Helen Klebesadel

How To Be A Feminist Watercolor Artist

Helen Klebesadel has always thought of her art research as the place where her visual art and her belief in feminism merge. In the video below, Helen shares a brief overview of how feminism has influenced her art over the last 40 years by sharing a few images of major bodies of her art that represent key themes over time. She finishes up with a visit to her studio and a discussion of her current art research.

Helen R. Klebesadel

Helen Klebesadel
Photo taken by Beth Skogen Photography

Helen Klebesadel (MFA 1989) is an artist, educator, and creativity coach from Madison, Wisconsin. Her visual concerns as an artist run the gamut from careful study to poetic, symbolic, and sometimes political representations of nature and human nature. Helen exhibits her watercolors and mixed media collaborative artworks nationally and internationally. Her artwork is represented in numerous public and private collections. Klebesadel was a University professor and administrator in art and women and gender studies for over 25 years, including directing the University of Wisconsin System Women’s and Gender Studies Consortium for 18 years. She is a past national president of the Women’s Caucus for Art and served as director of the Wisconsin Regional Art Program from 2012-2015.  In addition to teaching private art and creativity workshops, Helen regularly uses watercolor, mixed media, and collage as part of her arts-based creativity coaching and mentoring. Helen Klebesadel believes all people are creative, and that the art making process is a form of thinking and problem solving that can be applied to enhance and expand creativity in our lives and to help create the world we seek to live in. More of Helen’s work can be found at klebesadel.com.

Back to top

7 thoughts on “Helen Klebesadel”

  1. Listening to you talk about your art and your process was so wonderful. I have always admired your talent and your paintings. I loved hearing you speak about them as a feminist, an artist, and a feminist artist. I appreciated your ‘organized chaos’ self-portrait. It reminded me of you often describing how you are as ‘crazed, but good!’ in the halls of Sterling. Thanks for the sharing, Helen.

  2. Helen Klebesadel is an inspiration. In this video she invites us into the artistic life with the promise that what we want to make is important, and that we can use the art to be activists and change-makers. Along the way, as she encourages us, she gives us snapshots into her huge body or work. Quilts, trees, flowers, fires, fractals. Helen’s work manages to express beauty, urgency, possibility, and truth. And it makes me want to pick up a paintbrush.

  3. Helen — This is a remarkable presentation by a remarkable woman! You have been a role model to many — including me — in advocating for the advancement of women and art and social change. Your artwork includes some of my all time favorite paintings because of my avid long time interest in gardening and quilting. Many thanks for this lovely and inspiring presentation and most importantly, for your lifetime of work.

  4. LOVE 💗 LOVE 💗 LOVE!

    Thank you, Helen, for all you do! I found your story very inspiring. It was lovely to get to know you better. 🤗 Your Cabin Fever FB community is one of my very favorite virtual places to relax and fill up with good vibes!

  5. Helen, you have painted such a beautiful picture of your life as an artist! You vibrate with the frequency of authenticity, and being touched by your truths (whether online or in person) sets in motion my own creative energy. That’s what makes you my Muse. I have been fortunate enough to know you personally, and thanks to the digital age, now you can inspire others far and wide, too. As you influence others to express their artistic gifts and bring beauty into the world, you are truly a force of nature! I need a Gratitude button. And where is the Respect button?

  6. Helen was my mentor and professor when she taught at Lawrence University- I graduated in 1999, a non-trad student with four kids, at 41 years old. I will never forget her encouragement, her enthusiasm, and her wisdom when I was terrified of failure. Helen “untaught” all the negativity given me by prior instructors, coached me through personal tragedy, and shared her own vision of how my work could be a channel for a multitude of new ideas. It is because of her tutelage, I graduated on the Dean’s list despite many personal odds. Thank you, Helen, I will be forever grateful for your vision, and most of all, your faith in me.

Comments are closed.