Helen Phoenix

Click on a thumbnail below for a larger view or click here for a detailed view of Helen's work.

Originally from the North East, Helen studied Fine Art at Cheltenham College of Art, Norwich School of Art and finally in Brighton. Helen is very fond of little garden birds and art that makes her smile. She discovered the art of icon painting whilst working with a priest in her local church and became fascinated with the medium.

Egg Tempera is an ancient technique, used primarily in medieval paintings until the late renaissance where it was superseded by the introduction of oil paints. The dry pigments are mixed with egg yolk which acts as a binder, it must be constantly adjusted with the addition of distilled water and vinegar to maintain the consistency of the paint. Thin layers are applied working from the dark to the light, glaze is used between each layer to build up the luminosity in the work. Finally coatings of shellac are applied to both protect the work and to make the colours ‘sing’. The addition of gilding gives the work a warm reflective glow.

Aristophanes wrote of a city in the sky where humans transformed into birds, cloud cuckoo land. Inspired by this Helen started to explore her own cloud cuckoo land. The birds take on personalities of their own. Two of these little paintings were exhibited in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and the work continued to flourish. Helen has completed paintings for a variety of clients including Jonathon Ross and Dawn French.

Her latest body of work is a synopsis of her love for painting and nature, her mantra epitomises her intentions.

“when someone views my paintings my aim is for the experience to be joyfully reflective and in future perhaps pay a little more attention to the birds”

Seeing the different stages of Helen Phoenix's 'Raspberry Thief' shows brilliantly the different stages that go into making a painting. Thank you to the artist for the images.