Fine Art  |  Helen Opie

Helen Opie

Artist Statement

I paint because I love being alive, here, now. I love the Valley; its fields threaded along the Annapolis River, its flanking North and South Mountains, and the Fundy Shore beyond the sheltering wall of North Mountain. I love the field patterns and shapes of barns, sheds, fish stores and wharves. I love the abstract compositions I see in houses; massed roofs, rhythmic chimney placements, sprouting ells, storm porches, and windows. I love my house and painting things in it while it shelters me in the wintertime.

I paint on site, outdoors, locally. My principal locality encompasses a 150 - kilometer radius from my home; down Digby Neck, along the French Shore and across to the South Shore. When I cannot paint outdoors, I paint from my drawings and sketches, rarely from photos... they lack "air".

I celebrate being here, now, in this beautiful - and endangered - area. I want to preserve it before it is gone.

Brief Biography

Helen Opie was born in England, migrated to the US when her father was drafted into the British Foreign Service at the outbreak of World War II, and to Canada in 1977.

She majored in Studio Art at Oberlin College, Oberlin Ohio; then earned a Master of Education at Boston University (Massachusetts). She went back to school at the State University of New York, Albany for one semester in 1987 because she felt she lacked drawing skills, taking two courses in drawing and one in stained glass. She learnt she had learned to draw, by drawing for the previous fifty years. That was a satisfying discovery.