“Whether jungle, desert, water or sky, how we engage with nature is paramount to understanding our world responsibilities. My artistic efforts go towards creating detailed, poignant wildlife art that inspires others to respect and understand this vital relationship.”
Mary Helsaple was raised in California, an avid birdwatcher, a national exhibiting watercolor artist who moved to the Southwest from Colorado in 2008. My artistic goal is to tell a story that connects people to nature. The premise is: Where and how do humans fit into their environment. What niche do we fill, and who shares it with us. We engage nature every day. Is it a culture clash or a symbiotic relationship? Helsaple’s watercolors are large works on paper, done in the ‘narrative style’ with finely detailed images of plants birds, animals, and insects which merge into natural surroundings in familiar and exotic environments.
Since 1996, her private collection of paintings she calls, Natures Network has traveled across the USA in art educational and environmental exhibitions like; Environmental Impact and Art of the Rainforest and Arts for the Parks with curator David J. Wagner LLC. Helsaple’s work has also exhibited the Smithsonian’s Exhibition Tropical Rainforest exhibition at the Denver Museum of Science in Colorado. Helsaple has been published in American Artist, Watercolor Magazine, Southwest Art, USA Today, Variety and Time Magazine. Mary’s photos were featured in Canon Camera’s Endangered Species Series National Geographic Magazine and others. Noteworthy exhibitions were: Artists on expeditions with Curt Walters and the Grand Canyon Land Trust – “Painting Down the Rapids, Sonoran Desert Museum –AZ., -Sea of Cortez, Baja California expedition. Awarded – Colorado’s Governor’s Award in the Arts in 2000 – and Girl Scouts Wagon Wheel Council – Women of Distinction Award 2000, and instrumental with Imagination Celebration Programs for several decades. As a featured National Artist , national NEA grant recipient in the CRAYOLA, Binney & Smith; Art Education Curriculum Guide. – Artist in Residence at Rocky Mtn. National Park – and Sapelo Island National State Park in Georgia. Collaborated on television programs that receiving 4 -National Television Emmys Awards for nature and wildlife documentaries and a several NEA- Awards for non-profit school programs and art exhibitions nationally.
Currently; Mary teaches watercolor and drawing for Yavapai College and has written “Physics of Watercolor” a watercolor techniques book. In the last 3 years, she continues to develop a collage style 3-Dimensional art with traditional watercolors. This involves, cutting, rolling, layering and adhering pieces to watercolor paper to paper surfaces. This involves utilizing the skills of traditional 2D dimension watercolor painting with cut- out collage applications and layered paper sculptural techniques on painted watercolor paper.