Hellen is a Texas girl and proud of it. She spent her school years in Aransas Pass, Texas, and attended Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. While attending college, she took a few art classes while pursuing a teaching degree.
She married in 1969 and art went on the backburner because of working, raising three children, and taking care of a home. For a birthday gift, her husband signed her up for two painting classes. That's all it took because Hellen continued to study art, paint as time allowed, and developed her own style.
Due to her husband being in the Navy for nine years and corporate moves, she has lived in Texas, California, Oklahoma (twice), and Netherlands.
In 2002, Hellen left her corporate position to pursue her dream .... start her art business, Paintings by Hellen. She discovered gourds in 2003 at an art show. They immediately became her passion and main medium. Since they grow in different shapes and sizes, they presented a challenge she embraced. The gourds allows her to pyrography (woodburn), pine needle coil; closed coil (similar to Native American basket weaving); paint with acrylics, oil, color pencils; and power carve.
Hellen became a national/international fine art gourd artists who has won numerous awards for her painting, pine needle coiling, and carving. Her work has been displayed in galleries throughout Texas, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and Colorado. Hellen has also been featured in numerous Texas' and Santa Fe magazines and newspapers. Her work has been displayed in museums and photos used for advertising events involving gourd art. Per the request of the American Gourd Society, she wrote the competition guidelines for painting and color pencils. These guidelines are used throughout the United States during gourd festivals. In 2009, she started teaching at gourd festival and in her home and writing books to share her knowledge. Her faux western tooling technique was introduced to the art world in 2009 and became extremely popular.
Hellen has always wanted to make baskets so she started teaching herself this technique in December 2017 and loving it. Photos of her work will be posted soon
Since Hellen has a Comanche/Blackfoot heritage, a lot of her art is with a Native American flare. She also does wildlife, birds, buffaloes, and horses along with decorative pieces. Her Indian maidens and faux leather tooling have become her trademark.