Demo by Helen Mathyssen at Leesburg Center for the Arts

Helen will be demonstrating how she gives a sense of mystery to a pastel painting using walnut ink as an underpainting. That particular style of painting is called tonalism. She will bring several examples of that style of painting.

Tonalism is an American art form that started in the 1880's depicting atmospheric landscapes often using grays, blues and browns.

Many would label Helen as a self–taught artist because her only college art course was art appreciation, but she doesn't consider that title quite accurate. She has read numerous books and studied many paintings by different artists. Helen also had the opportunity to take workshops with Robert Carsten, Elizabeth Mowry, Stan Sperlak, Christina DeBarry , Aaron Schuerr, John MacDonald, Stapelton Kearns and Thomas Kegler. Much of what she has learned is due to what other artists have shared with her; either by the written word, examples of their work, sitting in on demonstrations or through conversation. The self-taught experience comes from many hours of painting on her own and frequently experimenting with different techniques. Even if a painting has not met her expectations, the experience was still a worthwhile lesson. Helen has won numerous awards in both miniature and full-size paintings and is honored that her works are in many private and corporate collections throughout the United States and abroad.