Helena Wilsen-Saunders has worked in the field of Contemporary art and design for about twenty-five years, although she has been on a journey with her art for as long as she can remember.
As a youngster, exploring the world around her was a daily adventure, always finding a new treasure to look over and study. Art was an escape from the harsh reality of life of growing up in relative poverty on a tough council estate in the Northeast of England. One of her earliest memories is tattooing a picture of a princess in a forest into a desk bought, 'nearly new', for her fifth birthday. Luckily, she was always encouraged to follow her artistic passion by her parents. Her father even varnished over the drawing to help preserve it.
She has never lost the love of daily exploration and observation of life around her. All those special, transitory and magical moments in nature and life that appear with the right lighting, colour and atmospheric conditions are eternally inspiring. Reinforcing her belief that beauty can be found everywhere.
Helena graduated in Fine Art at Reading University, she created a series of 'hand-woven abstract landscapes. Inspired by the love of the 'meshed' drawings of sculptors Henry Moore and Alberto Giacometti.
Then went on to work as a graphic artist for a central London agency, Helena designed album covers for The Bangles, Bruce Springsteen, Sade and many others. She continued painting at every opportunity, working in many mediums on large canvasses for corporate commissions. The subject matter varied from macro-abstractions of flora and fauna to semi-spiritual iconography. Although that search for spirituality within her work has never disappeared.
Since the move to rural Suffolk where she lives in splendid introversion and isolation, Helena's artistic focus has invariably been on the surrounding Suffolk landscape. From the marshy sandbanks of the Deben to the coastal paths of Dunwich and Southwold as there are few more interesting subjects. She has had a radical shift in style in aiming to realistically transcribe both the beauty and reality of the places she sees each day. Faithfully rendering the fields, rivers, hills and skies, whilst portraying the turbulent, transitory elements like rain and lightning that tear through and amplify the landscape.
Helena likes to capture reality, taking the time to really 'see' something before putting paint to canvas. It takes time to 'see'. Most people don't really have that time in their busy lives. So she paints what she sees for others to appreciate.
Helena works mainly in oil paint. Often incorporating scruffito to get delicate details and fine highlights. Then adding watery glazes of oil colour to deepen the range of colours.