Helene Steene has a studio at the Lexington Art League, where she is working on a series of abstract mixed media paintings. She creates them with textures and layers of information built up through additions and subtractions. They consist of numerous layers of transparent oil glazes over a marble dust mixture applied to wood panels.
She says, “There is always a search for something that signifies a subtle inner beauty, depth and simplicity - even when the forms are complex. I am intrigued by the tension between forms, lines and colors that ultimately resolves itself in harmony. I sometimes achieve this with more obvious forms, and sometimes with a delicate balance that comes from attempting to give substance to the space that exists precisely because there are no objects.
If my work can slow someone down to contemplate something within her or himself - if it can add a moment of focus on his or her inner peace in this absurd world - then I have reached the viewer. We, the viewer and the mark maker, are connected through that ephemeral magic that is all around. I am convinced that one's range of intellect is trivial in the face of the greater mysteries.”
The intensely colored fauna, the white washed fresco-like walls, the weathered wood, the ever changing colors of the sea and the brilliant light of the Greek islands form the bulk of her inspiration.
Helene Steene came to the United States from Sweden in 1976. She has lived in England, Germany, Spain and Greece. She received her Master of Fine Arts from University of Kentucky in 2004. Her works have won numerous awards, and have been shown in more than 200 exhibitions around the world. They can be found in private and public collections in both the US and Europe. Helene recently finished a large scale commission for the Markey Cancer Center at the Medical Center of University of Kentucky.