1961 - ?

Helen Riches

As Helen M. Donaldson, she was born in Hamburg, Germany in June 1961. Helen studied at Norwich School of Art 1979-1982, gaining a B.A. (hons) degree in graphic design and where she met her future husband David Riches and they married at East Dereham, Norfolk in 1988. Before her marriage, Helen went travelling, working as a designer in Australia, then backpacking across Asia, sketchbook in hand. Helen commenced a 10-year project to restore a neglected garden and found that she could communicate her ideas with both drawings and talks, but with no formal training in the subject, decided to retrain as a garden designer at Writtle College, Chelmsford and the College of West Anglia. Her Suffolk coastal garden is 'a work in progress' and has a definite idea of how she wants it to reflect the walkways through the marshes, the grasses, and the native plants. Helen’s career as a garden writer and creator of horticultural projects for magazines, which are grown and photographed in her garden, has blossomed. She is now a regular contributor to 'Gardeners’ World', where her twin skills of gardening knowledge and illustrative horticultural paintings combine. Illustration and drawing have been a fundamental part of her work, but Helen and husband David have devoted more time to painting in oils under the expert guidance of artists Tony Rothon (born 1949) and Sarah Nutley (born 1958) at their art school on the Audley End Estate, and they join them on their painting courses in Portugal. They often set off together on painting expeditions, in all weathers, never working from photographs and always painting ‘en plein air’ and they have had a successful joint exhibition in the Aldeburgh Gallery and at the Royal Society of British Artists, at the Mall Galleries, London, Helen exhibited two works 'Beetroot in a Green Colander' and 'Southwold Lighthouse' also exhibiting at the Panter and Hall Gallery, London. Helen lives and works in both Saffron Walden, Essex and by the coast in Suffolk.

Works by This Artist