Helen Opie was born in England, was taken to the US when World War ll broke out, and immigrated here in response to a dream she had several years before and in celebration of the US bicentennial slogan "Love it or Leave it". She immigrated to New Brunswick in 1976, then moved to NS in 1993 where she lived on the South Shore for 10 years before moving here in 2003. She is a graduate of Oberlin College, Oberlin Ohio, with a major in studio art and emphasis on printmaking, in part because reading is physically difficult for her. She also has a Master of Education in elementary education from Boston University.
Helen Opie lives in Granville Ferry NS where she paints, gardens, plays, still does a little carpentry and tries to keep house besides. She works mostly in oils but also uses other media and makes occasional books from her sketch journals. She is primarily a landscape painter, but also paints food and interiors during the winter when painting outdoors on site is too daunting. She is leaning more towards abstraction, but maintains a strong attachment to recognizable subject matter. She has done non-objective paintings, but finds them both less interesting than paintings with recognizable images and overly challenging: she is a practical sort of person who tends to be picture-minded and likes solving practical problems better than abstract ones.