Founders Exhibition – January – Helen Wheatley – Driven to Abstraction
January 7, 2021, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
An event every day that begins at 10:00 am, repeating until January 31, 2021
Driven to Abstraction
The artworks in Driven to Abstraction have been created spontaneously. The underlying textures are random and unplanned. The color combinations are the most carefully considered aspect of these works. As you view the collection, you will travel through my past and present. You will see places and things and feel emotions that have impacted me. You will find yourself lost in the great western states, experience the peace and strength of bamboo, be awed by the power of Mother Nature, find yourself surrounded in a city, or completely alone on the dock of a bay.
I am surprised by what reveals itself to me in these paintings. I discover what I’ve been subconsciously thinking about. I feel warmed by the memories of my travels. I’m startled to find I’ve been impacted by news that I barely responded to upon viewing. Allowing the process to take me wherever it chooses brings me greater insight into my own being.
I love color and texture. I’m captivated by paintings that are spontaneous and unexpected. In this series of paintings, I start by randomly creating a textured surface, then execute the painting on that surface. I use “tools” that I rescue from the garbage to create my textures. My tool kit consists of pieces of broken comb, gears, the bottom of a meat package, a rubber cane tip, lids from product packaging, the rubber handle grip from a shower brush, etc. I stamp them into the wet medium on my board. Once the textured surface has dried, I start painting. I only use brushes in the beginning. I mostly use palatte knives, some of my texture tools, sponges, tooth brush or anything else that I might grab to apply the paint. The paint catches on the raised areas and mostly skips the smooth areas. The results are unpredictable. I find inspiration for each piece in the process. Sometimes the colors remind me of a place or time and other times it’s the pattern of the textures that lead me to my vision.
Helen Wheatley began painting in 1999. She considers herself an experimental artist and uses various mediums, tools, and techniques to create her unique works. Helen has taught multiple classes, mini-workshops, and given talks and demos throughout Brevard County. Her work has been included in many juried shows and she had her first solo show in 2018 at the prestigious Gallery 14 in Vero Beach. Helen received signature status in the Acrylic Painters USA (APUSA) in 2017 and in the International Society of Experimental Artists (ISEA) in 2020. Helen’s artwork can be found at Art Gallery of Viera in Viera, Florida, Fifth Avenue Art Gallery in Eau Gallie, Florida, and the Strawbridge Art League and Gallery in Melbourne, Florida.