Helene Brier

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Nature has always been the catalyst for my creative impulses.  Whether I paint people or the beach, interiors or landscapes, there is a common denominator running through all phases, and that is the expressive use of color. My work is figurative and one can see the underlying abstraction that is prevalent in nature.

Window Series

During the early years of my life as a painter, I began a series of work depicting the various landscape moods seen from my studio window. I used frames of the windows as geometric horizontal and vertical shapes, forcing the viewer to look out on the landscapes, perhaps trees or perhaps space evoking the sensation of sunlight. I watched the seasons change and my paintings began to reflect the four seasons.

Beach People 

In summertime, I became restless and needed to be out of doors. I gravitated to the beach to paint small watercolors of beach people. Figures seen out of doors cease to be the same human beings that are seen indoors. Sometimes the figures were featureless as the color and light on the beach saturated them. The bright and colorful umbrellas in my paintings protect and cool beach people from the hot sun. The figures seen in shadows appear to take on sky color or sand color. In wintertime, these watercolors were the source and inspiration for my doing large oil canvasses of people on the beach.

Interior Landscape

After enlarging my studio, I found it conducive to work indoors all year long. I began by painting a series of still lifes. As one large wall of the studio is made of glass, there is a closer feeling of being among trees and woods. This inspired me to work on a new series of paintings of what I saw through the windows and what was visible in the room.


Once again, I began to work out of doors, painting oil sketches of woods and streams. My recent work contains elements from each period and now I concentrate on painting interiors, landscapes, and still life. There is a strong feeling of light and space in all of the paintings evoking images one associates with nature. Through the use of color, one is reminded of the changing of the seasons and the different times of the day.

I have come full circle in working on the geometric image that I did in the 60’s.  At that time, I concentrated on working on geometric window shapes and with these forms was a sense of light and space seen out of doors.  The interior shapes evoke images of space seen inside where as the open spaces seen within give the feeling of nature.  In my recent work in the oils and monotypes, I concentrated on the circle and ovals using the component of force acting on a body in curvilinear motion that is directed towards the center.  This is the dictionary definition of centripetal force. This centripetal force, especially the circle, cannot be denied.  One becomes centered and there is a sense of order between the parts.  The outer shapes surrounding the circle and the inside forms gave the viewer a strong feeling of connection to the paintings.   The geometric shapes surrounding the circle became a metaphor for the importance of the mind and the landscapes within the circle represent continuous life and energy.