A 25 year resident of rural Morton County, North Dakota, Helen often works on location without use of photos, and with minimal studio touch-ups. She has always loved the relation of art and a life lived close to the land and 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, or cold, or heat, or insect bites, or just the sun's movement changing the shape and color of shadows and lit areas. 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 that a painting 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. A few of Helen's works include allusions to the oil boom. 'The Land Gives' implies the gifts given from the land under our feet to supply our basic needs.
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.