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Picture of artist Helene Goldstein next to artist and husband Michie Long

Artist Statement for Helene Goldstein

Helene Goldstein was born in New York City and from an early age visited the museums regularly.

While in high school, she was attending art classes at the Museum of Modern Art School. Later, went to the Art Students League and studied with Reginald Marsh and Harry Sternberg. She received her B.A. degree in painting from Hunter College where she studied water color with Dong Kingman. After graduation, she was a colorist for Koroseal and then free-lanced fabric designs. One of her designs was used as an illustration in a book: “Modern Furnishings for the Home”, by William Hennessey.

After moving to California, Helene studied intaglio color etching with Mr. Appleton at the College of San Mateo.

She has been drawing since she was two and painting in oils since the age of fourteen. In the fall of 1990, she tried pastels for the first time. The interplay of colors possible with this medium has been a revelation for her and a most exciting exploration.

She paints with a painting knife which gives her effects that could never be achieved with a brush. The pure colors that she wants are scraped on over a ground of underpainting that is meant to show through in a mottled way or as bright specks of color. Under the initial underpainting of color, is one of white lead which she feels imparts a glow to all the colors that follow. She is interested in the effect close-up and at a distance.

Most of what Helene sees in art seems non-committal, looking over the shoulder to see what’s “in” or O.K. An amazing number of things could have been done by any one of a group that numbers between twenty and a thousand. A style emerges and everyone is into it. Their own history and development is lost in the process. They assume another’s identity and history. No thinking involved. No emotional commitment involved. If someone is doing something else, they’re out of it. Helene feels that her work can be viewed as a natural progression that is personally hers.

Helene Goldstein was juried into the Carmel Art Association in 1992 for her graphic art.

Two years later she juried in again with her vibrant paintings. She is married to fellow painter and CAA Artist Member Michie Long. Goldstein’s artistic interests lie in color and in the purity and richness that can be achieved when layers of intense color are applied so that they sparkle through one another. The effect is reminiscent of stained glass, with a translucent glow softened by overlays of dry-brush work.

Influenced by her childhood in New York, Helene enjoys inventing cities with her paintbrush. But florals are Helene’s favorite subject matter. The still life’s her exhibitions are all imaginary, heroic flowers, invented for purposes of design, emotion, and color interplay. As the artist describes her approach, “It is more satisfying to draw or paint a flower when an actual flower is not in front of me. I prefer to close in on a flower that I have created myself—a flower I have an intimate view of in my mind’s eye.”

In the words of one reviewer, “Helene Goldstein’s work is soft, gentle, and sensitive and at the same time bold, brilliant, and intrepid. A true colorist, she can literally feel color. She senses the warmth of an orange, the texture of sunrise, and the hollow of midnight. She can taste apple red, breathe the freshness of green, and wander through radiant depths of blue.”

Read more about artist Helene Goldstein

The White Flower by artist Helene Goldstein

The White Flower – Helene Goldstein

40×40 inch

Oil on canvas


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