About

I’m Helen, and I’ve been painting ever since I could hold a paintbrush… I discovered Botanical Illustration 7 years ago, and I’ve fallen in love with it; I feel as though I have found my painting ‘niche’, although I try to never stop exploring! I’m currently at Southampton University, England, studying Medicine, and unfortunately that leaves me limited time to paint, but it’s the perfect escape from a busy schedule!

I’m currently enrolled on the Society of Botanical Artists Distance Learning Diploma, beginning in January 2014 for 27 months.

When not studying or painting I’m with friends and family, usually drinking copious cups of green tea, relaxing with a movie/tv box set or a good book, keeping fit, or walking my dogs (Lily and Douglas) in the Kent countryside where I call home.

42 thoughts on “About

  1. Welcome to blogger world Helen. Thank you for liking my images of the flowers (Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens). When I looked at your painting I realised after a while that they were painting and not photographs. Very impressive.

    Thought you might to look back through history at one Englishman who was a botanical painter in Australia in the early 1800’s, recent exhibition at this site
    http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/events/exhibitions/2012/lewin/index.html
    Cheers
    Steve

    • Thanks Steve – I have had a quick look – looks fascinating! As soon as I have time I am looking forward to reading more about him! How interesting, thank you for the link, and for your nice comments! Helen

  2. Good for you! As a woman who managed to maintain an artsy blog while in medical school, I can relate to you!

    Your paintings are absolutely beautiful!! I hope painting provides you with the much-needed reprieve from medicine that photography provided (and still does!) for me!

    Try to always find the time, no matter how hectic medicine makes your life, to nurture and enjoy your passion. It will truly be what keeps you sane and reminds you to take some time for yourself at the end of a long and stressful day of helping others!

    • Thank you so much! That means a lot as it’s always been a struggle to keep both up, without compromising either of the two. I hope I can keep my painting up to the same standard as you’ve managed to do with your photography!

  3. I’ve just skimmed through your paintings and they are amazing. You have real skill in capturing colours in a realistic yet imaginative way! (And thanks for liking my cat painting!)

  4. Hi there Helen! It’s so nice to meet you here in blog world. You kind of remind me of my self when I was a law student years ago and still did sketching and doodling here and there, even during my midterm test. Thank you for you wonderful comment and I sure hope to see more of your works. By the way, if you happen to stumble upon a few of my sketches in my blog, you’d see that I still have my drawing passion.

    • Ah wonderful – I wonder if you have any tips on time management?? Sometimes all I want to do is paint, I just get so absorbed in it and can’t seem to stop! I have seen some of your drawings – I especially love the recipe and the one of your parents house! I look forward to seeing more of them!

      • Thanks Helene. About time management, yeah, sometimes I wonder too how I could manage so many things at once, hahaha. Basically I follow my whim. If I wanted to do some arts or crafts or photography, I’d dedicate one day for it (maybe 2). Right now that I have 3 kids, I have to manage my time really well. When I was away and had to wait for the kids’ lessons, for example, or a trip somewhere, I brought along my sketch book. It helped me a lot to unwind and keep my mind at ease.

        Again, so nice to get to know you.

  5. 1. I was born in Southampton! I’m not sure why this is so exciting.
    2. I love that you’re studying medicine and doing botanical illustration. There’s something (oddly?) poetic in that.
    3. Thanks for the comment! And keep up the great work.

  6. Helen,

    Thanks so much for your visit and comments on my blog. I think your botanical portraits are marvelous and I look forward to viewing your new works.

    Good luck with your studies.

    Steven

  7. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I can’t believe that you are doing anything else but going to medical school. One of my son’s became a doctor and it was strenuous to say the least. Art would definitely round out your life.

  8. Hi Helen, thank you for your comment on my blog and following it. Your work is amazing! The detail in your work is superb. And you’re in med school… wow. Thanks for showing me your blog. Following.

  9. Hi, Helen.
    Good luck with medical school. Your paintings are awesome. I came to art a little late (first year of med school..and now it’s been 10 years) so I know what hardship you’re going through. I’m not really sure that a painting “niche” is a good idea now though. Until last year, I thought that I will do just landscape or flower, then accidentally painted my first figure and I love it. Now I paint everything…and painting seem more enjoyable. But I do understand that a painting niche will help stand you out of a crowd of artists. Keep those painting going, Helen. Paint weekly if you can (or daily if possible)

  10. Thanks for visiting my blog, Helen, and for your encouraging words. It sure sounds like you are a busy lady! Your paintings are fabulous and your attention to detail is amazing – something that I would never have the patience or skill to achieve – hence my decision to follow more of a loose route!

  11. Greetings from Australia,
    I like the way that you have a creative outlet; I’ve been working as a physiotherapist for many years including five long lovely years all over the UK. Moving gradually into Photography was a labour and j journey of love; an ability to manifest creatively your inner being. Do well and excel in medicine, however never neglect your artistic side, because deprived of water and sunshine even the most beautiful and hardy of flowers will eventually wither away.
    God bless you

  12. Lovely work Helen! And congratulations for maintaining your art while studying. I am a part time artist too, and I know it can be hard to let the art have enough time, but like you, once I start it is hard to stop! Thank you for visiting my blog, I look forward to seeing more of your work.

  13. Well done you! I have been umming and ahhing for a while about applying for this course so I shall follow your progress with great interest. I have followed a different artistic career in the past so drawing plants is very new to me. Maybe my portfolio will be good enough to apply for next year’s intake?

    • Thank you so much, Sue! From what I can see from your blog you should definitely think about it next year! I really like your ivy in coloured pencils. There is an option to do the SBA course in coloured pencils rather than watercolours, too. I hope you get some inspiration from posts of my progress through the next year. Best wishes, Helen

  14. Hiya,
    I moved from Sweden to bolivia and Im currently doing volunteer work for the university’s project for biodiversity painting botanical illustrations. Im still very much learning. Interesting to follow your blog, especially the teachers critique, thats how u learn and me te to. Good luck!

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