It’s been a while since I posted a Helen Andersen piece and this one may seem like an odd choice. It looks to me like a child’s drawing, not something an adult would sign; not something to be associated with a master like Chagall. But there it is, signed Helen Andersen 80  and titled Clowns, Clowns, à la Chagalle.
I choose it not because it’s a great work of art, but because it tells us a few things about the artist.
First, Helen loved getting little kids involved with all things creative, especially drawing and painting. She did this by showing kids how to let go and just have fun. She led by example.
I can easily imagine Helen telling a very young Jane Clapp (her child play-partner in this case) that anything goes … that clowns don’t have to stand still on the ground. They can go onto the page sideways or up in the air, if you want. Why, look at Chagall! (She might have added, “You can even misspell his name,” but that was unintentional, I’m sure.)