Helen McLean was a Toronto author and artist. She wrote the memoirs Sketching from Memory (1994) and Details from a Larger Canvas (2001), a collection of essays, Just Looking (2008), and two novels, Of All the Summers (1998), and Significant Things (2003), which was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize, Canada & Caribbean division. Her book reviews, essays and commentaries have appeared in many publications including The Albertan, The Globe and Mail, Brick, National Post, Quill & Quire, Arts and Letters Daily, Books in Canada, Ars Medica, and the Literary Review of Canada. From the late 60s to early 90s, her paintings appeared in solo exhibitions in Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Peterborough, and Montreal, and found their way into many private and public collections, including that of the Bank of Canada in Ottawa. Her portrait of Margaret Laurence hangs in the Margaret Laurence Home in Neepawa, Manitoba.