Helen Utsal


Helen Utsal works out of her studio in Comox BC. painting colourful loose landscapes.

Helen studied Fine Arts at Concordia University, in Montreal and through school worked as a studio assistant; underpainting large canvases, making grounds, sizes, frames and stretching canvases for two professional artists.

An IATSE member in Toronto, Helen worked on dozens of feature films, as a scenic artist and painter. She also worked on independent films, television, music videos and commercials.

“Inspired by my life: my family, friends, and community all inspire me, but nature is my greatest muse and what I paint.

I seek out beautiful natural places and see extraordinary paintings all around me. As a part of my landscape, I absorb and memorize the colours, contrasts and light. Often I paint ‘plein air’ (out in the open air); whether it’s off my doorstep at 11 o’clock at night (SandPines), or down a million stairs to the ocean waves (FloBay).

The landscapes I explore here on Vancouver Island show up in my canvases; a unique expression of the vitality and diversity that the west coast is.

I start with acrylics; laying out hot colours, metallic or pearlescent paints, even glitter. Next I work into the picture with oil paint and cold wax medium, leaving bits of glimmering light that jump out as you walk by the painting. The flashes of light are contrasted by fat waxy oil paint on top. I like to make large paintings so you can really enter the place…you can almost smell the moist, mossy air…”

Suzy Arbor

Kevin Arnold

Karen Bagayawa
Josefa Fritz Barham
Mark Berens
Mary-Jean Butler
Todd Clark
Kelly Corbett
Vicki English
Lisa Geddes
Victor Goertz
Lori Goldberg
Warren Goodman
Taralee Guild
Gary Haggquist
Sandra Harris
Cathy High
Jeff Holmwood
Tammie Hunter
Marilyn Hurst
Burns Jennings
Jenny Keith
Kandice Keith
Peter Lawson
Patrick Leach
Wayne Leidenfrost
Ellen Mahon
Lloyd Major
Gloria Masse

David McColm

Lori Meeboer

Bruce Muir

Christina Nick
Feral Nifty
Dianne Ostoich
Anders Petersen
Tracy Proctor
Kris Robinson
Dieter Schlatter
Peggy Stel
Lorraine Surcouf
DonnaJane Tarazona
Richard Taylor
Stephanie Taylor
Helen Utsal
Alli Van Gruen
Jenn Williamson