Helen McKnockiter was born in Guisborough, England in 1980. She spent most of her childhood abroad living in Malta and then Southern Africa. At the age of 12 Helen returned to the UK, moving to the countryside of the Scottish Borders. At school art was her favourite subject. Helen is strongly influenced by impressionist artists including Vincent van Gogh, Edgar Degas and Claude Monet. She loves the patterns made by William Morris and others during the arts and craft movement. The botanical illustrations of Charles Rennie Mackintosh have also played a huge part in who Helen is today as an artist. On leaving school Helen had a choice to study either biology or art at university. Helen moved to Edinburgh and studied biology. After completing her degree and then a PhD in brewing and distilling Helen moved to Australia where she rediscovered her passion for art and painting. Helen began to experiment with abstraction within her work, she appreciates the freedom and movement of works by Jackson Pollock. She took part in the SALA (South Australian Living Artist) festival for two consecutive years. She enjoyed her time in Australia but found herself missing home and longing for the green of the Borders. Since returning Helen has been drawn to the landscape around her and how it changes seasonally. Helen really loves to paint botanical subject matter. Her work is mainly inspired by the planting combinations she finds beautiful in the gardens she has visited. She regularly features in the Allanbank Arts shows, Art at Ancrum and the Borders Art Fair. When she is not painting, she can often be found out walking in the countryside or chasing butterflies in her parents’ beautiful garden.
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