Hélène Farrar

My painting process is centered on the act of play. Combining both intentional and intuitive processes, I intentionally create works that are bold in composition and expressive in mark making and color. Interested in surfaces that speak of rigorous activity through variations in manipulated, and layered textures, I use brushes, sticks, squeegies, my fingers, porcupine quills, dental and ceramic tools, and combs. Recently, my subjects range from a year-long project observing a small pond in Belgrade, Maine, abstract responses to “internal landscapes” in water media, to whimsical drawing and design work exploring “chicken on bikes” and continuation of the Birdworks series in encaustic.

My journey into “Birdworks” started ten years ago. I was sitting in a rental car in a New Mexico parking lot with my dying Mother. She pointed out the window, “Look at those birds. They are just so lovely. Here, give them my hamburger bun. Let’s watch them.” As they swooped down for their dinner, their flying and fluttering forms forced a moment of quiet and observation. In an otherwise intense and painful period in my life, I found myself lost in their shapes and movements. Birds from that point on became something else – a witness to life’s events and cycles, portraits, meditation, commentaries on life and relationships, and a generous slice of humor.