Helena Tarn Art

Introducing The Untamed Series

“It looks like the beginning of the world, somehow: the sea looks older than in other places, the hills and rocks strange, and formed differently from other rocks and hills…The hill-tops are shattered into a thousand cragged fantastical shapes. The savage rock-sides are painted of a hundred colours. Does the sun ever shine here? When the world was moulded and fashioned out of formless chaos, this must have been the bit over—a remnant of chaos!”

William Thackeray
The Irish Sketchbook of 1842

Since moving to Ireland and living so close to the sea, I enjoy being able to visit so often. And every trip we have taken this year has revolved around the glorious stretch of the north coast. Even on a hike through the Mourne mountain range, nothing beats scrambling to the top of the peak, only to glimpse the sparkling ocean in the distance. A true wonder of creation.

I love to abstract the landscape in my paintings and having spent so much time by the sea this summer, it felt only natural that my next body of work would have a very coastal feel. I spent a couple of weeks taking in the nature of County Donegal and County Antrim, a mesmerising coastline that leaves you awestruck.

The Irish coastline is full of paradox. The tranquil calmness of the glistening, turquoise ocean, such as Malin Beg or Portsalon, begging you to sink into the cool blue ocean, contrasted with the frenetic, almost violent pounding of waves at Malin Head or Ballintoy. At the same time calming but energetic, tranquil yet noisy. It truly is ‘Untamed’. There is nothing we can do to contain its power. It is savage, powerful, awesome, ferocious and free in its’ wild and natural state.

With rolling green hills overlooking moody dark rocks, interspersed with golden sands and turquoise blue coves, not to mention vibrant pink and orange sunsets, the coast plays to my love of brave textures and bold colours. You can expect a lot of blues, teals, and warm pinks in this collection. Like most of my paintings, the mood is abstract expressionist, I don’t like my paintings to be perfect representations of what I see. Rather, I want to set the tone of the landscape, the bold texture and colour to lead you to your own conclusion and to encourage deep and personal contemplation. The wildness and the energy and chaos of the rocky coastline is a constant source of inspiration. I hope this body of work manages to represent that energy and chaos.

Each piece takes a few weeks from conception to finish. I work intuitively and in layers, which means that I need a lot of drying time between. This gives me time to really study the painting in depth and learn what it needs from me and where I need to take it.

I have currently finished one large piece and a few small canvases that I believe have really set the tone for what it to come.

‘Look For The Light’ – Acrylic on canvas, 50 x 50 cm

‘Look For The Light’ is a bold, vibrant acrylic work on canvas that I hope embodies the energy and chaos of waves crashing against a backdrop of the stormy skies. A heavily textured painting, the wild dark blue waves, the turquoise sea spray and the neon pink pop; a quivering melting pot of colour. The title shows that even in the darkness there is light – we just need to look for it. Even in the storm there is beauty.

I am currently working on the next pieces that will be released on an individual basis over the next few weeks. I can’t wait to show you. Of course my newsletter subscribers will have the first preview, so if you would like to see, please do join up below. You can also follow along behind the scenes on my Instagram to see how the paintings develop over the next few weeks and months.

‘East Strand, Portrush’, Acrylic on Canvas 20 x 30 cm

I hope you love the new series. My hope is that you experience raw and authentic art, art that connects with your brave, vulnerable soul. Art that energises you and enables you to become as powerful and bold as the landscapes I seek to represent.

I hope you enjoy following along on my journey through the glorious coastline of Northern Ireland and Donegal. Be sure to join my newsletter below to keep up to date.

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