Helios Series

I call this group of paintings the Helios Series for the Greek god of the sun. Helios appears in various forms and by many names in virtually all cultures and times. The images here are derived from dream visions of sunlight filtering down through water-laden atmosphere.Helios painting by Robert Spellman These are small paintings on unstretched cotton muslin in a style reminiscent of mid-eighteenth century oil paintings. As you will see, the paintings are only loosely rectangular; they appear to be on a surface like hide or skin. Some quality of them also pays homage to the English painter J.M.W. Turner, whose loose, luminous paintings were so daring and prescient in the early 1800s. His paintings and watercolors were an influence on me as a young artist and I find myself returning to them again and again over the years. This work also shares source influence with the Luminist Folios – shown elsewhere on this site – and the nineteeth century Romantic penchant for reverential depictions of a world bathed in sunlight.