Profile: Helene Farrar UpCountryArtists.org

PRESENT is my word of the year. In daily walks I breathe in a place. Observing and really, really looking at this very beautiful landscape I live in. Being present keeps me here and brings me back to my studio practice grounded and inspired.

What We Carry

Like a window into distant lands that inhabit our emotions and imaginations, What We Carry is a view into human nature about what we cherish, collect, remember and carry.

These works are to inspire introspection individually and collectively. I ask others to consider how they might be carrying with them an entire room of a life or a singular chapter, or a traumatic experience of weight?

How does what we carry define our ways of being? What we carry is an attempt to begin discussions about this mystery behind our human nature.

These works allow one to see the unseen like an act of personal intention. And to encourage collective and individual compassion and understanding in our messy lives.

Chicken paintings...

"as meditation and exhilaration. Its like I went to yoga class, cried at a movie, and danced like I was sixteen."

This piece combines sophisticated qualities of encaustic painting with object qualities both of the subject and the painting itself. It has a clear take on the figure / ground relationship and imbues its subject with a vital dynamism that, with playful irony, jumps back and forth between physical observation conceptual commentary. While this is an impressively strong and memorable image, it hints that painting as image is being left behind for sculptural craft as the vessel for ideas – after all: Beside the white chicken there are no ideas but in things.”

My journey into "Birdworks"

...started about fifteen years ago. I was sitting in a rental car in a New Mexico parking lot with my dying Mother. She pointed out the window, "Look at those birds. They are just so lovely. Here, give them my hamburger bun and let's just watch them."

As they swooped down for their dinner, their flying and fluttering forms forced a moment of quiet and observation in an otherwise intense and painful period in my life. And so my first paintings of birds inspired by that specific time had begun. I do informally bird watch and fondly visit nearby farms for inspiration.

These paintings have grown into personal meditation through process, narratives from daily life, portraits, commentaries on life and relationships, and a generous slice of humor.

Custom work

Studio work in the past winter has been primarily consumed by working on a custom piece - a dynamic triptych featuring early summer here in Maine. I particularly love working with tree canopy.

The custom process is simple. A quick conversation over the phone or email is enough to get started. I will follow-up with preliminary sketches and size options. In-stock art is readily available, so maybe their is something in my inventory that is just right.

Once you have reviewed the sketches and decided on the best option for you, the custom work will begin! Art will be delivered and installed at a time frame that works for you! And, of course, process shots along the way are a must-see. Watch your paintings in process.

My landscape works,

are poetic interpretations of quiet and observed moments, often of seasonal transitions, in both abstract and formal representations.

"Winter Study, Kennebec River" 5 x 5 inches, encaustic on panel.
The skies have been so bright here in Maine, and the air so cold. This is a piece I started sitting in my car looking out over the Kennebec River in Hallowell.

Both of these sensibilities develop from direct observations of being in the landscape. In my abstract works I allow the paint to lead me allowing for experimental and playful surfaces. And other times, I develop the work to create believable dimensionality.

In my abtract works I allow the paint to lead me allowing for experimental and playful surfaces. And other times, I develop the work to create believable dimensionality. The landscape is often a metaphor for a personal narrative such as this,

“My heart has been heavy these days, maybe yours too. In light of the first snow that falls on Maine on an early morning - - - to my daughter's exclamations it forced a real, present moment.

Raising my eyes, looking out at my side yard, the apple trees with freshly covered white, and feeling the peacefulness, the quiet, the stillness.” Drawing, journaling, and meditation are all equally important components of this painting process.


In 2014, I purchased an 1850's Farmhouse for a working and teaching studio on busy Route 202 in Manchester, Maine. The house has been renovated since and houses four teaching and working studios, including my personal work space.

Classes at the studio are offered weekly and approximately forty children ranging from four to nineteen attend these.

Classes for adults are also offered including weekly watercolor and individual studies in encaustic, acrylic, and oil painting. Approximately fifteen adults participate in weekly classes in addition to offerings in Paint Nights formats, retreats and parties for individuals and corporate needs, and private lessons.

The studio boasts gorgeous south facing light, original architectural elements, and an original “home” feeling that makes for a spirit lifting work space.

Catch the Artbug @ 903 Western Avenue, Manchester, Maine

My paintings have most recently been accepted into curated exhibits at the Cape Cod Community College, Fuller Craft Museum, the Saco Museum, the University of New England Art Gallery, and Twiggs Gallery in New Hampshire.

I'm represented by Archipelago Fine Arts in Rockland, Betts Gallery of Belfast, Cynthia Winings Gallery of Blue Hill, and the Center for Maine Craft in West Gardiner.

903 Western Avenue, Manchester, Maine

(207) 485-5691


FB @helene.farrar . IG @helenefarrar

All images and works Copyright 2019 Helene Farrar


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All images Copyright 2019 Helene Farrar