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Landscape Artist Helen L Robertson

Scotland

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About

I am a self confessed thalassophile ! 

That is I’m drawn to, and have a great love for the sea.

 

The urge to be by the sea, has been with me since I was a child, although trips to the beach were few and far between.

I would long for the summer holidays, when as a family we would go to Bamburgh in Northumberland and spend two weeks in a caravan, every year! Our days were spent playing for hours in the sand, arranging shells or building sand sculptures. Of course we would go in the sea whatever the weather, coming out with purple lips, chittering  uncontrollably with the cold. Wonderful!

Since having my own children, we’ve spent every possible chance camping by the sea, exploring every Island off the West Coast of Scotland and of course I had to show them Bamburgh.

 

And so it is in my DNA  that my work should reflect this love.

Discovering a new beach or pocket of sand, fills me with great excitement and I cannot wait to pack my rucksack with as limited a palette as I can bare, paper/sketchbook, easel and a board and get down onto the sand and rocks.

 

I think being out in the landscape gives my paintings more energy and life. When you are working in the moment, there’s usually no time to think for too long, you are just reacting to the elements and the place in a very immediate way. Slightly possessed, almost in a trance!

 It makes me work at an incredible speed, trying to capture that fleeting moment in time, before the light changes. 

This can sometimes result in making mistakes or grabbing a colour you wouldn’t normally use, but that, more often than not, can add something new to the finished work. I covet those surprises.

 

I’m usually drawn to stand in the full brunt of the wind or teetering on an edge, but it’s where the best composition is. It’s got to be done, as it’s what draws me in and moves me to convey it in paint, and hopefully it will draw the viewer in too, and give them that sense of being right there with me.

 

Sometimes, I start drawing with a pastel pencil, quickly marking out the composition.  Wetting parts of the paper, I add acrylic inks with a pipet and watercolours letting them collide and mix, allowing them to“do their own thing”. I often spatter the watercolour on, rather than brushing it on. I don’t want to be in complete control, as I think this is when the magic can happen.
I  work on top of the ink with gorgeous soft pastels to bring out areas of detail and to add depth and richness to the painting. Again though, I like to use the pastels on their sides, allowing the unpredictability of the surface to add a broken layer of colour on top of the paint.

I spend just as much time deciding where not to add the pastel as I do deciding where to add it, as I want to preserve the lovely fluid qualities and the surprises the ink has given me. 

Quite often I’ll come away from a place, feeling I didn’t quite capture it, but on later inspection, it does bring back those memories and thoughts of the day, which is a good feeling.

And the next one will be better!

I have lived and worked as a full time artist in the small village of Ratagan in the West Highlands of Scotland, near the Isle of Skye since 1988.

I graduated with a B.A.Hons Degree in Glass from Edinburgh College of Art in 1987, then spent the following year at the Royal College of Art, London.
My work is sold in galleries throughout Scotland and online, selling to private collectors worldwide. 

Admirers of Helen's work have often commented on how the paintings make them feel transported to that place.

 

AWARDS

Sir William Gillies Award 

presented at the 142nd Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour Annual Open Exhibition 2023

TO PURCHASE A PAINTING

If you would like to purchase a painting, please use the contact button at the top of the page or click on my email address at the bottom of the page. Thank you.

STUDIO VISITS

Helen's studio is in Ratagan  IV40 8HX   9 miles east of Eilean Donan Castle. 

Please use the Contact button (Top left of page)  or phone 07802 545243 to make an appointment.

COMMISSIONS

Helen accepts commissions. Please contact her for details.

2024 EXHIBITIONS

26th- 29th April              FabrianoinAcquarello, Bologna, Italy

9th - 29th May                An Talla Dearg Isle Ornsay, Isle of Skye  

3rd - 31st August           Glasgow Gallery, Glasgow 

5th Sept - 5th Oct          Tolquhon Gallery     Aberdeenshire    

14th -16th  October       FabrianoinAcquarello,  Fort Worth, Texas, USA

ABOUT

Paintings

PAINTINGS

Videos
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GALLERIES AND EXHIBITIONS

Galleries & Exhibitions

2024 EXHIBITIONS

26th- 29th April              FabrianoinAcquarello, Bologna, Italy

9th - 29th May                An Talla Dearg Isle Ornsay, Isle of Skye  

3rd - 31st August           Glasgow Gallery, Glasgow 

5th Sept - 5th Oct          Tolquhon Gallery     Aberdeenshire    

14th -16th  October       FabrianoinAcquarello,  Fort Worth, Texas, USA

You can see my work in the following Galleries :

Glasgow Gallery, Glasgow G2 4HG

Castle Gallery, Inverness IV2 3DU

Carron Gallery, Strathcarron IV54 8YX

Gallery An Talla Dearg Isle Ornsay  Isle of Skye IV43 8QR

Logie Steading Art Gallery, Forres

Tippycanoe, Portree, Skye

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2002-23  An Talla Dearg Gallery, Isleornsay, Skye

2020    Torrance Gallery , Edinburgh

2017 Steading Gallery, Balmacara

2011  Castle Gallery , Inverness

2008 Byre Theatre Gallery, St Andrews

2008 MacGregor Fine Art, Glasgow

2007 Carby Art Gallery, Aberdeen

2001 Scone Studios, Perth

1994 Stables Gallery, London

1991 Eden Court Gallery, Inverness

1987-88 Ware on Earth Gallery, Edinburgh

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2023  Royal Scottish Academy  RSW Annual Exhibition

2020 Moy Mackay Gallery, Peebles

2019 Torrance Gallery,  Edinburgh

2013- 2021 Castle Gallery, Inverness

2010 - 19 Lochalsh Art Fair, Dornie

2014 Holroyd Gallery, Ballahulish

2014 Beauly Gallery

2013 Edinburgh Art Fair, Edinburgh

2013 Julian Jardine Gallery, Perth

2012  Edinburgh Art Fair

2012 Nicole Porter Gallery, Aberdeen

2012 Inchmore Art Gallery , Inverness

2009 Logie Steadings Gallery, Forres

2007 Edinburgh Art Fair

2006 Cambridge Art Fair

2004 Green Gallery, Germany

1993 Spey Bay Gallery, Speyside

Contact

contact

helen@helenlrobertson.com

Tel: 07802 545 243  or  01599 537 150

2 MacInnes Place  Ratagan  Kyle of Lochalsh  IV40 8HX 

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