Helen Parsley has worked as a professional artist for 20 years. Helen originally trained in illustration at Manchester University, UK, studying under Tony Ross, and rapidly became established internationally illustrating books across the world such as the BBC’s Last of the Summer Wine. Helen now solely paints landscapes and cityscapes, and is rapidly making her mark in the world of fine art, with original paintings demanding in excess of $9,000.
Helen’s paintings are wonderfully realistic. She achieves this through experience and intuition, rather than having to resort to a tediously detailed and methodical way of working. Helen’s paintings are in fact surprisingly free in their technique and also reflect her positive outlook on life, being primarily concerned with the beauty of nature around us.
Her work has embraced a broad range of subjects varying from medical illustrations to children’s books. She has produced outstanding historical and ethnic work including portraits and figures. She has worked with a vast number of publishers including Oxford University Press, Kingfisher Publications, and Miles Kelly. Her overseas publishers include Watts Publishers in the States.
In recent years Helen turned to painting landscapes, seascapes and cityscapes and these have generated an enormous response from the art world. A wide and growing range of limited edition prints can be viewed on her website.
Her paintings are receiving growing recognition, with her outstanding interpretation of colour and light. Her exhibition venues include Alexandra Palace London, Leeds Art Fair, GMex Exhibition Centre Manchester, NEC Birmingham, Langton Street Gallery Chelsea, Great Sheffield Art Show, Sheffield Botanical Gardens, Sheffield Winter Gardens, Lyme Hall Cheshire, Dunham Massey Cheshire, Buxton Town Hall Derbyshire, Sally Brown Gallery Marple Bridge, Roger Vincent Gallery Castleton, Hope Gallery Castleton, Churchill Gallery Knutsford, Hale Gallery Cheshire, Toucan Gallery Cheadle, Greenhouse Gallery Sheffield, Chatsworth House Derbyshire, Richmond Castle North Yorkshire, Troubadour Gallery Manchester, Flixton House Manchester, Palace Hotel Manchester, Macclesfield Town Hall, Sussex Garden Fair, Alexandra Palace, URBIS Manchester, Spinningfields Manchester, Reading Contemporary Art Fair, Windsor Racecourse
A Yorkshire woman, born in Shoreham Street, Sheffield and beneath the shadow of Sheffield United Football Ground. From early childhood Helen had an ambition to become an artist. At school she longed for “wet days” when all the children had to stay indoors to keep dry, because on wet days they were allowed to paint! Helen spent every spare minute drawing and painting everything in sight!
Now Helen’s childhood dream has come true. She recently commented “For years I’ve had art directors telling me what to paint….now I can paint exactly what I want!”
Helen works mainly in acrylic paints, using vibrant colours to their full potential. In the early days Helen was fascinated by the work of American artist Norman Rockwell who illustrated hundreds of issues of the Saturday Evening Post in the 1930s, and even visited his home town in New England.
Her work is heavily influenced by the many journeys over the Snake Pass with its striking scenery. Although a Lancastrian by adoption, she has deep roots in Sheffield. Following many trips to Paris her other favourite city, Helen has been deeply influenced by the French impressionist. More recently, Helen has fallen in love with Venice!
At first glance her paintings look photographic, but on closer inspection she uses loose painting and textures combined with precise detail to create an illusion. Helen Parsley is so glad she did not follow the advice of her career officer at school, who said there were no openings for an artist in Sheffield, even suggesting she took up window dressing! She now says “I feel so fortunate to be able to earn a living at doing exactly what I love to do”.