint with her plein aire or at her studio.
For more information on Helena Nelson-Reed and her work, please visit http://www.helenanelsonreed.com.