The sound of music in Helen's studio orchestrates how her brush combines glue and acrylics into unique collage paintings. Music is her inspriation that allows ideas to flow into the final work.

     Each painting is a new discovery and she enjoys the process of illustrating her vision. To begin, her vine charcoal drawing lays out the plan for how she develops and creates a work that has action or has an active relationship among elements.

     After her charcoal drawing has been transferred to a wood panel, an acrylic painting is done on the panel which creates a definitive plan for the next steps. It is like writing a score that describes how each collage painting needs to sound.

     Creating the best beat for each part of the work is instrumental in successful art-making. Helen searches for the best pieces of collage materials to match the painting's colors and values in its various shapes. Then she tears and glues down scraps of paper, fabric, paint samples and string in those areas on the wood panel.

     She helps it play the correct melody by showing her brush and glue stick, where to place their paint and materials. More acrylic paint, more collage, more paint is how the process goes. There is a synergy between paint and paper and often knowing when to stop can be a challenge. When the sounds are in tune, when the paint and collage are describing her vision, then she knows she's playing the correct notes.

     How does Helen know when the collage painting is finished? When her mind hears the collage painting play a livey finale.




     Helen happily exchanged her studio in Moab, Utah, for an 800 square foot one in Santa Fe (actually Lamy; pronounced "lay' me"), New Mexico, in 2022.  The studio is called Howling Coyote. It is the perfect place to engage in painting and collaging, especially at night when the coyotes, who howl and viciously laugh while they roam amongst the junipers and pinions, keep her company.


     Helen's passion for art began when she was four years old, living in Champion, a small bedroom community in northeast Ohio. Both parents, noticing her excitement to draw, brought home rolls of butcher paper instead of individual sheets of paper. Often, she ambitiously set out to fill the entire roll with drawings in one day.


     Perhaps, her family's interests and hobbies, which fill a treasure chest of inspiration, are how she caught the artistic bug. From her paternal grandmother who painted florals on fine china from Europe, to her maternal grandmother who painted landscapes of Midwestern USA; and from her father who sculpted and painted, to her mother who crafted so many projects, Helen was impacted by several generations of creativity. She is grateful for all their passions to invent and actualize their visions.


     And so this is why Helen expanded her art endeavors into passionate creativity and playfulness. Her art imagination went wild in her youth as she tried on many different kinds of "artistic hats". From fashion clothing designer for dolls, to mosaic and collage artist, to illustrator and printer, to seamstress and needleworker, to potter and model builder, to set director and stage manager, artistic inventiveness was ingrained in her by then.


     Then college began. Art somehow dipped under the radar screen. Helen attended and met her future husband at a small liberal arts college in Ohio. She jokes that, not only did she earn a B.A., but also an M.R.S. degree. Yes, they were married in her senior year.


     Even though she and her husband started setting up roots in Ohio, the great mountain vistas of Colorado and Utah, eventually drew them out West. One day they packed all their belongings in a Hertz-Penske truck and Helen, in the family car, and her husband, in the truck, left Akron, Ohio, destined for Salt Lake City, Utah. They resided in several cities and towns in Utah for 33 years. Then opportunity knocked and they answered. In 2022, Helen and her husband moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where they enjoy the dining,  visual art and music for which Santa Fe is known. Rounding out the family is Lockey, the Destoyer. She is an orange Tabby kitty and is known for biting and tearing most things.


     Some setbacks that challenged her during the transition from beng an Ohioan to a Utahn, teased her, luckily, into returning and pursuing the creative endeavors she always loved. Her personal promise was/is to passionately devote all her time to everything that is art. This entire period became a renewal of her motivation and passion to draw, paint and collage.


     Helen's art education has been a personal and passionate dedication to practicing, attending workshops and reading. She has accomplished this on her own terms and in her own way. Her drawing and painting practices have been her greatest teacher. After using a wide variety of materials from pencil, charcoal and pen & ink to pastels, oils, acrylics and mixed media, she admits there are favorites. There, also is an appreciation for and an understanding of many artistic possibilities afforded by so many mediums.


     Workshopping has taken her across most of the western states. At Robert Burridge's mentor workshops in California, she recieved guidance in an intensive, self-directed learning experience. A current inspiration is Elizabeth St. Hilaire, a popular collage artist. She is a guide for utilizing new materials and new techniques in collaging. Another exciting artist whom Helen has studied with is Jesse Reno. Although not a collage artist, his intensity and joy for art making is stimulating and catchy. She has attended other workshops with notable artists like Marla Baggetta, Jeanne Rosier Smith, Richard McKinley, Doug Dawson, Dawn Emerson and Pat Dews. 


     Her search into books has turned her attention to several artists. Richard Diebenkorn, who was so steadfast in studying one topic for so long in his "Ocean Park" series, has attracted her admiration. And the elegance of Robert Motherwell's large black shapes on white remain impressive. Finally, Art & Fear, written by David Bayles and Ted Orland, has had a profound impact on her.


     Helen's main mission in art is to make something that has never existed in the world. It means to create something with her own hands with a distinctive design in mind. She hopes to discern the unique possibilities which exist in her tiny part of the universe.


     Helen has hopes and dreams for the future, especially to continue creating art with passion until the day she departs from life on earth. She explains, "I hope to grow in my work so that it enriches who I am and satisfies my life as an artist, as well as enriches the lives of the viewer. I, also, hope to be inpsired by those who find meaning in what I do."




2020 - 2021, 2014  Gallery Moab, Moab, UT

2019  Agora Gallery, Chelsea, NY

2012, 2010  Overlook Gallery, Moab, UT



2023  26th Annual Small Format Exhibit, National Collage Society, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, MO, group.

2023  100th Anniversary Galex 56 National Juried Competition, Galesburg Community Arts Center, Galesburg, IL, juried, group.

2023  7th Annual Black & White Juried Art Competition, Fusion Art, online, group.

2022   38th Annual Juried Exhibit, National Collage Society, Coburn Art Gallery, Ashland University, Ashland, OH, juried, group.

2022   Utterly Unfatthomable & Powerfully Profound, ISEA, online, group.

2020  Texture & Surface Online Exhibition, NAWA, juried.

2018  64 ARTS National Juried Exhibition, Buchanan Arts Center, Monmouth, IL.

2018  4th Annual Members’ Only Virtual Exhibition, ISEA, group.

2018  Art at the Center National Juried Exhibition, Overland Park, KS.

2018  311 Gallery Abstracts National Juried Show,  311 Gallery, Raleigh, NC.

2017  2nd Annual Online All Members’ Show,  ISAP, group.

2017  21st Annual National Lines into Shapes Competition, Estes Park,  CO.

2017  International Society of Experimental Artists’ 26th Annual Exhibition, Sanibel Island, FL.




Scott Anderson, Pres. Zions Bank & Jessalee Anderson, Salt Lake City, UT

Mike Barry & Dr. Joanne Becker, Orchard Park, NY

Robert & Alane Boyd, Park City, UT

Dennis & Ruth Brown, Castle Valley, UT

Steve & Laura Houston, Sun Valley, ID

Marcia & Gail Lea, Moab, UT

Mike & Beth McCue, Moab, UT

Howard McPherson, Moab, UT

Richard & Joan Peters, Park City, UT

Dianne Vanarsdol, Moab, UT

Joe & Janet Zolyak, Norton, OH




International Society of Experimental Artists

National Collage Society



2022   Cash Award Winner, 38th Annual Juried Exhibit, National Collage Society, Coburn Art Gallery, Ashland University, Ashland, OH, juried

2022   Collage workshop instructor, Pagosa Springs, CO

2016 - 2020  Drawing and painting instructor, Rabbit Ears Art Place, Moab, UT

2018   2nd Place, 4th Annual Members’ Only Virtual Exhibition, ISEA

2017   Moab Community Arts Grant, Moab Arts Council, Moab, UT

2015   Jack Richeson Award, Peninsula Art League Open Juried Show, Gig Harbor, WA

2014   Founding Board Director of Gallery Moab, Moab, UT    


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