A 25 year resident of rural Morton County, North Dakota, Helen often works on location. She has always loved the relation of art and a life lived close to the land. Along with some works of a more abstract nature, she chooses to use plein air painting as a way to emphasize connection with the land. Art and life can be as close as a painting needing to be executed quickly because of wind, cold, heat, and the changes of shape and color as sun and clouds move. She feels a work is most successful when the colors, textures, and composition fit the overall mood and subject. Working in acrylic with layering and gestural brush strokes, using her palette knife to apply paint or scrape and scratch, and sometimes incorporating objects she attaches to the canvas, Helen's goal is for the paintings to reflect a little of the character of the northern great plains, and by implication, the stamina and grit needed by those who reside here. This is a country of beauty, of big skies, of rolling fields, buttes and coulees. It is also vast, endures droughts and floods, excessive heat and deep cold, and is layered with interesting histories. This land under our feet, that has so readily given of itself agriculturally to feed the world, is now charged with a new challenge and how to survive it with its glories intact: the oil boom.
Helen has shown her work in various states and the province of Ontario, Canada, where she was born. She received a BFA in 1980 from Calvin College, Grand Rapids MI. In 1987 Helen and her husband moved from New York to North Dakota where they have since lived and enjoyed raising their 5 children.