Helen Rhodes

Im All Yours by Helen Rhodes
Sun Sea And Shades by Helen Rhodes
Spring Fever by Helen Rhodes
Love Is In The Air by Helen Rhodes
Let The Fun Begin by Helen Rhodes
Hanging Loose by Helen Rhodes
Fun & Frolics by Helen Rhodes
Crazy For You by Helen Rhodes
Garden Of Romance by Helen Rhodes
Pralines Hot Spot by Helen Rhodes
Cheeky Creme Brulee by Helen Rhodes
Naughty Caramel Cocktails by Helen Rhodes
Praline by Helen Rhodes
Creme Brulee by Helen Rhodes
Some cottage industries remain just that. A semi-business concern, entrenched in personal pleasure rather than striving for public attention and the almost inevitable commercial success which follows. Which is all well and good, and which works for many. However, then there are those like celebrated contemporary fine artist, Helen Rhodes, alumni of Loughborough College of Art and Design (1992), who went on to achieve huge acclaim for her beautifully crafted, immensely ornate canvas, textile, china, porcelain and greetings card designs. And richly deserved in our book, as Rhodes’ gloriously intimate, warm and humorous, detailed yet uncomplicated individual illustrative pieces are an absolute joy to behold. Or to pin onto your clothing. Or dry your dishes with, pack your shopping into or send to a friend with love/well worded sentiments. Because you see, Rhodes’ unique cross-fertalisational approach to her own particular art has paid dividends across the entire creative board since she first, literally (or rather, graphically) went for it, so to speak.

Said graduate of Loughborough’s Textile Design degree course, Rhodes didn’t even concentrate fully on the compositional aspect of all things artistic until after art school, as we discover that previously she opted to study painting so that she had another discipline under her wing when it came to gaining her first class honours. Such long-game thinking came in handy, because just a couple years after completing her higher art education, Rhodes threw herself comprehensively into her art with a view to making it her profession in life; and by 1994 the budding artisan was not only originating and manifesting her own illustrative pieces, but selling them into local art galleries and appropriate venues. It wasn’t long after this that Rhodes’ compositions were being snapped up by the more prestigious establishments across the UK. Dedicating her time to building, developing and evolving her rudimentary techniques and style of presentation, Rhodes then quickly sought to consolidate the reputation she was constructing by producing consistently high quality artwork that has inspired an entire generation of art-lovers (and cat lovers).

Yes, cats, birds and various other animals make regular appearances on Rhodes’ artistic outlets, be they cemented on canvas, china, card or fabric it would appear. Her fertile imagination, teamed with a disciplined approach and application to her works have ensured that Rhodes has won both universally commercial and critical acclaim for her individual pieces and collections, all of which have observed her mixing medias to devastating effects through a diverse and ever-opulent range of colourations and courtesy of the meticulous administration of separate layers of favoured mediums and materials. These have included various inks, paints and varnish amongst other items, whilst Rhodes’ more recent forays into sculpture have gone down an equal storm to what’s passed before; thus ensuring a list of new admirers to join the legions of existing fans and serious collectors of her signature work.

It’s the considered and measured combinations of simplistic, yet overly familiar images, a sense of naďve humour found in the pictorials and that visual plundering of such intense hues and saturations, textures and patterns which have really made Rhodes’ work stand out from the crowd. Fascinated by the history of textile days which can be traced back to her student days and beyond, Rhodes admits to being specifically drawn to the costume and imagery associated with the Elizabethan period. This can be duly noted in the design proposition of ripped edges on many of her illustration’s peripheries, suggesting that each individual image is but a fragment of a larger painting; essentially giving the art an extra dimension and precious feel. The near-decadence of her work is then fulfilled still further by the adoption of a final varnished layer, so as to embellish the volume-built layers which have gone before.

In 1994, Rhodes was approached and subsequently commissioned by Queen’s Bone China with a brief to lay down the designs for six mugs, whilst in 1995 the flexible and diverse artist claimed the headlines for winning the Imperial Cancer Research charity’s annual Christmas Card Competition. This victory and potentially commercial acknowledgement of her fledgling talents motivated Rhodes sufficiently to push her designs in a greetings card industry context, which she hadn’t necessarily considered until that juncture. Today, Rhodes regularly produces bespoke greetings cards designs for a number of household name publishers, including the likes of The Art Group, Art File, Pictura and Woodmansterne; that’s in addition to selling alternative designs via her own website and various selected galleries and retail outlets across the country. All of these have been met with much success and are constantly distributed far and wide, suffice to say.

Rhodes has also been represented, commercially by one of the UK’s most successful fine art publishers in the past, DeMontford Fine Art, who she has collaborated with in terms of many limited edition reproductions of her original works for the mass market; however more recently she’s opted to go it alone with regards to this area. Awards-wise, and in 1998 Rhodes landed the accolade of ‘Artist Gift of the Year’ from the industry-respected Fine Art Trade Guild, a feat she followed up 12 months later, this time in the guise of being announced as the same awarding body’s ‘Best Up and Coming Artist’ in 1999. A year on from that recognition, and Rhodes was accepting yet another gong, this time handed out in light of her being celebrated as ‘Best Selling Published Artist 2000’.

View All Art Works By Helen Rhodes