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The Restless Wave

My Two Lives with John Bellany

Helen Bellany

The Restless Wave by Helen Bellany

Helen Bellany, twice married to the artist John Bellany, recalls their lives together in Scotland, London, and Italy, John’s rise from rebellious art student to internationally recognised artist, and the human cost inherent in creating great art. Inspired by the sea and the fishing community he was born into, John began his lifelong visionary journey exploring the human condition. From there, he deepened into a profound exploration of the human condition. The Restless Wave reflects the mystery, poetry and passion that was at the core of the inner life John and Helen shared. The couple had great friendships with such fellow artists as David Bowie, and John painted such internationally known figures as Billy Connelly, Sean Connery and Peter Maxwell Davis, as well as many portraits of his muse, Helen.

RRP: £19.99
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9781912240029
Publication Date: 19/04/2018
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Helen Bellany
Helen Bellany was the partner and muse of the critically acclaimed artist John Bellany, and is an artist herself. They were married twice and had three children together. Helen spent...


‘Immediate, full of emotion.’

The Scottish Review of Books

‘Bellany’s life and art constitute a saga worthy of his seafaring ancestors. He could not have succeeded without Helen, as this book shows and both knew from the outset of their momentous voyage together.’

The Spectator

‘In an effortless style, Bellany lays bare the imperfections of their relationship, capturing both testing times and happy memories. An honest and enthralling read.’

Scottish Field

‘A marvelously tender biography.’

Fiona Green, The Islington Tribune

‘Compelling ... a beautifully told tale of a remarkable man by a remarkable woman.’

Joan Bakewell

‘The book is as much about [John] as it is about Helen, but she writes with great candour and without self-pity. Just by telling the story, she makes clear how much we owe to her for the gift of John's art.’

Duncan Macmillan, Scotland on Sunday

‘The Restless Wave is a remarkable book, and deserves to be widely read. It is also, at approaching 400 pages, the longest love letter we've ever read: but so easy and rewarding to read at the same time.’

Undiscovered Scotland

‘A touching (written) portrait of one of Scotland's great artists, and life as his muse.’

Bookseller review, Waterstones Sauchiehall Street

‘One of the best biographies I’ve ever read.’

Dennis Canavan

Latest News

The Restless Wave: Sandstone acquires Helen Bellany memoir

Sandstone Press has just acquired world rights from Jenny Brown Associates of a personal memoir by Helen Bellany of her life with the artist John Bellany. Candid and revealing, the...