Helen from StudioD
I believe Art is therapy. It allows people to enter a new space, a place of discovery and curiosity, where time stands still as they become immersed in the moment and forget their troubles for a while.
I am a visual artist with a background in Graphic design and have been painting and teaching art for many years. The human figure has always been my favourite subject.
When I first arrived in New Zealand I was very inspired by Napier's Art Deco heritage, and produced lots of paintings and limited edition etchings on the subject. This was followed by a collection of Ballet paintings after spending time with the RNZB Company at their St James Theatre in Wellington.
In 2016 I made my first trip to Florence Academy of Art for Realist painters to study the principles of academic painting influenced by the Old Masters. This was an amazing experience, and I went back in 2019 to study further. Following that trip, I was a finalist in the Adam's Portraiture Award 2020 with my painting 'Homage', in which I utilized some of that newfound knowledge.
As a teacher I'm always happy to share my knowledge with others, and I do this in weekly
classes at Creative Arts Napier, (CAN) and my private studio, StudioD, based at Waiohiki Arts village.
I teach acrylic painting, oil painting, printmaking and mixed media.
I hold annual exhibitions for my art students, giving them the opportunity to show/ sell their artwork.
I get a lot of satisfaction from the pleasure people get when they tap into their own creativity and begin to express themselves through art. Often they are amazed at what they can produce just by learning some fundamental principles and techniques.
I believe Art is therapy. It allows people to enter a new space, a place of discovery and curiosity, where time stands still as they become immersed in the moment and forget their troubles for a while. Like attracts like, and some beautiful friendships have blossomed over time between the participants. Some have been attending my classes for years, and some are complete beginners.
I am gentle with my comments because one can feel quite vulnerable when starting out. I always give constructive feedback and advice when needed, often accompanied by practical demonstrations of techniques and materials.
Some of my students came to me because they were gifted a series of lessons from a friend or relative. This has happened several times for people who have experienced a bereavement or loss of some kind, and they have said how healing their artistic journey has been. Many people end up setting up studios at home, in a spare room or the garage, because they become so absorbed in the art process.
People who attend my classes can expect expert tuition in a range of media, with individual attention and focus on their personal artistic goals. I give advice on what materials/equipment to buy, and Humanity Books in Hastings and Art Zone in Taradale give 10% discount on all art supplies to my students.
I run a weekly painting class at CAN and a weekly mixed media class at StudioD. Also weekend workshops, small Arty parties and private tuition/Gift vouchers on request. Many materials are supplied and support is always available, along with good coffee and cake or chocolate biscuits!
Our current focus is on a project being run by the National Aquarium called 'The Ocean and I ' in response to climate change, with an educational exhibition at the Aquarium during the month of October.