In Her Own Words – Artist Helen Bowers
The Southern Coterie recently spoke with portraiture artist Helen Bowers. She is a delightful friend, talented artist and one busy mom! We asked Helen to tell us, in her own words, more about her life, art and inspiration. Here’s what she said:
I have spent most of my life in very different areas of the country and world. I grew up in Miami (Coral Gables) and attended college at SMU in Dallas. Greenwich, CT was home for several years then we were off to London, England (for 15 years) with many years of vacationing at our home in Sea Island Georgia. I currently reside on St. Simons Island.
I have always loved art and was able to take private lessons as a child in Miami. I also took painting and drawing in London. Six children later (2 girls and 4 boys!), I finally have the time to indulge my interest in portraiture now that all kids are in school, although I am still saddled with 3 dogs and 3 turtles!
I work in oils and pastels. I love portraiture, but also enjoy painting still life and abstracts. I paint commissioned portraits using preexisting photos or I can also take photographs of the subjects. I also enjoy painting dog portraits.
I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to live abroad for an extended period and to have been able to travel extensively through Europe with my husband, Paul, and my children. I find much of my inspiration comes through travel. My favorite galleries in London are The Courtauld Institute, the Victoria and Albert Museum and The National Gallery. In Europe, two smaller but very special galleries inspire me….The Fondation Maeght in St. Paul de Vence in the French Riviera and The Guggenheim in Venice, Italy.
At the moment, I especially love the work of an artist called Daniel Maltzman, an artist in LA. Of course, my favorite pieces of artwork are the many portraits that have been done of all of my children- all in different mediums and at different ages by many different artists!
Interior design is also a huge passion for me! I love the mix of antiques sitting next to a piece that is Kelly Wearstler inspired and our art collection reflects this same mix of old oils and very modern pieces hanging together. I adore the chic and timeless decorating of Tony Duquette and Oliver Messel, the premiere artists and decorators of the 1920’s. .