Helen Saunders is an artist who creates abstract paintings using a variety of acrylic mediums, ferns, yarn, stones, and old jewelry. Her style is still emerging and is being influenced by her love of textured sculptual forms, transparent layers, and flowing earthy colors. Yarn with its long unruly strands helps her get some interesting random lines. She uses an intuitive approach to her work after the planning, sketching, and development of the color boards. She says the paintings just seem to grow after the first layers are in place.
She started showing her work in 2007 with an exhibit of seventeen pieces at Everett Community College in Everett, Washington. In 2008 her work was seen in five juried arts festivals and one gallery show, Brushes With the Land 2008, in Stanwood, Washington. One piece, Release, was sold to an art dealer in Vienna, Austria. In 2009 she was juried into the Mother's Day Studio Tour on Camano Island in Washington, at the Artists Alley Gallery in San Francisco and a the Harvest of Art Show in Stanwood, Washington. In 2010 she had her work at Starbuck's in Stanwood, Washington, the Auburn City Hall in Auburn, Washington, and Islander's Restaurant, Salon Soleil, and Seagrass Gallery all on Camano Island. 2011 was spent doing commissions, showing at Seagrass Gallery, The Skin Care Lounge in Stanwood, and The CAA Studio Tour. In 2012 the emphasis was on showing at local stores including The Skin Care Lounge and Laurie's Boutique in Stanwood. Starting in 2012 the Haystack Gallery in Cannon Beach, Oregon has been selling the mixed media pieces. The summers of 2014 and 15 were devoted to Art Buddy Days in the meadow where she played with new ideas and media with a group of fellow artists. Creative play enhances creativity!
Helen's work can be found in the public collection of Cascade Valley Hospital in Arlington, Washington. Her Hope series is at the top of "Gone With the Wind" staircase on a beautiful teal wall. In 2012, Skagit Valley Clinic purchased three paintings for their new facility in Smokey Poiint.
Ms. Saunders has a master's degree in gifted and talented education from Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas. She has been taking art classes and playing with different mediums since she was in high school. The last seven years of her teaching career were in the art room at Port Susan Middle School in Stanwood, Washington. After retiring in 2004 she continued with her art education and feels she has become the artist she has always wanted to be.
Helen was born in Galveston, Texas the year her father graduated from medical school. She's never been back. Most of her life has been spent on the move. She has lived in seven states from Texas to Montana, South Carolina to Washington with a stop in the middle, Colorado. Four dry years were spent in the tiny town of Ilo, Peru where it never rained. Riding burros into the desert with a mayonnaise jar full of water was the tops in entertainment. She experienced living in the jungle with a brief stay in the Panama Canal Zone after high school. Currently, she lives on Camano Island in Washington looking out over the Saratoga Passage at Mt. Baker. Paradise!