VAM 35 Artist Profile | Helen Jones

Helen Jones, Richard.

Meet the artists in VAM 35! Visual Arts Mississauga 35th Annual Juried Show of Fine Arts, in the Art Gallery of Mississauga from January 17 – March 2, received 248 entries from across Ontario. Jurors selected 48 artists to be in the show.

For the final day of VAM 35, the AGM will post several artist profiles. Keep an eye on this page for more throughout the day. Learn about the thinking behind the works in the exhibit, and see the works in person at the AGM!

1.      Tell us about your work in VAM 35. Give us an idea of the conceptual framework you used in creating this piece. What inspired it? Why did you choose to use that particular medium? Why that particular perspective, set of colours, subject matter, etc.
My entry is a portrait titled “RICHARD”, and it is a MONO SCREEN PRINT.  Mono means that only one print of the image was made.  The screen printing method I used involved painting an image onto a polyester mesh screen with a fabric dye, letting it dry, rewetting it with wallpaper paste, and forcing the dye through the screen onto paper with a large squeegee.
2.      How would you describe your creative process? How has your style changed since you started, and what do you think is the reason behind the change?
I experiment with a variety of mediums, and screen printing was another new practice for me.  I have painted many oil and acrylic portraits in classical and abstract styles, so I decided to challenge myself by doing a screen printed portrait.  With only one chance to get it right, I had to let go of control and trust my experience.
My subject was taken from a photo in the newspaper of Richard Margison, a Canadian opera singer.    His face was interesting to me, and appealed to me to portray it.   I decided to do the screen print on top of a black ink drawing of Richard,  wanting the addition of line to give definition and energy to the image   First, I did a pencil sketch of the portrait to figure out the size and placement for the 12″ x12″ screen I wanted to use.  Then I outlined the 12″ x 12″ size and did the waterproof pen drawing on the print paper.   The pen drawing was then placed under the screen which is several inches above the paper.  I painted directly on the screen corresponding to the sketch below using colours to portray skin tones with highlights and shadows.  The fabric dye dries quickly and fades as it dries, so it becomes difficult to read the intensity and value of the colours. When the painted image is completely dry, it is aligned over the pen sketch before rewetting it and pulling the print.
The exciting thing about working without total control is anticipating the outcome.  The result is a certainly one of a kind, and can be very surprising and rewarding.

3.      If time and money were no object, what artistic project would you like to undertake? What about this project fascinates you, and how do you think it will engage the viewer?

My dream project has yet to be realized fully.  I know it would be a large scale figurative series with a narrative dealing with friendship.  The moments of sharing with trusted friends are most precious to me, and it is that intimacy I would like to convey to my viewer.


Visit the Visual Arts Mississauga 35th Annual Juried Show of Fine Arts at the Art Gallery of Mississauga (AGM) from January 17 – March 2!

For more information, visit the AGM website:

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