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The Story of

CREATIVE H

Helen Dowley

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I live in Hertfordshire but am originally from Nottinghamshire. After A-levels my intention was to take up the place I was offered on an art foundation course before doing a Graphic Design Degree, however, I took a different path and studied English Literature at Loughborough University and went on to work in children's book publishing and marketing. I knew deep down I always wished I'd followed my passion for art and although I remained interested in the visual arts and drew for pleasure, it wasn't until I broke my foot in 2014 that I began painting again to pass the time! Since then I've never looked back and my inner passion has gradually found its way out of me and in 2018 I decided to make this my main occupation.

 

I love drawing all types of subjects such as buildings, landscapes, everyday objects and situations, animal portraits, childhood memories, food and drink, and anything I see that catches my eye! My love of colour and light is central to my style which I attribute to the importance that colour plays in my everyday life and surroundings, and how it affects and reflects my mood. I primarily work in ink, acrylic paint and watercolour.

Collaborations

In the summer of 2019 I was commissioned by Italian designer shoe company Ballerì to produce eight bespoke artworks for their new website depicting their boutiques and shoe collections. This exciting and fun collaboration began on a Summer holiday on an unusually rainy day on the Sorrento Coast. I got my ink pens out and drew from a photo a beautiful little boutique that I had spotted on a day trip to Sorrento. The grey and yellow colouring of the shop and Balleri's clear love of lemons attracted me to it and I posted it on my Instagram account. Balleri saw it and liked it and almost a year later contacted me to ask if I would be interested in a collaboration to do some artwork for their website and social media pages. Following a meeting in London when they were over to do a pop up shop off London's Kings Road, I produced eight artworks for them which were centred around their traditional handmade shoes, their love of lemons and the beautifully colourful Amalfi coast. 

This project led me to produce my bright and colourful fruit paintings and drawings and established my love for drawing buildings - in particular interesting shop fronts. 

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Ink

I love drawing in ink and often add a splash of colour at the end to accentuate a particular feature. My favourite subject for this style is buildings often with a focus on shop fronts, doorways and cafes, particularly from holidays to France and Italy as well as closer to home. I also draw people's houses for commission work.

Watercolour

My watercolours offer a more 'traditional' result and I enjoy using them for a 'looser' style, particularly when painting the countryside. I also like to add a touch of watercolour as a highlight to a black and white ink sketch.

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Acrylic 

I have always enjoyed painting in acrylic paints and love the vibrancy of colour that they offer especially when used on canvas. My most recent works of the bright fruits use acrylic paint and the fluorescent versions of these paints are particularly fun to use and really appeal to my love of bright, bold colours which are central to my personal style.

Digital

As well as my original art, I have just launched a new range of digital  prints and greetings cards under the name 'eh? Prints’ in vivid, uplifting colours. This project came to me one Sunday morning in lockdown. My son who had studied GCSE art had explored drawing with an Apple pen on his iPad and I suddenly had the idea to combine my bright use of colour with his iPad skills and we came up with a range of quirky, fun images that have proved very popular. Producing art has been particularly important to me throughout lockdown in terms of keeping busy and also keeping a positive mental outlook and I like to think that this idea arose as something bright and cheerful in a time which has caused much uncertainty and reflection for people. Hopefully the images we produce help bring some fun back into everyday life.