How artist Helena Ray captures the female form through paint.

Tell us about the art you make, and what draws you to the female form?

I paint women in free flowing realness, celebrating the ever changing female body in its all-encompassing natural form, hair and all. When I paint I focus on the pleasure I get from the act of painting, using bold colours and fluid linework that capture the female form with all her lumps and bumps. As water may flow over stones and make its way around bends, the fluid shapes of the female body give me freedom to explore in a joyful playfulness when drawing.


What kind of role did creativity play in your childhood?

I grew up in the countryside, surrounded by lush New Zealand bush overlooking Karekare beach. My house was cluttered in art, paintings, tapestries and stained glass. My mother, who was a weaver at the time, had an eye for the interesting and always encouraged me to create, setting up areas to draw or giving me free reign in her sewing workshop. I always remember the magazine pages of Matisse’s nude ladies blue tacked to the bathroom walls and thinking how they reminded me of my mum in her colourful house. I think these images have stuck with me.

How do ideas for your art come to you?

Ideas usually come to me as I doodle or play with marks on the paper. Or I might think of the people...

Want to keep reading? Find the full story, Helena Ray in Womenclan magazine available here.