((Left) Helen Brown. (Right) Raccoons, watercolor, 17 x 12 by Helen Brown)
A 33-year resident of Sunriver, Helen Brown has been painting for about 20 years following a teaching career in Oregon and in Australia. As you see on the cover this month, she paints with textured rice paper in a batik style that makes her work recognizable at a glance. The cover image Crossing depicts a footbridge over the Sun River looking west towards Mt. Bachelor.
Central Oregon scenery is a constant inspiration for artists. “I love to paint landscapes, but I often have trouble focusing on one subject because I love to paint animals, still life and cityscapes.”
Brown has several notable series to her name. In 2017, the Oregon Historical Society in Portland asked her to exhibit 30 paintings referencing the Lewis & Clark exhibition. She followed that up with smaller shows, i.e. Pixels to Pigments, where she asked patrons to send her photos that they wanted to see transformed into her unique painting style; and “In a Perfect World…” where her paintings projected ideas for making our troubled world better.
Besides her art teacher sister Mary Burgess, whom Brown credits with teaching her the medium, Helen sites two teachers who had a huge effect on her painting. Jean Grasdorf paints with watercolor and uses masking fluid so that she can pour her paint. Kathie George teaches and paints with ginwashi rice paper and uses molten was as her resist. “They are both wonderful artists and incredibly generous with their knowledge!”
Brown is a member of the Tumalo Art Company, the High Desert Art League and the Watercolor Society of Oregon (WSO). She qualified for signature membership in the Northwest Watercolor Society in 2010, and was featured in the national publication Splash, the Best of Watercolor in 2016 and 2017. Her painting Vestiges of Mt. Mazama was accepted in to the WSO Spring show which will be exhibited in the Rotunda Gallery at COCC in April.
In May, Brown will be the featured artist at the Tumalo Art Company in Bend’s Old Mill District. Her show then will be focused on color, The Spectrum of Birthstones with 12 new works, each portraying a different dominant color.