Helen studied Fine Art at Concordia University in Montreal where she met and apprenticed under Canadian painter Tom Hopkins. From him, she learned how to make and use traditional materials and many aspects of the art business. Helen's move to the west coast of Canada inspired large expressive oil paintings of trees. The trees became the people in her paintings, with their endless diversity of moods, shapes, and personalities. 'The ancient forests of the west coast are truly a sacred treasure. The more I explore Vancouver Island's old-growth trees, the more I learn about their complex connections to the whole forest, and I cherish the serenity and abundance of life they exude even more.' 'In the studio, I find my way into the composition with chalk lines and marks, expressing the tangled exuberance of my subject, so magnificently primordial and verdant. I am inspired by gestures of thick oil paint and cold wax medium to create colorful impressionistic paintings that bring a nourishing serenity into the space and celebrate the beauty of these trees.' - Helen Utsal, January 2023."
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