Theme/Style Modernism, landscapes, portraits
Media Oils, murals, watercolors, temperas, etchings
Artistic Focus Whether creating landscapes, still lifes or portraits, Helen Forbes took a direct, honest approach to her subjects, creating works that exhibited simplicity, honesty, and a careful, unemotional attention to detail. Her watercolors done in California's Sierra Nevada mountains demonstrated her enthusiasm for her subject, using clear, quickly applied color on the paper; and some of her most compelling work was done during a stay in Death Valley, where she used the frenetic desert forms and the primitive upheavals of the surrounding mountain ranges to create paintings with startling themes and simple, almost abstract images.
• Helen Forbes was born in San Francisco and trained
at the Mark Hopkins Art Institute (later the California School of Fine
Arts), where she received a lifetime scholarship in 1914.
Bibliographic references are available upon request.
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