Thursday, March 12, 2009

Gesa Helms: Exploring The Meadow - Colors and Responses

The Meadows #2
Soft pastel on board
Gesa Helms

Gesa Helms' discovery of pastels has been a colorist romp through nature's basket. Want loose handling? If so, I offer Gesa's art as an example of open and honest exploration of marks, colors and responses to the scene.

Gesa Helms:

My main work is as an academic - I trained as a human geographer and now work in an urban studies department. And while drawing and painting begun rather innocently as diversion, I can see how much the work process of an artist allows me to explore questions and problems in a different and rather intriguing manner. Increasingly, I am trying to bring these two ways towards creativity, knowledge and process together.

The Meadows #1
Soft pastel on board
Gesa Helms

The countryside of where I grew provides a lot of inspiration for experiments from plein air sketches into more abstract paintings.

I discovered soft pastels four years ago when I began drawing. Adding hues to the monochromatic worlds of sketches and studies was a revelation. The vibrancy and high pigment load of soft pastels has kept me fascinated since, and yet I am increasingly employing pastels as one medium among others - including acrylics, gouache, a bit of collage and more recently printmaking. Casey's Colorist, and its younger sibling Pastel Blog, was one of the first blogs I stumbled upon and I fell wholeheartedly for Casey's approach to New School Color. I feel very honoured to be able to show some of my work here. - Thank you, Casey!

Most of my subject matter is taken from nature observations. Here, a small pastel kit has served me well for plein air sketches, alongside graphite or an ink pen. These sketches provide the source for numerous explorations around subject matter, composition, medium and markmaking.

Next Post:

Gesa's work exploring Wolf Kahn's palette and marks in monotype and pastel.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My Guest, Gesa Helms

Artist Gesa Helms

Gesa Helms, of Glasgow, Scotland, is my guest artist for a few posts starting this week. Her work has been recognized in The Pastel Journal 100, and she has been delighting us at her blog with her artwork focused on both Scottish landscapes and those of her German home.

Gesa has found that small bodies of water capture her interest, and she has been exploring this on paper through both pastel and printmaking. She is adopting the palette and other elements of Wolf Kahn's art in these impressively loose and expressive works.

One One Three
47 cm x 32 cm
Pastel and Acrylic on Board
Gesa Helms

Selected in The Pastel Journal 100

Return here for her article on this journey to interpret the landscape of her home area of rural Northwest Germany. She blogs at Paint and Pastel blogspot.