The art of travel

Jolene Ogle finds out how a late career change has led to a brilliant burst of colour for local artist Helen Peel.

by @joleneogle on Friday, 09 Sep, 2016

With a home more like a high-end art gallery, each of Helen Peel’s precious art works are created in a luxurious, light-filled studio. The subjects of her works range from poised ballet dancers to elegant ladies and charming flower shops in the heart of Paris.

Now an accomplished artist with almost a decade’s experience and more than 150 paintings, it wasn’t until she had retired that Helen first picked up a paintbrush with the hope of creating a career.

“In the early 70s I did a couple of night courses in art and my goal then was to do a fine arts degree, but with life, it just didn’t happen,” she says. “After working for 42 years I said it was time for me.”

The former hairdresser and interior designer says her life and career have always been about colour so transitioning to a Noosa-based artist was a natural and welcomed change. Helen decided to join with an art tutor to finetune her skills and says an important part of creating is understanding you never stop learning.

Since she first started painting, Helen has held seven exhibitions with the coming La Dolce Vita her eight exhibition. While portrait painting is Helen’s favourite subject matter, it’s the charming European landscapes she lovingly creates that keep art collectors coming back for more.

“I grab things that I see and photograph places all over the world and that determines the next exhibition,” Helen reveals.

“People are often impressed with the little side cobble streets and cute shops I find because most of them have been at one or more of the places. They want to hang the work in their homes to represent their journey and their life.

“I want to create things people can keep in their homes for the rest of their lives and remember their journey as well as mine because I think that is important.”

Helen’s next exhibition will feature many of her favourite places in Italy and the essence of the Italian life; a goof life, full of pleasure and indulgence. The La Dolce Vita exhibition will be held at the Julia Carter Gallery on Gateway Drive from 27 to 29 October. The grand champagne opening will be held on Friday 27 October from 5pm.

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