Helen studied Fine Art at Norwich School of Art. She loves little birds, vintage wallpaper and art that makes her smile. Her current work has developed from studying the art of icon painting and is inspired by the Aristophanes play ‘The birds’ where the people transformed into birds to fight the gods in ‘cloud cuckoo land’. Her little birds are based on people she has met and she has travelled from her own little cloud cuckoo land meeting and painting her ‘portraits’ of interesting folk including Jonathon Ross and a commission for Dawn French.
Her work is painted in Egg Tempera using egg yolk mixed with pigments to create the colours, a method used extensively in the renaissance period before the introduction of oil paints. The pigment is applied in successive layers beginning with a dark ‘chaos’ layer as used in medieval icon painting. Many translucent washes are used which gives the work both luminosity and depth. Finally a coat of shellac is applied to protect the painting.