My artistic inspiration

The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.” Pablo Picasso 

I am often asked about the inspiration behind my work so I thought I’d share a little of my thought processes and artistic processes.

At the moment much of my work is abstract. I’ve recently done a series of pieces that translates positive emotions and feelings into paintings. I’ll start with an emotion in mind and think about how I would represent that. For example, contentment, what colours portray that feeling, what rhythm, what pattern? So sometimes I have a very clear idea of the intention of the piece but not necessarily how it will develop.

Contentment by Helen Wells

Contentment by Helen Wells

Often I work instinctively and intuitively with no clear idea of end result. I love to respond to the process and materials as I go along. How the paint mixes with the water on the paper, how one colour comes alive sitting next to another, how brush strokes work on the paper. My work often includes multiple layers and I will keep coming back to a painting responding to what is already on the paper, adding more layers of complexity and detail. I have a definite style of mark making which appears in most of my pieces, there is rhythm to my line making, obsessive, repetitive, flowing. It is so instinctive, just like handwriting, I guess it’s just the way by eye and hand respond to each other.

Work in Progress, Helen Wells

Work in Progress, Helen Wells

I’m fascinated by anything with a pattern in nature and more widely. I’ll frequently have a little love affair with a type of pattern; from snow flake structures, to patterns on shells, antique Indian textiles, or bird feathers or butterfly wings, or the patterns on maps… I also have some magpie tendencies and am rather drawn to the glittering and glinting, iridescent or luminous…

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Feathers on a cockerel

Feathers on a cockerel

I am extremely lucky to live and work in a house, which over looks the sea. I wake up to the sea and go to bed looking at the sea. The beauty, drama and majesty of water permeates into much of my work. I often start the day with a walk on the beach and often feel very inspired by what I see…the way the light shines on the water, the way the water creates patterns in the sand, the colours of the stones against each other.

St Leonards on Sea, Helen Wells

St Leonards on Sea, Helen Wells

I love to use watercolour paint. There is something about its unpredictability and the way it merges and mixes with water on the paper which I find fascinating. I also value the transparency of the medium, the way you can build up complex layers, and still see what lies underneath. I frequently mix mediums. At the moment I am in love with white ink and an old fashion tip pen. I find it can create a distinctive layer, which gives the illusion of looking through.

The Connected Planet Series: Space by Helen Wells

The Connected Planet Series: Space by Helen Wells

 

Autumn Water by Helen Wells

Autumn Water by Helen Wells

A New Day by Helen Wells

A New Day by Helen Wells

Autumn Air by Helen Wells

Autumn Air by Helen Wells

Between Day and Night by Helen Wells

 

One thought on “My artistic inspiration”

  1. Richard Grosse
     ·  Reply

    Nice site and great insight into your work – love it!

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