Artists To Watch: Helen Gotlib

Helen Gotlib might have been born and raised and studied art in Michigan, but she's travelled all over the world. That shows in her work, detailed drawings influenced by Europe and Asia and the Middle East. Here's what she says about her own work:

"Much of human communication is nonverbal. Plants obviously cannot speak, yet they can be as emotive as a silent figure. Emphasizing the expressiveness of botanical and human structure rather than conventional beauty is what drives my work.

"I attend numerous drawing sessions with live models. Working with a living breathing human being rather than a photograph is essential to capturing pure emotion. As well, my botanical pieces are taken from real still-life arrangements. I often record the life cycle of a bundle of flowers from vibrant life, through to the delicateness of the dry final state.

"I use wet and dry mediums both additively and subtractively in order to create weathered atmosphere. Once I have captured the essence of the subject I continue working the piece independently of the model using a variety of unconventional techniques. Layers of ink followed by layers of gouache are often rubbed away using a scrubber brush to generate texture. In other cases I will spray my drawings with a vigorous jet of water from the garden hose to create liquid effects."

You can find more of Gotlib's work here.

Posted by Carmen Cheung. You can check out all of our Artists To Watch here.


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