The artist

helen-portrat-b&wHelen Andersen (July 14, 1919 – December 23, 1995), was a Canadian artist whose paintings were often inspired by political and social convictions and by the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast. She worked with a variety of styles and subjects, including post-impressionist landscapes in the 1950s and 60s, abstract expressionist and hard edge pieces in the 1970s and 80s and stylized figurative subjects throughout her career.


Andersen signed her work in a number of different ways. At the beginning of her career, she used her nickname “Andy” as her nom d’art. Her maiden name was Anderson ( not Andersen, her married name). Her nursing school friends nicknamed her “Andy” in Regina and it stuck.

Later on, she took up other ways of signing… sometimes on a diagonal, sometimes with a hand print (a traditional made by me symbol ) and sometimes with a cartouche made up of the letters HMA. She dropped signaturesthe S from the initials for Helen Severson McKay Anderson for some reason, possibly because she didn’t like the Severson part of her name.

Occasionally, Andersen may have gone back to paintings she had signed “Andy” and covered the old sinature with a newer “Helen Andersen”.

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