Monday, February 25, 2013

Helena Nelson-Reed Native-Inspired Art

I always seem to find beautiful artwork on the Web completely by accident. Such is the case with the luminous and ephemeral art I stumbled upon by watercolor artist, Helena Nelson-Reed. When I found her Ghost Dancer painting the other day, I was blown away. 

Ghost Dancer by Helena Nelson-Reed
Ghost Dancer
by Helena Nelson-Reed

I emailed Helena right away to seek permission to use some of her images, so that I could spotlight her beautiful artwork here on Native History Magazine. About Ghost Dancer, Helena said, "I created it after dancing for my brother during his 8th year of Sun Dancing. Sun Dance is different from Ghost Dance, of course, but the immersion, discipline and intensity of prayer focus is much the same. I can only imagine how those Ghost Dancers must have prayed with every fiber of their being."

Much of Helena's work is rooted in myth, fairy, folk and spiritual lore, and is often native-inspired. Her father was one-half Pawnee, so she is undoubtedly touched by her own native roots and heritage. 

Free Spirits by Helena Nelson-Reed
Free Spirits
by Helena Nelson-Reed

The detail and passion put into each of her paintings is amazing, and it is often beautifully connected not only to the environment, but also to the life force of all beings, and life experiences.

Turtle Mother by Helena Nelson-Reed
Turtle Mother
by Helena Nelson-Reed

The Turtle Mother painting is one of my favorites. It instantly made me think of my mother, creator of Native History Magazine, because she so loved turtles. I wish I'd found this painting while Mom was still alive...I would have bought it for her. 

Helena's work is in private collections, and has also been featured on book covers, magazines, and CD covers. She also has a line of fabulous jewelry, calendars, and even greeting cards. 

You can see many more of Helena Nelson-Reed's artworks on her website, and in her Etsy shoppe.

I extend a heartfelt thanks to Helena for being so gracious to allow me to feature her images here on NHM. I look forward to seeing where her inspiration leads her next.