Helen Richards | The sheep!

Helen Richards, It’s a jungle out there, acrylic on canvas, 64cm x 64cm.

Not everyone has a Studio Dog. And this has led to some pretty funny chats with artists where I confuse them seven times over, before making myself as clear as mud. (I hope they were funny for the artists too.) In essence, what are the living, breathing things that keep us connected? This isn’t just a question for artists, and 2020 has brought us all to our own answer: family, garden, animals, trees, ocean, friends … yes, yes, Zoom.

Often, not always, the first answer involves a human, and for Bundaberg artist Helen Richards, it does. But, like many of us, she is also connected to many other living, breathing things and they swim, grow, fly and flutter through her joyful artworks. And some creatures wander through, such as the Wiltsire Horn sheep outside her studio!

You can tell Helen LOVES paint and colour and equally loves her subjects, and each work is like a celebration and it’s hard to resist wanting take part. 😀 You’ll be able to see Helen’s work in Gallery One at Bundaberg Regional Art Gallery and on the Trail, from 28 August, and you can follow Helen here on Instagram, and check out her works for sale here on Bluethumb.

Helen, what is your art practice?
I am a painter, mainly working in acrylic paint on canvas. My work is informed by the wild nature that flourishes along our coastline from the oceans to the rainforests. I use colour, texture and expressive line to create two dimensional narratives of my surroundings.

Who are your studio companion?
We live on a farm with lots of birds, frogs, sheep, chooks and cows (sorry, no dog!) and these have all featured in my artwork at some point. The birds are spectacular around the property and couldn’t help but feature in my arts practice in wild, bright colours and stylised shapes. 

What are you working on in your studio now?
Three paintings are on the go at the moment – one for the studio dogs project, a mangrove painting and a smaller rainforest series painting.

How has the current imposed isolation changed what you’re doing? Has something really surprised you during this transition to ‘artist in quarantine’?
As my husband has been home full-time during this isolation, we have spent the time chopping down trees, mulching, painting verandah furniture and the deck, reawakening our veggie garden and baking. I also used this time to reorganise my studio and throw out wanted stuff as the mess was bugging me. It’s a much more user-friendly painting and office space now (and the windows even got a clean). 

Any special news about your art practice?
It’s been a very quiet 3 months but was pleased to recently sell a large artwork online. My followers on Instagram has also increased. LOL 

(Ed: go on readers, ad some more followers to Helen’s Insta Page :-] )

Helen’s Studio Dogs in sheep’s clothing! 😀
Helen Richards, Rainforest Fantasy, acrylic on canvas,  51cm x 67cm.


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