Helen Selsdon, Cape May Artist
I have always made art en plein air – painting on the Jersey Shore, a Brooklyn roof, the forests of the Pacific North West and the West Coast of Ireland. In 2015 I was a visiting artist at the Brooklyn Navy Yard where I roamed the grounds to paint and draw. In recent years my practice has grown to incorporate still life painting and paintings of my husband who models for me in my studio.
I work with oil, watercolor, gouache and ink. I seek to create images that convey an intensity of place and experience. I often make preparatory drawings in charcoal, pencil and ink, establishing the space and composition. It is important for me to try to transfer the initial excitement and energy of these drawings to the canvas, gessoed board or watercolor paper. I do not know what the result will be when I begin painting or drawing. Rather, I focus on objects that attract me, often objects with a heft, such as the industrial leviathans of the Navy Yard or the form of my husband’s body. With these subjects, I don't seek precisely to render what I’m looking at, rather than capture their presence and form.