This seems like a good day to rummage in our collection of still-unframed Helen Andersen artwork. Danica has carefully boxed many sketches and pastels between slip sheets, while they wait for attention.
The tiger sketch is one of a pair done one day apart on a large sketch pad. I picked it to represent the ferocity of Helen’s commitment to art. She worked at it for her entire adult life, moving through many stages of abstraction and expressive representation. She was a constant experimenter as her sketchbooks testify.
Short, snappy protest slogans were never her strong suit.
Helen’s father had brought her up with a strong sense of social justice. He was one of the first medical doctors to press for universal healthcare in Tommy Douglas’s Saskatchewan. Helen became a nurse and expanded her political activism to include peace marches and support for the arts.
Our box of Helen treasures includes a wide variety of experimental drawings, even some on graph paper, but this one is striking because she made some of the paper herself, pulping it from old newspapers and dried yard stuff in her kitchen blender.
Mixed media collage by Helen Andersen. Approximately 13.5″ wide, 11″ tall
A detail view gives an idea of the texture. It appears that Helen has scraped up dried paint, probably acrylics, and used it as collage material to apply to her paper layers.