I am an anthropologist as well as an artist and have spent many years pursuing cultural and archaeological research in the field.  As an artist I also choose to paint plein air, working outside in the field, bringing my easel and paints to a site and soaking up the feel of the place while painting it.  My father was an artist and my first mentor.  Later I received more formal training at the Art Center School in Los Angeles, Chinuard's Fine Art Studio and the Los Angeles County Art Institute.  Along the way I became interested in cultural studies and went on to recive my Bachelor's degree at UCLA and my Masters at UCSB in anthropology, later entering the doctoral program in anthropology at the University of Nevada, Reno.  I taught anthropology over a period of thirty years at Ventura College, California and Feather River College in Plumas County which was my home for fifteen years.  During this time I engaged in studying the Mountain Maidu people's sense of place in the Plumas County area, a fascinating investigation of their origin beliefs, sacred topography and ways of relating to particular locales.  This study made me more deeply aware of how powerful an environment is in shaping the lives and thoughts of people.  It has influenced the way I look at a place and what I try to evoke about it in my paintings.  This is espressed in my rock art paintings which are inspired by work I have done recording ancient petroglyphs as well as in my oil paintings of landscapes and the animals that live within them.


HELEN VALBORG