|About Helen - Artist
Helen L Robertson was born in Cumbria and grew up in West Lothian.
After graduating from Edinburgh College of Art in 1987, with a BA Honours Degree in Glass Design, she spent the following year at the Royal College of Art in London.
Helen moved to Glenshiel in 1988 and set up a small business in 1990, called "Shadows and Light” painting with enamels onto several sheets of glass to produce a three dimensional painting.
Throughout this time and her college years Helen also continued to draw and paint, producing artwork, mainly using Mixed Media.
For the past 24 years she has worked purely with soft pastels on an artists archival sandpaper. She still loves the instant impact and textural qualities of pastel, building up her paintings in layers of colour, giving them a sense of depth and luminosity.
However very recently she has started to produce artwork using a different kind of paper, ‘Pastelmat', allowing her to use inks and watercolours to give a looser background wash, to be worked on top of with pastel, to give definition and detail.
“I am enjoying the challenge of trying to keep a loose, spontaneous feel to my newer paintings, and leaving areas unfinished and in a sketchier state, which I find quite exciting. By painting outside more often recently, I have enjoyed working in a much quicker and looser style.
Like many artists before me, I have several recurring themes. I keep returning to favourite places; Sandaig, near Glenelg, Ord and Knock Bay in South Skye. The more often I paint these places, the more familiar and accomplished, I feel my paintings become. I also really enjoy painting my daughter Hannah, who over the years has slowly come to enjoy being the subject of my paintings.”
Over the years Helen and her family have explored the Highlands and many of the Outer Isles.
“Absorbing the atmosphere by sketching and taking many photographs, I then recreate these feelings in my finished pastel paintings back in my studio.”
Admirers of her work have often commented on how the paintings make them feel transported to that place.