Meet the Artist: Helen Wilson

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Abundance in nature: A journey through color, texture, emotion and thought.

By Kelli Comer

Local mixed media artist Helen Wilson approaches her work thoughtfully and beautifully, taking note from the world that surrounds her to create one-of-a-kind paper collage art that mimics the beauty of Mother Nature.

Helen’s fascination with the botanical world dates to her childhood, playing in her grandmother’s lush garden in California. Throughout her teenage years, she experimented with drawing and doodling before leaving the artistic path to pursue a nursing education, career and family.

Jumping ahead several decades, Helen and her family moved to the edge of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, thus rekindling her fascination with the natural world. She found herself needing to give a voice to the botanical wonder around her and her latent artistic abilities began to blossom again.

“The dormancy of winter plants, the way plants communicate, the buzzing of pollinators, the hidden work of chlorophyll, the rhythm of the seasons, the mystery of seeds and the amazing world of grasses fascinated me,” says Helen.

After several years of experimenting with different mediums, Helen discovered her voice in the mixed media collage process. From there, she developed her original semi-abstract, 3D collage style. She highlights a variety of colors and textures to create intricate details in her work, using acrylic paints, inks and a metal gilding process.

Helen Wilson

“Color is a very important part of my work,” Helen exclaims. “I consider that colors can be very therapeutic, and I try to employ vibrant and unusual hues in my pieces.”

Helen uses various techniques in her work, including monoprinting, sgrafitto, intricate cutting and folding. A fan of experimentation, she uses cutting, gluing and folding to create detailed layers. She often adds unseen elements such as fragments of old postcards, letters or drawings in her pieces, honoring how much of the botanical world is hidden from our eyes.

“Over the last two years, I’ve been using corrugated cardboard and other items I find in the recycle bin,” Helen explains. “I have also taken to making paper assemblages from vintage boxes and junk store items. It can be very rewarding to completely repurpose a discarded item and make something beautiful with it.”

When Helen works, she finds herself on a beautiful journey. “I am traveling through color, texture, emotion and thought,” she smiles. “My hope is that my detail, structure and unique use of color will entice the viewer to take a moment to stop, to look, to be intrigued and hear the voices of the botanical world.”

To reach Helen, you can email her at To learn more about the artist, her work and upcoming events, visit or follow Helen on Instagram @HelenWilsonArt.

Categories: Arts & Entertainment