Helene Goldstein was born in New York City and grew up there in the Depression - World War II period. A child of immigrant parents, she is a first generation American.
Very early in her life she exhibited artistic ability, beginning to draw at the age of two. She began painting in oils at the age of fourteen and knew at that age that art would be her career.
Many people who grew up in The Bronx at that time, as she did, went on to be part of a very creative generation. While she was a student at Taft High School, both Edie Gorme and Stanley Kubrick were fellow students. Her high school art teacher arranged for her to attend classes at The Museum of Modern Art. Later, she was a student at the Art Students League where she studied with Reginald Marsh and Harry Sternberg. She received a B.A. degree in painting from Hunter College where she studied watercolor with Dong Kingman.
After graduation, she was a colorist for Koroseal and then a freelance textile designer. One of her designs was used as an illustration for the book: "Modern Furnishing for the Home," by William Hennessey.
After moving to California, she studied intaglio color etching with Alanson Appleton at the College of San Mateo.
Goldstein focuses on color and the purity and richness that can be achieved by layers of intense color applied in such a way that they sparkle through each other. The effect can be like stained glass and yet the glow is often softened by overlays of dry-brush work or a painting-knife application that passes over and yet skips lightly, allowing the underside and the overside to play against each other.
The shapes in the rooftop paintings are often triangular, with long, imagined "trails" of "almost color" continuing through from structure to structure. Sometimes a sky is indicated and cloud-like shapes will do the same. The sailboat paintings have similar shapes and include water in motion. The way these shapes and colors pass through each other can give a feeling of air intervening to make its own statement.
The florals are all imaginary flowers, invented for the purpose of design, and again, the interplay of colors. "It is not satisfying to paint a flower when a flower is in front of you. As a matter of fact, it is very distracting. I want to close in on a flower that I have invented and have an intimate view of it," says Goldstein when describing her approach.