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Landscapes, flowers and Venetian canals

by Helen White in Painting subjects

The pattern of how I work is generally such that I paint like a fury for a few weeks, pretty-much lost in the creative bubble of my right-brain and on some sort of mission to paint this or that and then I emerge with three or four completed paintings that are ready to go through the left-brain processes of scanning, uploading, naming, framing and showing people.   It is at these times, as I emerge back into the glare of  the “real” world, still rubbing my eyes as though from a long sleep, that I tend to step back and survey the products of my labour and gain some sort of over-view of where I have been heading.  Typically, I realise, I have chosen subjects that perfectly compliment each other in their diversity, each of them offering me something that the others don’t so that, as I work on them on alternate days, I am stretched in alternate directions, from the small scale to the panoramic, from the highly structured to the unconstrained.

Having reached such a plateau, I see that my four newest paintings are of 1) peony blooms, above – close-up and very controlled, 2) a panoramic landscape stretched to infinity, below (my favourite view from the top of Farley Hill), 3) a Venetian canal hemmed in by all the haphazard geometry of shuttered windows, porticos, balconies and rooftops and 4) a cottage garden (my beloved Charleston) with meandering path through blowsy flower beds and blossom-ladden trees. In terms of sheer variety, therefore, I seem to have surpassed myself in recent weeks!

Here’s the first two, scanned and recently uploaded to my website.  The other two (Venetian backwater and Charleston) will appear in my next post of two so do keep reading.


Towards Riseley and Charleston are currently on display at The Wey Gallery.