Helene English

by Dana Kester-McCabe

Helene English works from the reality she observes and then projects her own abstraction and stylization on to the subjects she paints which includes the tugboats that pass by her house on the Wicomico River, carousel animals, and humorous dog scenes.

Painter Helene English never considered a career in art until as student at Syracuse University she became disenchanted with her major and took some art classes to try something different.

The colors in Helene's paintings might be described as true. The greens are green and the reds are red, and contrary to many contemporary colorists, she is does not shy away from using black.

Helene begins each painting with a photograph. In her words she does not "make things up in her head". She works from the reality she observes and then projects her own abstraction on the image.

Lately Helene has been concentrating mostly on boats and dogs in her work. Both create interesting shapes to design with. The boats she considers more serious. Dogs are purely for fun as they make for comical compositions.

For a number of years Helene and her husband ran a boutique greeting card and stationery company called Fresh Local Cards.

Helene has also supplemented her artist's income by serving as an adjunct professor at both the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and Salisbury University.

Helene's work is represented at Bishops' Stock gallery in Snow Hill and she will have a show at the Ocean City Center for the Arts in July 2014.