Helen van Poorten
I have been creating art for most of my life. My earliest memories are of sitting next to my architect father at his drawing table.
After a career as an elementary school teacher, my retirement offered me the opportunity to work on my art more or less full-time
Mostly self-taught, I am inspired by my surroundings and by books and artwork which I study carefully to learn new techniques. Like many artists, I have enjoyed participating in workshops and learning from other accomplished artists. I studied watercolour at Buckhorn school of art, at Southampton School of Art, at Mohawk College in Brantford, at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, Ontario, as well as from Davona Paquette, a celebrated watercolour artist from Ayr, Ontario.
Additionally, I have participated in workshops in pastel painting with Sharon Cranston in Bloomfield and with Dave Beckett, a pastellist in Orillia whose work I greatly admire .
Most recently, I learned the technique of creating batik paintings on rice paper, using hot wax and watercolours, from artist Linda Virio.
Although I paint mostly landscapes in watercolour, pastel and india ink, I have always loved buildings, houses and cityscapes. Because of this affinity for architecture, I have been commissioned to paint many house portraits both locally and abroad.
My paintings have recently been accepted at juried shows at the Colborne Gallery as well as at the Northumberland Art Gallery, and I have shown my art at Glenhyrst Gallery in Brantford, the Northumberland Art Gallery in Port Hope and at A Gift of Art in Newcastle. Additionally, my paintings hang in private collections in Canada, the United States, the Netherlands, Australia, and in Germany