A Little About Creative Process Artist's Statement Artist's Resume
Brief Biography of the Artist BBOH Unique Editions™
Glimpses Into the Creative Process    

Artist's Statement
I have always been a maker of art and I passionately and happily make art all the time. At the very core of my being, I am compelled to create!

A while back, frustrated with photography, my primary art-making tool, a reluctant me experimented with making images on the computer. I was immediately and totally captivated by the experience. Now, computer technology has morphed me into a mixed-media/digital fine-artist who combines the use of the new digital art-making tools with traditional ones such as etching, painting and photography. I call the hybridized process "tradigital" art and I find it inspiring with rich and serendipitous possibilities.

Being the agent of the process of transformation is deeply satisfying but I have goals that go beyond that personal delight. It is very important for me to communicate what I discover as I explore and depict the forces and circumstances that shape our lives. I strive to have my viewers contemplate the "product" of my explorations which I hope will connect to their own journey.

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With Camera
Photo by Saelon Renkes

With Computer

Preparing a Surface

A Little About Creative Process
When people ask me if my work is "computer-generated art", I consistently respond "the tools don't create the art, the artist does!" That said, I acknowledge that the tools do, in fact, interact and collaborate with me as I work.

Even when I was a novice technology user my creative ideas were exploding with energy. The new tools seemed more directly linked to my mind and imagination than most art-making ones I had loved and worked with before. My current "tradigital" studio, which contains a mix of traditional and digital tools, has allowed me to follow new creative paths.

I believe that there are many simultaneous spiraling activities taking place when I work; images linger in my mind and inner eye and began to take up space and "bother" me and some images and ideas just hang out and demand musing time. A lot of this seems to go on as an internalized dialogue but also there is some sort of non-verbal stream of thought.

When working, I might start with a digital photograph or scan, a printed photo, monoprint, etching, drawing or real object and then begin to work with and alter the digitized information. Or I might begin painting directly in the computer using graphic art software. After I print the image I can alter the surface with paint or colored pencils or collage elements on it and then I can choose to rescan that and work on it in the computer again.

The technologies I used for one body of work enabled me to scale up extremely small bits and pieces of source photos and etchings and in that process I uncovered and expanded previously hidden components. I then fabricated new images from those fragments and found myself led in some unexpected directions (the image "At Sea" is an example).

I am surprised to see that the technology and equipment demands so much care and feeding. While formidable, these realities have not yet stopped me because the creative rewards are so great. I'm amazed that in and of itself, creeping mastery of the tools also brings me satisfaction.


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Glimpses into the Creative Process

    Glimpses into Creating Elements



Some basic components for this image are photographs of ripples in water, of clouds and rocks and of a young man and woman (their dog was looking on as they posed within a hoop of a large barrel).

The sources photographs were scanned and then highly manipulated in Adobe® Photoshop® and in Corel® Painter™


Click to start animation.



    Glimpses into Creating Molten Elements

Molten Elements


Some basic components in this image are photographs of a couple, of a sunset on the Nile, of moving flares seen from a taxi window in Calcutta and of a scan of an original woodcut.

The sources were scanned and then highly manipulated in Adobe® Photoshop® and in Corel® Painter™.


Click to start animation.
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Brief Biography of the Artist
The artist was born in New York City where cultural abundance filled her life. She always made art and as a young child, became interested in photography when she "helped" her father work in his darkroom. In college she was an art major who had the great fortune to study with leading artists of the abstract expressionist school.

Golden became a secondary-school teacher of art and photography, studied commercial photography and then moved to California where she operated a commercial photography business, made photo greeting cards and photo-based jewelry and continued to make fine art, mostly with a camera. Along with other pioneering artists in the early 1990s she began making art using computer technology tools and was the first curator/director of "Art at the Pond", which was a San Francisco exhibition venue for digital art.

She was a founding member of the digital art collective, Unique Editions(TM) with whose members she was, in July of 1997, an Artist-In-Residence at the National Museum of American Art at the Smithsonian in Washington DC. At that time Golden had an image curated into the permanent collection of the museum. She is a Laureate of the 1998 Computerworld Smithsonian Information Technology Innovation Distinction and a recipient of the 1998 André Schellenberg Award in Fine Art.

Golden is a founding member of 911 Gallery and of The Main Gallery cooperative in Redwood City, California. She regularly exhibits in solo, juried and invited exhibitions and the work has been shown and sold to private and corporate clients both nationally and internationally. Venues include: The Triton Museum of Art, The San Jose Museum of Art, Stanford University, The Ansel Adams Museum, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Gatos Art Museum and venues in New York City, Washington D. C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, Canada, Europe and Asia. The work has been discussed on radio and television, written about in books and publications and appears on the internet most notably as the first exhibition of the new Silicon Valley Art Museum.

In order to educate the public, collectors and galleries about the new digital tools she gives talks and participates in public presentations. She works as a research consultant for companies where she has opportunities to evaluate and shape new technologies in hardware, software and media and then provide those companies with feedback from an artist's prospective.

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After I create an image I go to some lengths to protect the information by archiving and saving it in multiple, protected locations. Since 2003 I have added one last touch to my files before I archive them, I embed a very small logo made up of the letters BBOH.

BBOH stands for Bluebird of Happiness. Placing that tiny logo in each file is my tribute to a dear friend who has sustained me through challenging times and who has helped me learn how to live life with appreciation and awareness.

It is not likely that you would be able to find the BBOH when you look at my images as it is barely perceptible. They are small and the colors are selected to help them blend in. I keep a log for the placement of each one's x and y coordinates or else I too would have a hard time locating them.
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Exhibitions, Publications, Presentations and Panels
(Click here for full Resume)

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Unique Editions™

“The impulse to collaborate as Unique Editions was a realization of each artist's unique talent and body of knowledge that, when combined, would strengthen them both individually and collectively. Their aim was to introduce digital art to the fine-arts world much as photography was introduced a century ago.”

(Hagopian, Ruth. "Five Part Harmony," OnLine Design, May 1995)

Unique Editions™ was a pioneering digital art collective of five internationally known artists; Helen Golden, Bonny Lhotka, Judith Moncrieff, Karin Schminke, and Dorothy Simpson-Krause. It was an educational, standard-setting and marketing entity which spoke to issues, processes, corporate involvement in the arts, hardware and software issues and how substrate companies may best work with digital artists and corporations dealing with this subject. 

Computerworld-Smithsonian Technology Innovation Distinction
They gave workshops, lectures and presentations in galleries, museums, colleges and universities around the world. In July 1997, for three weeks, they presented work and taught the public and Washington DC artists-and had artwork accessed by Smithsonian American Art Museum. The artists received a medal from the Smithsonian for this work.

National Museum of American Art Hosts Unique Editions™ Digital Atelier
(Click to read Museum's Press Release)
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