I owe my start in art to one of my dearest friends, Donna, when she fell ill. I wanted to be able to give her something she would be able to look at and feel my love and healing energies toward her. It was my sister, Catherine, who encouraged me to take the painting leap saying, “you can paint, you are creative, you just need to find what works for you and it doesn’t have to be how everyone else paints nor does it need to be traditional”.
It was also at a time when I was diagnosed with depression and had to take some time off my career, to get better. I started painting as a way to heal. I’m not a classically trained artist, but what I have learned is you need to be creative and be passionate about art. Art comes from within and exploring my creativity started my journey as Lee Helane Auten Fine Art.
So I took the plunge, trusted my sister and “painted” using unconventional materials. Donna was my inspiration and my first piece, “For Donna”, was the result. Donna passed away soon after she fell ill. She never saw the painting finished, though I know she would have loved it. It is still my favourite piece - every time I look at it, I see her. She continues to be my inspiration, as does my sister.
I started painting in white because I couldn’t see myself painting in any other colour. The psychological meaning of the colour white is purity, innocence, wholeness and completion. White is the colour of new beginnings, of wiping the slate clean, so to speak. It is the blank canvas waiting to be written upon…you can't hide behind it as it amplifies everything in its way. White is a colour of protection and encouragement, offering a sense of peace and calm, comfort and hope, helping alleviate emotional upsets.
So, without knowing it, I was only able to paint in white, because I needed to heal, be open to changing myself and find a new beginning. I find the shadows dance off the white flowers and they change throughout the day as the light changes. Each flower is unique and takes shape with each coat of paint. Each flower is perfect and beautiful in its own way – something I needed to learn and accept about myself.
why colour now.
I started painting in colour at the start of 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic. I had been back at work for over a year, and was feeling strong and healthy with my depression fully under control. It was summer and I finally decided it was time to see if I was ready to embrace colour. My first flower in colour, I quickly painted over, and decided to stick with white… just one more time. The next time I sat down and painted, I kept the colour. The colour finally sang to me and I could see myself in these flowers. I have also been painting with oil and cold wax – this truly is a very different form and flow of mediums. I love the ability to be completely abstract and let the paint speak on the canvas. I don’t have many oil and coldwax in my collection right now, as many have sold.
So with that, I invite you to explore my paintings and see if there is one you love. Each are named for what I see in them after they are finished.
Without the supports I received through my employee family assistance program, I wouldn’t be here today. I want to ensure others get the help they need to get well. With each sale, a donation will be made to the Mental Health Association.
Enjoy and I look forward to hearing from you!