June 2004 to March, 2012
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More Helen Andersen paintings

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Like any grandmother, Helen Andersen loved her grand kids and her photos of them. When she turned to those photos as reference for paintings, she used them to explore and express character in her subjects, not to produce sentimental idealizations. Brooke is grown up now, but I think you can see a lot of his boyish energy, personality and independence in this depiction.

Carlie, her granddaughter was a special darling. Helen just adored her. In this oil, she takes Carlie just as she is… a solid character with her own way of seeing things, and utterly unpretentious. I think I know why Helen felt so close to her.


1 Bill { 01.24.12 at 11:32 pm }

Helen’s paintings of people take some getting used to, but once you accept the willful distortions and seeming awkwardness, they gradually open up to you.

Helen studied and practiced drawing from life, often in classes that were supposed to offer classic techniques. Helen always resisted such drawing, deliberately and with determination. Pretty was never her aim, expression was.

I think she was onto something, because her pictures of people never bore. They have a life of their own as well as a look of their own.

2 Bill { 01.25.12 at 5:48 pm }

Thanks for the Lights tip, Joni. Danica’s a big fan.

3 joni { 01.25.12 at 5:23 pm }

Good job! I like the use of red in the top painting.

Watch for northern lights tonight if it’s clear out.

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