The Journey

Helan BarrickJoining painting classes in the mid 60's, I had no idea the journey I was about to begin. Now all these years later, it is still fun and exciting, challenging and gratifying.

The journey has involved a great deal of:
Thought
Ideas
Research
Decisions
Creativity
Struggle
Adjustments
Embellishments
Achievements
With challenges and joys through it all.

With endless paths to follow, I was drawn to painting children, in both everyday and whimsical circumstances. Perhaps raising six children, with hubby Frank, played part in it. I do often find the resemblance to one of my children in the faces I paint. This just happens sometimes, unexpectedly, since our eyes and brain do record what they see.

I like to paint the faces most accurately and carefully, letting the hair stay loose, wispy and casual. The clothing is treated with soft, dabby brush strokes for casual simplicity. I love adding a little supportive background to round out the story," keeping it soft, somewhat transparent and fading along the edges.

I find a lot of similarities in painting and raising children! Except in my paintings I can smooth out the wrinkles and determine the outcome!

One of the hardest things, for me, while working on my first book was what will I name it!? The book was going to feature lots of paintings with kids doing things kids do some good, some funny and maybe some mischievous.

Right in the middle of it one day, my sweet 7 year old Sandi came in from school looking pretty sad and upset. Of course, I had to know what was wrong and she told me - "Mr. Owens (her most favorite teacher) became upset when arriving back into the classroom and finding several of the other students being rowdy, and called us all a bad name!" My heart sank as I asked her, "What did Mr. Owens call you?" She thought for a few seconds trying to recall the name, and then she said, "He called us a bunch of Whippersnappers!" It took a minute for that to sink in before I burst out laughing and then trying to explain it all to her. A few more minutes went by and I thought - "Oh my gosh, there is the name for my book!"

Needless to say, it became the name for that first book and many more to come! For me, that was one of "Life's memorable moments".