Inspired by the natural world around her, Deborah Helms’ passion for art was ignited as a teenager growing up in Florida. “When you look so closely at nature, a world unfolds through art,” says the artist. Helms has honed her technique with pencil, oil, black and white photography, and acrylics. Having gone to school for medicine, she became a physician’s assistant, and while staying at home with her two small children, started her art career drawing children in graphite pencil, completing several hundred commissioned artworks during this time.
While her early pieces depict family and brotherly love, later works explore texture and ocean-centered impressionism. Always interested in black and white photos, Helms set up a darkroom, incorporating sepia toning and transparent oils. She also painted with artist Jeanne Maddox in her studio, studying with her for 10 years, as well as at Auburn University. Most recently, Helms’ work has taken the form of fluid art—the flow of brilliant colors intertwining and capturing a sense of peace, depicting calmness amidst the storms of life. “These take me back to my roots—the ocean, waves and sky.”