Helena Tarn Art

New Abstract Artwork: The Art of Finding Light


What was the worst job interview question you have ever had? I’ve had quite a few, but a couple spring to mind. ‘Why do you want this job?’ Real answer: Because I need money. Why else. Please hire me I’m poor…

We’ve all been there, facing those cliché questions that make you roll your eyes and contemplate the meaning of it all. “Where do you see yourself in five years?” or “What’s your biggest weakness?” Interviews often feel like a surreal interrogation where you’re expected to dance around these mundane inquiries.

A couple of years ago I was unemployed. It wasn’t fun. I had not long moved to Ireland, we were just coming out of the pandemic, and I needed money. I applied for countless positions and, to my dismay, mostly received silence in return. The few interviews I did secure often left me feeling like just another number, with no follow-up or courtesy in rejection. Rude, right?

I was still painting landscapes, but they were becoming a lot more fluid and loose in style. The canvas became my sanctuary. It didn’t judge me, didn’t ask tiresome questions, and allowed me to be myself. My landscapes began to morph into something new and exhilarating, mirroring the shifting seasons of my life.

There was one particular abstract artwork painting which was based on the local Warrenpoint and Carlingford viewpoint near my home. It was a dark and moody and atmospheric piece. The dark clouds were painted in dark indigos and purples. It matched my mood. It was the middle of winter and the nights were long and cold. I have no heating in my studio, so I was bundled up in jumpers and a hat.

I’d bought a tube of fluorescent yellow acrylic paint on a whim a few months before and it suddenly caught my eye. I love colour and I’m always looking for interesting colour combinations. I thought, what’s the worse that could happen..? It’s only paint. That one addition of colour changed the tone of my painting completely. What was dark and moody, became full of life and energy. I started to use bright neon colours in other paintings, and I loved the energy and boldness that it brought.

It was a tough few months (and let’s get real, in context I’m one of the fortunate ones, I wasn’t exactly running from a war torn land). But for me at that time on a personal level, it was hard. But, through my paintings, I saw there was light at the end of the tunnel, and a pretty cool funky neon light at that 😉

I was still unemployed, but things started to feel lighter. Spring set in and the little pops of wild flowers started to blossom. And it was these little burst of energy and colour that continued to nourish my creative spirit. There was light, there was hope and clarity. I found solace in the chaos, tranquility in imperfection. The boundless beauty in the colours of nature reminded me to embrace the freedom of artistic expression and to celebrate the wild and untamed aspects of life.

Fast forward to now. Things are much better. I am employed (yey!) in a job I love that allows me to use my creativity. I sell my artwork to wonderful people around the globe. But I learned a lot during that time. And I don’t look back on it with horror or dread, but with a touch of fondness, as those tough times led me to my neon paint and bold abstract strokes. My paintings became more meaningful and I loved the freedom that the bright colours and the bold abstract lines brought.

In this latest collection of artwork, I’ve tried to capture this sense of calm within my abstract pieces, balancing the dynamic elements with moments of stillness. It’s a delicate interplay between chaos and serenity, much like life itself. Little pops of beauty and gratitude exist, but they don’t beg for attention. You have to seek them out, and you are richly rewarded when you make the effort.

The paintings are named after cliché interview questions I endured, each reflecting my journey of not giving up, finding light in the darkness, and drawing inspiration from hope and wildflowers.

As Jim Carrey aptly put it, “Flowers don’t worry about how they’re going to bloom. They just open up and turn toward the light, and that makes them beautiful.”

These paintings are a testament to resilience, the joy of the journey, and the beauty in the process. They’re a celebration of seeking out moments of beauty and gratitude, even when life throws its cliché interview questions your way.

I hope you love these paintings and the sense of freedom that they bring. I hope you feel the joy and the energy that went into them.

Want to see the final finished paintings? Join my email newsletter as my subscribers always get the first peek. And follow along on my Instagram journey to see the behind the scenes.

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Also, why not take a look at my current abstract paintings for sale here.

Colourful and textured art for your home. Nature inspired canvas paintings, inspired by the chaos and calm of our landscapes, with an urban and contemporary edge. Statement wall art for contemporary living and elegant home decor. Artwork for sale updated seasonally.

See my About​ page for more info on my artistic process and to learn more about my abstract artwork. Original Abstract Artwork and Art Prints For Sale – shop here.

All photos by ShutterDee Photos.


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