alice helwig prairiegirlAlice S Helwig

Canada, North America

Prairie Girl Paints the Blues

expansive serious questing
I'm obsessed with Painting. I started when I was 14, which is over 30 years ago. My subject matter are those big Alberta skies.

Faye's Sky ©Alice S Helwig


When was the first time you realized you were an artist?   

I took art lessons when I was five and told people then I would be an artist when I grew up.



I work fast and furious, so my work is fairly loose. I like big romantic vistas.



I use acrylics.

My supports range from watercolour paper, canvas, to board. I sometimes build up surfaces with collaged fabric or a build up of paint. I like painting larger pieces, usually 3 x 4 feet.


alice helwig cloudsProcess and Technique

I am interested in letting the paint show. I like the contrast between thick and thin passages of paint. Often I layer the work, often painting over textured surfaces, sometimes that means using or re-purposing old paintings.



Big skies. Spirituality. Quick looks at the landscape



Foremost ©Alice S Helwig




Where do find your ideas?   

From my home-scape, the prairies where I have mostly lived. I paint places that are familiar to me.


Why do you paint?   

It has always been what I do. It is a means for me to understand the world and express myself. It has become an obsession. I can't not create. It is how I define myself.


How often do you create art?    

I try to get into the studio on a daily basis. If I am teaching I make sure that I am painting/drawing alongside of my class.


helwig cloud paintingWhat is the best artwork you ever painted?   

I think the best piece will be the next one. I am involved in the process. It is easy to let the finished ones go.


Blue Skies ©Alice S Helwig



What role does the artist play in society?   

Art takes us out of ourselves. It allows us to address the big questions in life. It makes us think of ourselves and mortality.


Do you make a living with your art?   

I sell at galleries and also teach and mentor others who are beginners on this journey.


What are your favorite two ways of marketing your art online?    

I have a blog I also post on Facebook.


alice helwig skyINFLUENCES   

I love John Singer Sargent, Constable, Turner, Barbara Milne. There are many more.... I'm influenced by my friend's art also.

My students also inspire me.




Ravish ©Alice S Helwig






Contemporary Artist Recommendation   

Barbara Milne
Artist. I like the influence memory has in her work. She is generous in her knowledge and time and has mentored many aspiring artists.


Please let us know us some interesting things in your life.     

I'm heading to NY soon.
I used to live in a remote Indian Village in Northern Alberta.

I taught at a Jewish Day School for over 20 years, although I am not Jewish.

I once was invited to join an artist's group, who then later turned down my application. One of the juror's comments was that I should learn to handle paint.


helwig alberta clipperDid you ever feel like giving up creating art?  

It is sometimes frustrating. I've decided that what I need to do is to exclude external influences. I'm interested in where the work will lead me, where it will end up.

Alberta Clipper            ©Alice S Helwig



That means that I need to just keep going into the studio and working.

Art can be a very isolated activity. It is hard to maintain your own vision. I keep coming back to the fact ---it is what I do. I can't imagine not doing art, although it can be tough at times.


Where do you see your art career going in 10 years?   

I think I'll still be teaching. I'll still be heading into the studio.

My work is becoming more abstract. I think that it will continue to evolve in that direction.

I am interested in materials and how to use them. I will probably be interested in another aspect of painting and will be researching that.


van dyke brownAdvice for Artists   

Recently a friend of mine gave me a book about artists and their studios. One artist's advice was to do what was simple for you. I thought that was brilliant. I think at times we complicate things.

Van Dyke Brown Monochrome series      ©Alice S Helwig


I'm back to painting skies because of that-- it's what I started with, and what I still love to do.

Also I think its important to just do a lot of work. The answer to your work is in your work.


Alice S Helwig

Prairie Girl Paints the Blues

Art Website: Helwig Studio

Post a Comment Blogger

  1. i love your style. it feels very free.
    I'm looking forward to the exhibition of Thom Thomson and the Group of seven, that we have here in town at this moment.

  2. Thanks for the kind words. I recently saw a Tom Thomson show that a gallery in Calgary set up. I adore his work.


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