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Helen Richards is a Queensland painter whose colourful stylised rainforest, mangrove and flora paintings show her connection to the local environment.
Helen Richards was originally trained in Textiles: print and design, but this gave way to an interest in oil painting and eventually a love of acrylics and mixed media. She has been a high school visual arts teacher for the last 30 years and taught both in Australia and overseas.
After moving from Brisbane to a beautiful acreage property near the beach on the Coral Coast, 14 years ago, Helen’s painting career burgeoned. She has exhibited in Brisbane and in and around the Bundaberg region and has her paintings in collections from Cairns to Melbourne.
In 2020, Helen relocated to the Lockyer Valley and set up a studio on the property there.
Her love of the natural environment around her is the major influence in her artwork. Helen’s textile training is still evident in the strong sense of pattern, texture and colour that enrich her work. Her paintings start by creating an emulsion of spontaneous paint applications using stencils, cardboard shapes and a variety of brushes as the paint meets the canvas. Once the underpainting is completed, she explores line and composition to capture colour, texture and shape to create the vibrant and dramatic effects, generating whimsical two-dimensional narratives of her connection to flora and fauna. Helen’s underlying thought while creating her works is to encourage the viewer to question their urban environment and rethink their relationship with the natural environment.