Helen Mason – Featured Artist of the Month

Written by cathysmale

On February 1, 2017

Over the past year or so I have concentrated on painting in acrylics, supported by developmental drawings. The Pentimenti series is concerned with the memories and distorted remembrances of elements in my life, with changes and alterations being integral parts of the process. Referring to places of personal significance, images are created from memory, observation and information. Reflecting the changes and alterations, I build layers of drawing and paint, allowing the alterations and corrections to be visible .Hence – Pentimenti.

These paintings stand as individual pieces and as part of a series through these links and layers. The colours and shapes form semi abstract images that may at first seem bright and lively surfaces, but the viewer is invited to explore the personal responses and experiences underlying them. The paintings include drawing and text to form part of the structure, and ghost in and out of the images.

I am also currently working on a related series of paintings following studies in Hatfield House. They are concerned with shapes, routes and colours and form part of the Pentimenti series, with the intention to have them exhibited at Hatfield House.

In 2017 I will be looking to exhibit my work further afield and approach different venues. There are a couple of things in the pipeline and will be publicised later in the year. I hope to be involved with the mentoring scheme being offered by Digswell Arts in order to be able to develop the promotion of my work at a higher and wider degree.

I am in my fourth year at the Fenners Studios and I have derived great benefit from Digswell Arts, not only through the access to studio space and facilities, but also the opportunity to meet and work with other artists. We have developed a small but invaluable support within the group that works on a professional, aesthetic and personal level. I have been involved in group and individual exhibitions throughout this time. This has enabled me to develop and progress as a painter, gain confidence and decide what works for me. The promotion of my work has not been my main concern up to now, but Digswell Arts has given me a voice and platform from which to work.

I couldn’t say that one particular artist, or style of art, has influenced me directly; over the years there have been many that I have referred to, particularly admired, and absorbed into my own practice. The Pentimenti series is a direct nod to the work of Richard Diebenkorn. There’s no one influence or person that made me decide to become an artist; I studied Fine Art and this has been my passion throughout my life; it has just always been there and is deeply rooted in who I am.



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