Fine artist Helen Hadley offers a fresh and bright take on classic New England seascape renderings. As stated on her website, “Helen Hadley considers herself an observer, looking to paint atmosphere and focus on color and light, rather than perspective.” This unique approach sets her work apart from the many nautical paintings produced by other artists attempting to portray the natural beauty of the Newport coastline in their oeuvres.
The first thing you might notice when viewing Hadley’s work is the interesting use of color, particularly bright yellows and blues. Her oil on board works of art are vibrant and eye-catching, yet still serene. Hadley says of her own work, “My landscapes are focused on the horizons and light, not what might be before me. Living in Newport makes me focus on light and color all the time; especially when driving through the landscapes of Ocean Drive along with First and Second beaches.” Her painting’s are small in size, often measuring well less than a foot in height and width, but their size does not diminish their impact. If anything, it only makes Hadley’s deliberate yet delicate brushstrokes more impressive.
"Helen's work is a natural fit for the gallery," notes owner and curator, Kristen Coates. "I find her work to be as charming as it is technically good, an equation in art that really works for me." Although one might normally showcase seascapes during Newport’s celebrated summertime season, Hadley’s bright seascapes bring a year round allure to the gallery.
Helen Hadley currently lives and works in Newport, RI. She has a bachelor’s degree from Connecticut College and spent three years studying at the New York Studio School. Her work has been featured at the Newport Art Museum, The Hunter Gallery, the Sakonnet Artists’ Cooperative Gallery, the Arnold Art Gallery, Spring Bull Art Studio, and the DeBlois Gallery, winning “Best in Show” there in 2013. She has also been on the faculty at various institutions over the years, most recently teaching art at the Coleman Center for Creative Studies in Newport, RI.
A collection of Helen's work can be viewed in our gallery located on Bowen’s Wharf in downtown Newport, as well as here online. Next month her pieces will be part of a local group show at the newly opened Bowler Lane Projects, a gallery art space Kristen Coates co-founded with artist Marie Samuels.
Profile by Sam Cassidy
Edited by Kristen Coates
Photos Helen Hadley