Artist & Ales 004: Helen Cardamone

By Brit Weidel

Hello readers, we’re back with our fourth installment of AERONAUT’s blog series “Artists & Ales!” Twice a month we will publish a new interview where we feature a new artist. This series was created with the intention to tune into the art world and help support the art community through visibility and promotion.

Artists from near and far and from all walks of life will be featured here so be sure to check back often for all of our upcoming interviews. You never know who might be making the piece of artwork you can’t live without!

For our fourth post, AERONAUT is proud to present local artist Helen Cardamone!

Mx. Brit from Aeronaut: Tell us a little about yourself Helen.

Helen Cardamone: BA from Wake Forest University – Studio Art and Entrepreneurship. I am also of Irish and Italian descent. Thirdly, the background of my IPhone is an unremarkable photo I took of Longfellow Bridge looking from Cambridge to Boston. I would like to think I’m a decent painter, but my photography skills are not quite up to par.

Mx. Brit: What does your work aim to say?

Helen: If my work could talk it would say “come play with me!” haha…I don’t know. It’s not like there are actual words on the canvas or sounds coming from it for people to read or hear a direct message. But visually speaking, I think there is a lighthearted and spirited nature in each piece expressed through color, which makes it fun. “If you never did, you should. These things are fun and fun is good.”  -Dr Seuss

Mx. Brit: Who and/or what are your biggest influencers ?

Helen: There are some really cool instagram influencers with over 50K followers that have truly moved me. No. But honestly, it’s people and places.

People: My high school art teacher, Grant Drumheller, Robert Rauschenberg, female singer songwriters whose music I sing to while painting. There is dancing involved, too, which might affect certain brushstrokes, for better or for worse. Whoops. 

Places: Hilton Head Island, the 1000 Islands, Cambridge, and any place that I consider “home” at that point in time. 

Mx. Brit: Are you jiving on a project right now? 

Helen: A series of paintings that depict life on the St. Lawrence River

Mx. Brit: Can you describe your work space/studio setup? 

Helen: Messy. My mom was shocked I brought someone I was dating into it. You can always count on a mother for an unfiltered critique. Half of my bedroom is dedicated to a workspace. Sometimes I have to force myself to stop painting so I can crawl out of the dungeon and see the light…go for a walk…eat a meal…communicate with a human. But that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m done with a “painting train of thought”. Living among the paintings allows me to change something right when it pops into my mind. 

Mx. Brit: Do you have a favorite artist’s tool? One that you can’t live without in your studio or work space? 

Helen: My favorite brush right now is a flat brush size 6. I have to remind myself to use other size brushes to make a painting more dynamic, but I love the way I can manipulate paint with it. With that brush size, I can glop on a lot of paint to the bristles and then go back and forth between loose painting and a more perfected tightness. Recently, I’ve been working on 20x24in. canvases, which might be why that size brush makes sense or is appealing to me. I also can do both organic and geometric shapes pretty easily with that brush, which is a plus. 

Mx. Brit: How does your work comment on current events? Does social or political events affect how you approach your work?

Helen: I feel like recently I’ve been artistically curling into a fetal position. These paintings depict spaces where I feel most at home, comfortable, and welcome during this unique time. I have found myself analyzing (over-analyzing?) moments…shadows…crevices…patterns…in these familiar places. When I see these paintings, I don’t just see a chair, a front door, a backyard…but I see conversations I’ve had with family and friends that I will never forget. By conversations, I mean long awaited catch-ups with college friends over zoom, heart-to-hearts with my parents that have allowed me to see them through a new lens, and an internal dialogue of me with inanimate objects that have led me to question my sanity. That is when I realize I need to put my brush down and go for a socially distanced walk. 

Mx. Brit: How does your individual perspective and/or personal lens add to the voices of art history? Do you bring something new? Do you honor something old?

Helen: At 26, it’s hard to squeeze myself into one of those big books. But there are plenty of things that I love. And I love things at different times for different reasons. As cliché as it sounds, I love safety and familiarity which isn’t too bizarre of a concept.  

Mx. Brit: What inspires you most? What keeps you making art?

Helen: Yikes. I don’t know if one particular thing inspires me. But I feel like I have a fire in my belly. The flame went out for a little bit, but now it’s back and I keep getting excited by new ideas. Places and people to paint. Who I could give a painting to and if it could make them really happy to own! 

Mx. Brit: How have you developed your career?

Helen: Continue taking classes. I know, taking art classes over zoom sounds like a joke, but I do think I’ve actually benefited so much from being able to hear lectures via zoom and then kind of going into my own zone in my workspace. That is my silver lining to the madness/sadness going on in our world right now. 

Mx. Brit:What is your favorite style of beer? (Aeronaut or otherwise.)

Helen: I don’t drink beer, but I really like people who do. 

Mx. Brit: What is the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?

Helen: My instagram: Helen_Cardamone

Brit Weidel is the Community Events Coordinator at Aeronaut. The views and opinions expressed on this web site are solely those of the original author, and they do not necessarily represent those of Aeronaut Brewing Co.

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