Helen Parsley

Helen Parsley

Helen Parsley has worked as a professional artist for 20 years. Helen originally trained in illustration at Manchester University, 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 paints landscapes, and is rapidly making her mark in the world of fine art.

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.

A Yorkshire woman, Helen was born on Shoreham Street beneath the shadow of Sheffield United Football Ground. From early childhood Helen had an ambition to become an artist. At school she longed for “rainy 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. Helen is also a big fan of Yorkshire Victorian artists Atkinson Grimshaw, and Whisler, and many more!

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”.