booth-192-helen-gotlibMuch 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.