07 Sep SPRING SEDUCTION – HELENA McCONOCHIE
Prolific Australian artist Helena McConochie paints breathtaking large scale flowers in oil. Helena’s paintings consist of only three prime colours and white. She enjoys the challenge and excitement of mixing her own colours with this limited pallet. Helena’s love of flowers began when she was growing up surrounded by amazing gardens and this interest extended into her adult life resulting in her becoming a very keen gardener.
Helena has been extremely busy painting for her upcoming exhibition at Sydney art gallery Art2Muse, titled Spring Seduction, which launches on 15th September and continues until the 28th September 2015. Helena’s 2014 solo exhibition, Roses and Peonies, at Art2Muse Gallery was almost a sell-out. Helena’s seductive paintings appeal to clients that are investing for both commercial and residential spaces. Helena has found inspiration for her paintings in a variety of places. The concept for her last exhibition came about on her recent trip to New York City, when she witnessed two ladies at a flower market debating whether roses or peonies was the better flower.
Helena McConochie Ruby2 Oil on canvas 152cms x 122cms AUD$2450 Enquire
Helena McConochie Jude Oil on canvas 152cms x 122cms AUD$2450 Enquire
Helena McConochie Barbera Oil on canvas 122cms x 102cms AUD$1950 Enquire
Helena McConochie considers herself a “late bloomer” in regard to her career in art. After raising her four daughters and sending them off to University, she experienced a void in her life and decided to test her creative skills with art lessons. Helena’s first teacher, and friend, was Peter Mortimore, a local artist. After pursuing various art lessons, Helena realised it was time to get serious and she enrolled in a Fine Arts Course at Dubbo TAFE and achieved Distinctions at Diploma Level. The course included painting, drawing, art history, photograph and Photoshop.
Helena combines her passion for painting with a strong interest in photography and she frequently takes macro photos of flowers as they are not always in season when she needs them. Between the macro photography and Photoshop she is able to create the flowers exactly as she wants to paint them. The scale of some of Helena’s paintings are so large, one triptych measures 456cms x 122cms, that the dimensions of the painting, together with the macro detail of the flowers, make for a visually decadent statement in any space.
“Combining two of my favourite things, flowers and macro photography, I continue to find inspiration. A macro flower can challenge the viewer to see and feel beyond a flower, beyond visual and olfactory, a complete insight of a flower.” - Helena McConochie
Helena McConochie in her studio in 2014 with work in progress Hydrangeas Oil on canvas 110cms x 92cms AUD$1900 Enquire
For many years, Helena has lived between the Sydney suburb, Elizabeth Bay and two properties in Dubbo New South Wales, Australia. Helena has entered the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes, The Rex Livingstone Art Prize and The Paddington Art Prize and has two permanent art exhibitions at Art2Muse Gallery, Sydney, annually. Helena was interviewed by Channel 9 Sydney’s personality Mike Dalton, discussing her entry for the 2015 Sulman Prize.
“Entering in The Archibald, Wynne and Sulman prize each year has been the most amazing experience, you enter alongside 10,000 other hopefuls and purely enjoy the whole amazing journey.” - Helena McConochie
Helena’s favourite artists and greatest inspirations are Tim Maguire, early Avant-Garde artist Georgia O’Keeffe, as well as old masters Willem Van Aelst and Bartolomeo Bimbi. Georgia O’Keeffe and her partner Alfred Stieglitz combined the magic of Macro photography and art. Helena believes that Georgia and Alfred had the perfect marriage of painting and Macro photography. Their artistic direction provides inspiration for Helena’s paintings that reflect the detail and depth of the flowers.
“The fine texture and lines of a flower can easily be obtained by careful brushstrokes forming the shape, modelling them, introducing the colour and creating transparency in the flower. One of my favourite artists, Georgia O’Keeffe, creates abstract pieces that demonstrate beautiful work of rhythm, movement, colour, depth and form and that is what I am endeavouring to bring into my work.” - Helena McConochie
Helena McConochie Emily Oil on canvas 91cms x 91cms AUD$1600 Enquire
Helena McConochie Clementine Oil on canvas 51cms x 51cms AUD$495 Enquire
Helena made the decision in 2010 to venture into textiles using her paintings as the print inspiration. Helena was interested to extend her artistic reach and this has proven to be very successful. Helena’s fabrics are available through Art2Muse Gallery. Please contact Art2Muse Galllery Director, Katrina Hampton, with any enquires via phone (Australia) 0424 809 849, Website, Facebook or E-mail.
Helena McConochie French Chair Upholstered with Helena’s White Hydrangeas
$AUD 1,700 Enquire
Helena’s entry titled Poppy, to the 2015 Sulman Prize was inspired by her connection with Macquarie Women’s Health, located in Dubbo, New South Wales. Helena has represented the female anatomy as the Poppy flower. Helena’s daughter is a Physiotherapist specialising in Women’s Health and Paediatric Physiotherapy and has been an enormous inspiration to Helena. Together with her talented daughter, they planned to get the word out there, that there is help for women and for women to live a healthy life. Earlier this year, Helena was interviewed by Channel 9 Sydney (Australia) journalist Mike Dalton, at The Art Gallery of New South Wales, to discuss her piece The Poppy for entry to the 2015 Sulman Prize. This interview resulted in Helena receiving many messages from people who had seen the interview and wanted to talk to her Sulman Prize entry.
Helena McConochie The Poppy Oil on Canvas 122cms x 91cms for the 2015 Sulman Prize
Helena’s plans for the next few months are to continue with her two exhibitions at Sydney’s Art2Muse and also enter in The Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prize for 2016. Helena will be working on the ten commissions she has already received this year and she is still willing to accept additional commissions. Helena plans to spend more time working on her textiles with the goal of supplying to a prominent retail textile outlet. Helena’s day to day goals are to continue to improve her macro paintings and photography.
First Photo of Painting: Helena McConochie Clementine Oil on canvas 51cms x 51cms AUD$495 Enquire