Kristen Helberg - Paintings, Murals, and Vinegar Grained Boxes

Kristin Helberg

CityFolk Gallery in Lancaster,PA

kristin helberg

Come to downtown Lancaster, Pa on March 4th for the First Friday gallery walk.  I will be at the CityFolk gallery from 4 to 9 pm to celebrate the opening of my show entitled Places In My Heart.  The 21 paintings in the show depict places real and imagined. 

The gallery is located at 146 North Prince Street.  Call (717) 393-8807 for more information.  Karen Anderer, proprieter.

Abraham Lincoln

kristin helberg

I believe he was our finest president.  Here is one of his best quotes.

"Nearly all men can deal with adversity......but if you really want to test a man's strength, give him power."   

Maryland Christmas Tree on National Mall 2015

kristin helberg

Every year, we get to enjoy the National Christmas tree on the Mall in Washington, D.C.  There are smaller trees surrounding the big tree, representing the 50 states and territories.  An artist is chosen to design and produce the ornaments for each state.   This year I was chosen as the artist for the state of Maryland.

The ornaments are quite large 18" in diameter.  I chose a soft palette of colors and the theme was images of the flora and fauna of the national parks and state parks in Maryland.  We also included one of our famous lighthouses and a tribute to Edgar Allen Poe. 

I chose 10 students from Resurrection St. Paul school in Ellicott City,MD to work with me.  Each student was given an assignment that they then drew and transferred to the ornament and painted.  They also painted the Maryland State Flag on the back of each ornament.

I am excited about attending the National LIghting ceremony on December 3rd in Washington and Seeing the ornaments hanging on our Maryland Tree.

German Christmas Market

kristin helberg
 Painted and Grained box by Kristin Helberg

Painted and Grained box by Kristin Helberg

Please join us at the German school in Potomac, Maryland on December 5th from noon to 5 for the annual Christmas Market.  Enjoy mulled wine as you stroll through the show.

I will have a good supply of painted boxes and  artwork at my booth.  There will also be an  assortment of smaller items to stuff in Xmas stockings.

There are trees and wreaths for sale and also handcrafted goods from Europe. The school is located at 8617 Chateau Drive, Potomac, MD. 20854.  Call (301) 365-4400 for more information.


Cone Fish

kristin helberg
Working on Matisse fish.jpg

Working on the 6' fiberglass fish entitled Conefish.  Part of the Fish Out of Water show in Baltimore in  2001 and was kept outside.  I had to refurbish and repaint it for the owner. It was called Conefish after the Cone sisters who had acquired  many Matisse paintings in Paris as part of the Baltimore Museum of Art collection. 

Pie Making Weather

kristin helberg
  Making Pies with Grandma c Kristin Helberg 2010

Making Pies with Grandma c Kristin Helberg 2010

Long ago, children did not return to school until after Labor Day.   This meant that the last week of August going into early September, was a nice celebration of the end  of the summer vacation.

We got to visit with our grandparents in upstate New York. Our grandmother made the best apple pies I have ever eaten.   As little girls we were thrilled to be able to help bake pies and learn how the pie crust must always be made with lard and chilled before rolling it out.  We always had cups of tea as we worked with her.  By the end of the morning we had blueberry apple and Columbia berry pies cooling on the counter for the big family dinner in the evening.   


Kraig B. Helberg 7/22/1959 to 7/23/2015

kristin helberg
 Kraig with patient in Ghana

Kraig with patient in Ghana

Kriag was not a man who cared very much about money.  What he did care about was spending time with his family and friends and of course, his cats.

His work as a prosthetist brought him into contact with people  who were mourning the loss of an arm or leg.  His gentle and strong spirit and his gift for creating prosthetic devices helped many patients re-claim their lives.

Every August, Kraig donated his vacation time to travel with Standing With Hope to Ghana where he trained technicians with the Ghana Health Department.   Not only do we feel his loss here in America, but there are many patients and staff in Ghana who are grieving as well.  We were all blessed to have him in our lives.

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival 42nd year

kristin helberg
 Vinegar grained boxes

Vinegar grained boxes

Come and find me in the main Exhibition Hall, B32  at the 42nd annual Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.  I will be showing over a hundred painted and vinegar grained boxes.

This fabulous FREE event is held at the Howard County Fairgrounds on May 2nd and May 3rd. Times are 9 to 6 on Saturday and 9 to 5 on Sunday.  Because traffic is so heavy on Saturday mornings, I would suggest coming later on Saturday or all day on Sunday,.

There are over 250 vendors, workshops for fiber arts, gourmet food, music as well as lifestock shows and sheep dog trials.  You will have to leave your dog at home for this event. 

For more information about the event go to  

Raoul Middleman Art Show

kristin helberg
 Raoul Middleman

Raoul Middleman

Raol Middleman, the famed Baltimore artist, celebrated his 80th birthday on April 17th with a cake, a jazz band and 193 of his paintings and drawings at a show entitled, Raol Middleman's Romantic Expressionism.  

The show which will be on display from April 10 to August 30th 2015, is in the Museum complex at the University of Maryland  in College Park, Maryland.

The show is a wide representation of Middleman's paintings  showing Baltimore city scapes  and  portraits as well as ink and charcoal drawings.


The anniversary of the Lincoln assassination

kristin helberg

Lincoln c Kristin Helberg 2013

Abraham Lincoln is one of America's truly tragic figures.  A philosopher by nature, he had a moral struggle with the issues that divided the North and the South.  His own home was in conflict by the war since his wife had southern relatives and they had to be snuck into the White House for family visits.

Both he and Mary Todd LIncoln suffered from depression over the years. They lost their dear son to sickness and had to constantly deal with the stress of the war. And just when the country had ended the great Civil war and the Lincolns both had hope in their hearts again, he was struck down on April 14th and died on April 15th.

I had to paint those sad and wise eyes: the man was a craggy tree against the storm. 

Elaine De Kooning portraits


John F. Kennedy c Elaine de Kooning 1963 National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian

I attended the opening event for the Elaine De Kooning Portraits show last night at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.     This wonderful show of portraits by Elaine De Kooning, includes her famous series of works on President Kennedy and many paintings that have never been on public display for many years.

Kudos to Brandon Fame Fortune, who curated the show.   She managed to track down paintings that are in private collections and established a group known as Elaine's List, that is comprised of collector's of De Kooning's artwork as well as those who knew the artist.  All in Elaine's List were in attendance last night to celebrate the grand opening.

Maybe now, Elaine De Kooning will be finally recognized for her own genius ,rather than always being outweighed by that of her famous husband.

Fish Out of Water


Cone Fish  

Back in 2001, I was sponsored by Credit Suisse First Boston,  to paint one of the fish for the Fish Out Of Water project in the Inner Harbor of Baltimore City.    The fish were made of fiberglass and measured 6' x 3'.   Fifty of the fish were then chosen for an auction at the Walters Art Gallery to benefit Baltimore City Schools.  Cone fish was sold at auction for $22,500.

I chose two images by Matisse, one of which was Purple Robe and Anemones, a painting that had been purchased by the Cone Sisters of Baltimore.  The Cone sisters were friends of Gertrude Stein and she introduced them to many of the artists in Paris at the time.  Upon their death, the Cone art collection was donated to the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Cone Fish lived outside for 13 years and needed a facelift, so the owner contacted me and I spent November/December on the renovation process.  I had to sand down the fish, patch and prime it before I could begin to paint it again.  Working with photos of the original Cone Fish and Matisse's images,  I was able to bring the fish back to life.

Here is Cone Fish on my couch, waiting to be delivered the last week in December.

The back showing Matisse's paper cut designs.

Holly Fest at the Baltimore Friends School


Polar Bear Chest  

Polar Bear Chest by Kristin Helberg

Come join us at the 29th annual Holly Fest and Artisan Market at the Baltimore Friends School on November 22nd from 10 am to 4 pm.

The school is located at 5114 N. Charles Street, Baltimore,MD. 21210 in the heart of the beautiful Roland Park area of the city.  I will have a booth there featuring my painted and grained boxes and chests as well as smaller paintings and cards.  Come and enjoy the beauty of the season with us.

St. James Academy Show



Painted and Grained Baltimore Oriole Boxes

Come join me at the annual Christmas Shoppe and Café at St. James Academy in Monkton, Maryland.  I will be showing a new collection of painted boxes and small paintings and prints at this event.   The event is Friday November 7th from 10 AM to 8 PM and  Saturday, November 8th from 10 AM to 5 PM.

Come for a drive in beautiful horse country.   St. James Academy, 3100 Monkton Road, Monkton, MD. 21111  (410) 771-4816. There is a $3.00 admission fee to benefit the school.

Harriet Tubman


The Safe House  Kristin Helberg 2012  acrylics on canvas  - Copy

The Safe House c Kristin Helberg 2012

The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History and Culture has acquired my painting The Safe House, to become part of their permanent Harriet Tubman collection.  It is currently on display in the museum which is located in Baltimore's Inner Harbor on Pratt street.

The 24" x 36" canvas depicts slaves making their way to one of the Underground Railroad "safe houses" that were operated by the Quakers in their farms in the Darlington, MD. area.  Although most escapes were attempted in the summer, those who left in late fall had to overcome early snowstorms and frigid temperatures.

Find out more about this wonderful museum at  The museum is located at 830 East Pratt Street and their phone is  443-263-1800.

Vinegar Graining Class


2013-07-05 16.46.32-2 (644x753) Come to beautiful McDaniel College in Westminster,MD for Traditions Week and learn the secrets of Early American vinegar graining. The class is every morning from 9 to noon from June 30th to July 4th. During the week, students will learn the mixing formulas for vinegar paint, wood preparation, texturing techniques and use of graining tools as well as proper finishing varnish. Each student will have created a small grained box and a faux marble mirror to take home and the knowledge they will need to create larger pieces.

Traditions Week is part of the wonderful Common Ground on the Hill program which is now in its 20th year. This is an amazing Chautauqua experience where you can take music, dance, and art classes as well as dabble in film and writing. Call (410) 857-2771 at Common Ground on the Hill to register.

Carolina Wren Chest


Carolina Wren Chest 8.7w x 7 h x 5.4 d

Carolina Wren Chest with vinegar grained panel

Spring really is just around the corner.  It is hard to imagine when we have a snow or ice storm every week right now.  But the first day of Spring is March 20th ,so there is hope.  I have even seen some hopeful Robins on the tree branches here in Baltimore City.  I have no idea how they stay warm or where they sleep at night when it is 4 degrees.

This little chest was inspired by the cheerful little wrens that always make me feel so happy.  Maybe it would make a nice gift for someone that you want to make happy.  It is 8 1/2" w  x  5" d  x  6 3/4"h and the perfect size to hold jewelry or those little items that clutter the desk around your computer.   Hand painted scene on top and vinegar grained panel on the front.  Each one is unique and painted by me.    $68.00