helf1I could turn this whole blog into posts about Wellfleet, MA, but alas I have been back from my vacation there for a week now and I need to get back to the real world. Although I a lot more to talk about, this will be my last formal post about my recent trip.

One of the great traditions my friend Lynda and I have on our annual trip to Wellfleet, is taking the scenic drive along Route 6A on our way down the length of Cape Cod. This road is much more charming than busy Route 6 – the main highway that runs from the start of the Cape all the way to Provincetown – and it is always a great way to start our vacation.

On the ride, we like to take in the scenery, which includes charming villages and iconic Cape Cod cranberry bogs. We also like to stop at many of the shops and galleries along the way – and, if we are lucky, an art fair or two.

This year we were lucky to run across an art fair in Sandwich, MA, hosted by Sandwich Artisans: “Sandwich Artisans, formerly the Sandwich Arts and Crafts Association, is one of the oldest artisan organizations on Cape Cod and holds eight juried outdoor shows on the lawn of the Sandwich Public Library during the summer months, May – October.”

We have stopped at this fair and the past and were thrilled to find local artist Michael Helfen, from whom Lynda has made several purchases. Mr. Helfen’s work is rather primitive and unrefined (in a good way), but it is unique and compelling and I love what he does.

About artist Michael Helfen: “I am a self-taught artist who started painting 16 years ago at my wife’s suggestion. I sold my first painting, (small, 5×7) and have been painting ever since. I am a juried member of the Cape Cod Art Association, Yarmouth Art Guild, and Chatham Creative Arts. I do many summer outdoor shows up and down the Cape and have won several awards for my work in Cape Cod juried shows… Several times, I have painted with the Monday Night Painters of Eastham, a well know group of established artists. I am represented by Picture This Gallery in Sandwich, Mass. and The Grove in Manchester-by-the-Sea and Lynnfield, Mass. Many people who see my work tell me they wish they saw things the way I see them. I do not know how they see them, but I view my world through passionate eyes. I do believe that what I see is not as important as what you see which is why I call my business ‘Eye of the Beholder.’ Your eyes are the gateway to your own soul that resonates where the beauty and the connection truly is.”

I purchased a small painting (below) of a young man skipping stones at the beach which I just love. I think this will fit well into my growing collection of artwork picked up on vacations – the perfect memento of good times past.


Learn more about artist Michael Helfen and see his work here.