The Jetty Gallery

The Jetty Gallery

Helen L Robertson

I graduated with a B.A.Hons Degree in Glass from Edinburgh College of Art in 1987, then spent the following year at the Royal College of Art, London.
I have lived and worked as a full time artist in Glenshiel since 1989.

For me, it’s all about the light.
The liquid light through the arc of a glassy wave or reflected in the wet sand of a beach.
And so consequently, I equally love the deep shadows cast against this light.
The balance of shadows and light inspires, excites and challenges me to capture it in pastel or paint.

The paintings begin by firstly gathering  source material  by getting out into the landscape with sketchbooks, drawing board, paper, art materials and camera.  There is something essential  about being out in the elements and looking intensely at the landscape. Drawing the composition is much more absorbing and inspiring than just taking photographs. I often use a stick or feather that I have found and ink to give unpredictable, expressive marks. 

Over the last couple of years my work has shifted from working solely with pure Pastel to experimenting with Mixed Media. I flood the paper with acrylic inks and watercolour, letting colours collide and mix, giving a dynamic, expressive feel.
I think that when you are not in complete control of a medium is when the magic can happen.
The pools of colour drift away at the edges of my work, giving a dreamlike quality to my paintings.

Once dry, I use pastel to bring out areas of detail. Using the side of the pastel allows the paint below to show through and I love the layering of varying colour to give depth and richness to the work.

I find it interesting having areas that are highly worked against areas of simple lines or marks.

The pastel paintings are built up in layers of the coloured pigment to give depth and richness to the painting. The pastel is rubbed into the paper with the side of my hand or finger tips. As additional layers of colour are added the pastel is gently patted into place or left as a mark in it’s own right to give definition or detail.

My work is sold in galleries throughout Scotland and online, selling to private collectors worldwide