Artist StatementMy most recent prints were inspired by learning and practicing Mindfulness Meditation with Trish Magyari in Baltimore. Through my work, I am trying to keep "centered" in a world that seems more and more chaotic and difficult to navigate. The written word is so powerful that I am moved to integrate short phrases that work along with the imagery as affirmations or reminders. My goal is to connect with more people by integrating the style and placement and meaning of the words with the overall form of the colors and imagery. The imagery is both person and universal, combining gestural marks with abstract shapes that frequently make reference to nature, or to the forces of nature which we all experience. For me, they are metaphors for feelings, emotions, or one’s state of being. I have since 2012 made carving in wood my new passion, yet working with wood grain is a long-time interest. Back in grad school (Northern Illinois U.) in the 1970s I began to experiment with woodgrain (yes as in woodcut printing) as a soft-ground element that added texture and mystery to the surface of the forms in my prints. Now, the woodgrain, or "figure" is WITHIN and takes on an alternate life as part of the personality of the animals, or other forms I am carving.
Richard Hellman earned the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Syracuse University, and the M.A. and M.F.A. degrees from Northern Illinois University. He has studied with such notable artists as David Driesbach, Don Cortese, Hanlyn Davies, and N. Krishna Reddy (formerly S.W. Hayter’s Associate Director of Atelier 17, Paris). Hellman was honored to serve as the American jurist to the 1998 Agart World Print Festival held in Ljubljania, Slovenia. Richard served as President of the Maryland Printmakers from 1996-98 and as Membership Chair prior to that. He has taught printmaking at The Maryland Institute College of Art, Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, UMBC, Towson University, Loyola College of MD, and was responsible for setting up the waterbased screenprinting facilities at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he taught from 1999-2005. Richard’s prints have been included in many international, national, and regional juried exhibitions over the past 25 years, and are included in the collections of: Bryn Mawr College Tri-College Collection, The Hunterdon Museum of Art, Clinton, NJ, The National Institutes of Health, Weinberg & Green, Loyola College of Maryland, Graphic Chemical and Ink Co., Arkansas State University, LaGrange College, Pharmaceutics, Inc., St. James Condominium, Tulsa City Library, Quincy School System and many private collections. Richard has made woodcarving his new passion