as individual as you are

Members: LOG IN

Helen Shideler Art Blog

Helen Shideler

Subscribe to this blog
Somehow, the whole time I was working on this painting, I kept thinking about Peppermint Candies. You know, the ones with the swirl of red and swirl of white? It first occured to me as I was sketching them out - and then as I started to apply the watercolor paint I just kept thinking about them. Awhile back, I checked on my framing inventory and realized I had five really nice frame sets for watercolor paintings and so I set out to complete five in one month. And I did it. This is the last piece that I told myself I had to do in this timeframe. I love the colors of this flower. The pinks are flaming and yet there are so many subtle shades. The photos that I worked from were actually more on the bluish side - I chose to modify the colors to the impression they had on me… Continue reading… 0 comments

These lovely flowers grace the inside of our chicken wire fenced in garden. We moved all our lilies into this rustic enclosure - in hopes to foil the white tail deer population that absolutely belive lily blooms are deer ice cream. Well our plan work surperbly...well, until last year. They have leaned longingly into the fence for a few years now - and managed to bend down a section making it easy for them to leap over. And well, we cannot figure out how to repair it with out completely rebuilding it! The deer love lilies. All kinds of lilies - as much as we do. Only we do not eat ours! The lilies grow amoung the asparagus (which deer do not eat) and the mint (wish they would eat) and the clematis (crap shoot on this one, well they will sometimes eat the blooms)… Continue reading… 0 comments

Rosy Red Roses

by Shideler , April 10, 2011—12:00 AM

Topics: Canadian artist, floral, flower, garden, pink flowers, red flowers

This is a painting of carpet roses that grow beside our pond,. They are very profilic and hardy. Thier colors are so vivid I just had to paint them! The size is unframed. This painting is beautifully custom framed. And so, countless hours, untold amounts of staring and figuring and color balancing... I think this painting is finally done! I knew today that it was in my reach to finish this piece. I hunkered down at 8am and just finished it at 7pm. I spent a lot of time deleloping the foliage. After I thought I was all done - I looked at it with squinty eyes and realized that I had to deepen the colors of the leaves. I went back in with a wash of terre vert (a blueish green) and intensified the leaves. And then once again thought I was finished… Continue reading… 0 comments

Nellie Mosher - Nelly Mosher The real satisfaction is in the finishing touches. The stage of the painting where it is super close to being completed __" just requires the last details. In this case the centers of the blossoms. I painstakingly painted around these skinny little stamems and as pretty much the last step I got to paint them in. Then the scrutinizing begins __" I look at the painting more holistically now. Are the colors true to life? Are the shadows painted with enough contrast? Are the lights and darks balanced to a believable state? Are the tones balanced appropriately over the whole piece for the lighting of the day? The images that I worked from were captured on a hazy day so the shadows are not particularly defined. So no high key contrast here… Continue reading… 0 comments

Back to our yard in the beautiful Kennebecasis Valley in New Brunswick, where the resident white tail deer population regards planters as their own personal salad bowl! We have a number of wrought iron planter hangers at a variety of heights. Needless to say we have more success with the higher planters. Red geraniums are a staple in our planters, as are petunias and any daisy like flower I can find. I love the mix of color you can plant together and still have it look good. I dabbled over the years with backyard color, various monochromatic then whites and on to what ever strikes my fancy at the time. It almost always comes back to red. Or Yellow. Pure happy colors. And I cannot wait to paint them… Continue reading… 0 comments

We live in a suburban area. Which in New Brunswick means we share our property and gardens with a population of white tail deer. Although beautiful, they are known in our region as ___garden rats___. Almost nothing is sacred. They eat almost everything! Especially tulips, lilies and hostas. Apparently tulips and lilies are like candy to them. They wait until the bloom is about to burst open with color and munch them while we are sleeping. Every now and then I am successful in foiling their snack. We apply blood meal regularly, especially after each rain " apparently, the deer do not like the smell (I understand, I don ™t like it either). This grouping of tulips were spared from the ravenous appetites of Bambi and friends… Continue reading… 0 comments

Mid-spring each year, we have a wonderful quince shrub that presents us with a shock of color. I am always surprised and pleased with the display. To the point where we have purchased two more quince shrubs. Interestingly enough, the colors on the two newer plants are quite different from the older original shrub. When we are sitting on the deck and see this blaze of reddish orange at the back of the property, you just have to walk over to admire it up close. Careful not to get too close, it is a thorny shrub. Also somewhat deer resistant which is another reason we acquired two more. Last year, I completed a quarter sheet watercolor of the quince… Continue reading… 0 comments

This Painting was completed quite quickly by my usual standards. I used a mask to preserve the white areas, then poured pink and pale green. Once dried, I applied more mask and poured more watercolor paint and so on... Overall the painting took two days to complete. I think the hardest part was first applying the mask and them removing it. Still have not decided if I like mask or not. I usually carefully paint around things… Continue reading… 0 comments

Since the beginning of this past summer, every morning (or so) I would go out onto our deck and admire the amazing shades of blue in our morning glory vine. As summer progressed and the vines reached the top of the arbor, the shade of changed to a more intense shade of blue. Several mornings in a row, I would rush outside with my camera to photograph the back lit blooms. I was afraid it would rain soon and beat the blooms into oblivion. As summer started to wane, the intensity of blue in the morning sky also deepened. This is when I realized this little morning obsession I have would have to become a painting. I was torn __" to paint this in watercolour or in acrylic. Watercolour being my favourite medium, I drew the blooms out on Arches 300lb cold pressed paper… Continue reading… 0 comments

Small Works Ah, as Christmas approaches it is often quite prudent for artists to complete a number of small works. These are good as possible donations to requesting charities but also very marketable this time of year __" more so that larger works. I struggle with small paintings. They are almost as much work as larger pieces and they take a disproportionate amount of time to complete. Take this little star fighter lily. Only 5___ x 5___ big, er___ small. The drawing took no time really __" but painting that level of detail that small is icky picky work. I get a great deal of satisfaction with large freer brush work that I apply with larger scale acrylics. Then the fun really begins with I get into the details. Love this stage. It is when a painting comes to life… Continue reading… 1 comment

It is always an adventure when you embark to paint a series of related works. In this case, I am experimenting with the Aquabord watereolor painting surface. I really like the vibrancy you can achieve once you figure out how to layre - er, actually, once you realize you have to have patience to let the layres dry completely before you apply the next one. This is an iris from my garden and one of my favourites. We grow a number of bearded irises - all are lovely, but this one always stops me in my tracks. The blues are so intense and the white so crisp. I like the effect in this painting with the dark background making teh flower stand out. (Also really tricky on Aquabord)… Continue reading… 0 comments

Ah yes, another watercolor on Aquabord. Finally think I am getting the hang of the surface! It is almost impossible to do multiple washes or layring on it - the under colour "lifts" or worse yet - mixes with the top wash. And yet the finished painting is absolutely vibrant. These pansies remind me of the old fashioned ones in every country garden I saw as a child, or the old china teacup with the delightful pansies on them - hence the paintings title. So I link it, and once I figure out a framing solution - I will let you know if I intend to purchase more. I still will admit, for any intricate and serious work, I will always use Arched 300lb cold pressed paper… Continue reading… 0 comments

All Dressed Up...

by Shideler , August 15, 2010—12:00 AM

Topics: Iris painting, aquaboard, botanical, floral, flower, nature, painting

And to think I said no more painting with purples for awhile after painting the two Lilacs. After finishing the "Amethyst Lilac" painting, I was determined to paint something less complex and not purple. Well, being who I am, gravitating towards complexity in everything I do, I started this painting on Aquabord. Aquabord is a relatively new hard surface for painting with watercolours. The beauty of this surface is that the completed piece is sprayed with acrylic Krylon archival varnish when completed and framed without glass. This piece is protected. As so many people now prefer to purchase paintings with out glass in order to eliminate glare from lighting and windows - this is a nice option… Continue reading… 0 comments

This painting is a full sheet transparent watercolour of lollypop lilies from my garden. This is one of my favourite flowers. I love the cranberry tips on the petals and the subtle ivory/white shades of this lily and teh way the sun spots create litle highlights. This painting took a very long time to complete. I have painted similar versions in acrylic twice - I this this flower called out to be created again only this time in watercolor… Continue reading… 0 comments

Scarlet Stunner

by Shideler , January 14, 2010—12:00 AM

Topics: botanical, dahlia, floral, flower, painting, pink flowers, red flowers

This acrylic painting of an intensly red dahlia was like therapy to work on. The colours were a nice distraction from the intense snowstorm that raged outside when I was working on it. It is interesting when painting red - there are so many shades and deep red is tricky to accomplish. This painting is custom framed in a floating frame… Continue reading… 2 comments

Shades of White

by Shideler , December 10, 2009—12:00 AM

Topics: botanical, floral, flower, nature

This is a painting of a tree peony from our garden. The flower is so delicate, almost transluscent and almost like crepe. This piece was a real challenge - normally I am drawn to a more intense range colours. I am glad I stuck with it… Continue reading… 0 comments


by Shideler , November 29, 2009—12:00 AM

Topics: botanical, floral, flower, nature, plein air, red flowers

This is an acrylic painting of blanket flowers in my garden. This painting seemed to go on and on forever. Layer afer layer of transparent washes to get the intense colours. But in the end - I am glad that I stayed with it. It reminds me of a garden party. I originally saw these flowers while at a painting plein air art event in Hampton, NB -I searched garden centers until I found some to purchase… Continue reading… 0 comments

Summer Wine Shades

by Shideler , October 19, 2009—12:00 AM

Topics: botanical, floral, flower, peony, pink flowers, red flowers

My husband and I make wine - and every year we make a summer wine, usually a blush. One of the most appealing characteristics of summer wines are in it's beautiful colours. Soft yet distinct shades of raspberry, pinks and soft wines shades. This lovely bloom is a tree peony that grows in the corner of our garden off our pergola. It is beautifully custom framed, double matteted with a wine coloured inner mat. This is the second full sheet watercolour that I have painted. Truly a labour of love. Framed size is 28 _ 38"… Continue reading… 0 comments

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

by Shideler , August 17, 2009—12:00 AM

Topics: bugs, butterfly, flower, insects, painting, painting a day

This beauty was a frequent visitor to our Siberian Pea Shrub earlier this summer. I could not resist painting it - after chasing it around with my long lens to "capture" an image. I completed this work to experiment with sealing and varnighing a watercolor in order to frame without using glass. I have to admit, I purchased the recommended products and am nervous to use them… Continue reading… 1 comment

Painting a day

by Shideler , August 2, 2009—12:00 AM

Topics: botanical, floral, flower, painting, painting a day, plein air

This painting was the second one completed in Hampton, NB during "Bloomin'Artists" on July 25th. At firest I was tentative about the subject, painting in watercolour outside and all and on a drizzly day. Once I committed to it - it was really quite a fun piece. I drew each leaf as I went and continued on until it was completed… Continue reading… 1 comment

Sherbet Shades

by Shideler , June 16, 2009—12:00 AM

Topics: A, botanical, dahlia, day, floral, flower, garned, painting

This beautiful dahlia grows in may garden and is a true labour of love. I committed to myself to paint every day (sort of) and try to complete a small painting a day. This work I think counts - as it took forever and a day - but I finally finished it this day...… Continue reading… 1 comment