Eighteen years ago following retirement from a career in higher education, I began a “second career” in watercolor painting.  My early life growing up on a dairy farm in Kentucky instilled a love for the land, its animals and people.  This love was enhanced when we “returned to the land” by building a home in the country near Floyd.  These roots, combined with a long time fascination with art and design are now finding expression in painting. 

My inspiration for painting often takes the form of colorful landscapes, plants, and animals.  I am attracted to how light, value, color and shapes compose the scene.  Most of my paintings are representational and remind me of places and experiences earlier in life as well as those more recent.  About five years ago abstraction captured my imagination and a series of nonrepresentational watercolors resulted.  Some abstracts I paint from intuition while others are inspired by objects or thoughts.  I like the challenge of expressing a message in both representational and nonrepresentational ways.  Expressing a memory, moment in time, or story through painting is what I attempt as I paint.  Painting continues to provide an irresistible challenge!




(336) 253-0555

"Floyd County Farm"

"Spaced Out Pear"


Helen Shaw