Helle Johansen-Baker 

I’m a Danish artist, who came to the UK in 1988. I’ve been living in Leigh on Sea by the Thames Estuary since 2010 where my passion for painting really started when I enrolled on a local painting course. It was soon clear to me that I had found something special that totally resonated.

Creativity has always been the thing pulling me - working in a graphic design studio, being a portrait/wedding photographer, designing and making silk bandanas for dogs, pet photographer (Shootmydog), designing and making silk and linen cushions with abstract images
from my photography, all met with interest from the buying public. 


Each stage of my journey has been a valuable, creative building block that has led to developing my unique approach in expressing my inner sensitivities.


My work is created on cradled plywood panels (cradled by 20x33mm wood batons, making them stand out nicely from the wall and easy to hang) and I use a mixture of oil and coldwax (CWM), which I find works well to achieve the desired aesthetics. Other mediums I use is sand, soil, oil pastels, acrylics, coal, scrunched up paper with writing or newspaper cuts that relates to the image. I scrape back dried paint to reveal the layers beneath and gouge into the surfaces with various tools.


My work is abstract and I take my inspiration from aged surfaces that show the passage of time;  I’m drawn to the decay of faded frescos, ancient walls, graffiti and street art, but also nature's palette  and the outdoors. The colours of the sea and the special light that you find in Denmark and Scandinavia as a whole,  has had a huge influence on the way I paint.  I’m a collector of things that I find in nature, especially stones, pebbles and sea-glass. Working with oil and wax takes patience, as each layer takes at least a day to achieve a semi-dryness, ready for the next layer. All of my paintings are multi layered, adding complexity, contrast and texture. I work mostly intuitively and colours are very important to me - a painting often starts with an idea of putting certain colours together that feel right. 

Most days now, I can be found working in my container studio at Leigh Marina.  


Thank you for browsing my gallery. 

If you’d like to discuss a creative project or would like me to do a commission, please feel free to get in touch.

Me in the studio

Making the plywood panels before

painting can begin.

‘I must find a truth that is true for me’

Søren Kierkegaard

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Exhibitions and upcoming events

2020 -  ROY'S ART FAIR - The Boiler House, Truman Brewery, London
             8 - 11th October 2020     
Roy's Art Fair

2020 -  Displaying artwork  at MAN CAVE Antiques UK
            in Leigh on Sea, The Broadway 

            There will be a weekly rotation of my artwork, which will run until the
            end of August 2020.

2020 - 'The Summer Show 2020' /  16th July - 30 July.

            A group show, organised and curated by La Galleria Pall Mall, located
            in the Royal Opera Arcade on Pall Mall, London

2020 -  Displaying artwork with Hansford & Sons Emerging Artist Platform


2019 - 'Nordic Echoes'@70 The Gallery, Leigh on Sea, Essex
            Solo exhibition.

2019 - 70TheBroadway Gallery, part of a Christmas pop-up collective with
            other local artists.

2018 - Essex Open, Beecroft Art Gallery, Southend on Sea.

2012 - Leigh Art Trail (abstract photography/collaboration with handbag
           designer Carmen Woods).

2011 - Leigh Art Trail (abstract photography)


2019 - Article/review in The Leigh Times

2019 - Article in the Echo Newspaper, Southend

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 © 2019 by Helle Johansen-Baker. 

Abstract Artist

+44 7895 607939

Leigh on sea Marina, High Street, Leigh-On-Sea Essex SS9 2ES

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