Artistís Statement Click photo to enlarge.
"I am a realistic and narrative painter. My goal is to tell a story that connects people to nature. My favorite subjects are found in the dynamic and diverse stories I have discovered while exploring the rainforests of South America and the wilderness in North America.
I have an insatiable curiosity about what I see in remote and wilderness places. These collections of images and visual relationships rush though my mind and emerge as statements about who we are as a society, and how connected or disconnected we are with the natural world. Each painting contains a point of convergence; a single pivotal idea. I purposefully control luminosity, composition, value and the subtle building of color to support that central idea.
Where do humans fit in a self-sustaining environment? What I find unique about the mix of business, arts, and education is that these disciplines are the best vehicles to inform and communicate the importance of inter-relationships. We need to understand these relationships in order to find the best ways to co-exist with people and nature."
What I find intriguing about realistic, narrative painting is that both the artist and the viewer can relate on so many complex and inter-connected levels. "Each painting for me is a personal odyssey of questioning, reacting, and resolving my own impact on my surroundings. Through the process of creating art, I resolve my place in the world and my effect in the scheme of things".
Artist's History Click photos to enlarge.
I am an artist, nature photographer, business owner, and a wildlife film producer. I have lived and worked in Colorado Springs since 1976. I was raised and educated in California and obtained a Bachelor of Fine Art degree with a minor in life science from San Francisco State University.
I studied at close hand the Master lithographs and etching in the Aukenbach Collection at the San Francisco Palace of Fine Art under direction from Dennis Beall and John Ihle. I studied painting, drawing and photography under Photo Realist painter Robert Bechtle and west coast photographer Jack Welpot.
In 1991, I was invited to participate in Master watercolor and compositional workshops with Realist painters Sondra Freckelton and Jack Beal . In conjunction with editor Stephen Doherty of American Artist Magazine, Freckelton and Beal, we produced a video program demonstrating their approach to composition and watercolor techniques.
In the summer of 1991 was I was juried into a Master painting workshop with renowned wildlife artist Robert Bateman sponsored by the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center.
My insatiable curiosity about the natural world has lead me to to many photography and filming expeditions. I have traveled in Central and South America, Mexico, and the islands of Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean with my partner and cinematographer, Neal Williams.
Beginning in 1989, I decided to produce a collection of watercolor paintings that capture a different kind of image; one that utilizes interpretation without moving pictures and a camera.
I painted a series of work about the rainforest because I feel passionate about what I experienced in one of the wildest pristine places on the planet. I was overwhelmed by the diversity, and fascinated by the dynamics of the rainforest ecosystem.
The pervasive themes that weave through this series of paintings is the question, "Where do people fit in the natural world? What is the important connection people sense with nature?" On a personal level, these paintings are about the exploration of my impact on my surroundings.
What motivates me to produce a particular image is very ordinary. I may be walking a trail, taking a photograph, and I see something I have never seen before. I may be listening to the news, a song or socializing with friends and family.
The image will pop into my mind, almost complete. I will recall this image many times during my normal routine. Reworking it, refining it, until I think I can lock it into a drawing. Sometimes I must write about the image before I can begin drawing it. Once the idea is drawn and balanced, I will break the image into dark and light values, and warm and cool colors. I use these preliminary sketches as reference tools throughout the painting process.
With such unusual and rarely seen subjects of exotic and unknown plants and insects, I rely on my field notes, sketches, photographs, and film and video footage we have taken, to accurately portray my subjects in the correct environment.
I am a realistic, narrative painter. The paintings are multi-layered for the viewer. The plants, birds and animals are rendered with care and intimate detail. As the viewer moves deeper into the work, they will be engaged in a visual dialogue about a relationship, a situation, or a humorous or poignant event between nature and humans. I hope you can can share these feelings with me through my art.
As co-owner of SuperFlow Corporation 1973-2000, she has assisted with growth of company from 3 employees to 80 with 3 manufacturing facilities located in Colorado Springs, a sales / service office in Detroit, and in Belgium for European sales & service.
SuperFlow was listed on the "Inc. 500" list in 1985 and is a leading manufacturer of engine test equipment.
SuperFlow designed and manufactured vehicle emissions test dynamometers for the Mexico City, Denver, and Wisconsin Clean Air programs.
SuperFlow was a "BIG Award" recipient for community leadership in business, 1992.
SuperFlow has received the 1994 Governorsí Award for "Excellence in Exporting".
She directed the marketing, advertising, and brochure preparation, coordinated the Advanced Engine Technology Conference, and was Executive Vice President involved with Corporate management responsibilities.
Helsaple was recipient of the Southern Colorado Womenísí Chamber Accolades Award for "1995 Business Leader of the Year".
In March of 1990, SuperFlow Film & Video Productions assembled a documentary program illustrating the abundant wildlife populations in Peru's Manu National Reserve area. The program was shown to key government officials with assistance from the Association for the Conservation of the Southern Rainforest based in Peru. The result was official protection of 4.5 million acres of pristine Rainforest called the Tambopata-Candamo Reserve that encompasses one of the most spectacular Macaw and parrot gathering areas in the world.
Helsaple was an Associate Producer of The Discovery Channel's, "Spirits of the Rainforest", winner of 2 national television Emmy awards in 1994.
In 1997, SuperFlow produced Manu; Peruís Hidden Rainforest, for the ABC/PBS Series, The Living Edens . This program won an 1997 Emmy, and also Best Limited Series at 1997 Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival for wildlife series productions.
Professional Artist Highlights
Major Private Collections: