The Jetty Gallery

The Jetty Gallery

Helen Mortley

"I work from my studio, painting mostly on beech wood panels in watercolour with gold and silver leaf inlay.

My paintings are intricate and detailed, the subjects are all observed from my surroundings, feathers, shells, fish and flowers.

I have always had a deep interest in marine biology and although they are stylized I try to keep the content accurate.

Calgary is a great place for beach combing and because of the effect of the gulf stream amazing things can wash up from distant shores, like sea beans ( exotic large dark brown seeds from South America). Tiny iridescent blue jelly fish, called "By the wind sailors", which are sometimes accompanied by violet sea snails, a beautiful fragile mauve shell. Fish boxes with the names of Atlantic ports, covered in Goose neck barnacles,these may have drifted for years, on the oceans currents.

Winter is the best time for drift wood, which we collect, then gradually dry and use for clocks and boats which are made entirely from local recycled materials, including rusty fence wire rigging from around Frachadil, netting from old whelk bags, tin from recycled coffee tins and various found objects including sea plastic and glass for all the small details."