WK10-Artist Conversation-Helen Werner Cox

Info Block

Artist: Helen Werner Cox

Exhibition: Silent Screams

Media: Oil paint, pastel, Water-based materials: crayons and color pencils

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West

Website: www.helenwernercox.com

Instagram: no Instagram


About the Artist

Helen Werner Cox is an amazing artist with an amazing personality; Cox is a graduate student here at CSULB and is in the drawing and painting program. She was born in Ithaca then moved to Boston for thirteen years and went to college there as well, she moved because she wanted a climate change and was tired of the snow.  When she moved to California she fell back into teaching art and loved teaching middle school which she taught for seventeen years. Then she became a school librarian at the same school she taught art. Cox’s expresses herself through her paintings and drawings by showing us how she has an idea that society is somewhat trapped, we as people go through life doing the same things over and over again that we go nowhere and  she draws a carousel with horses to show that we are the horse’s that keep going in circles. Other than painting and drawing Cox has an addiction with the game Dots, loves gardening, and reading fiction and mystery books.


Formal Analysis

In Cox’s drawings and paintings her theme was horses on a carousel also known as a merry-go-round. Each drawing has a different meaning to it and different horses and designs. There was so many different type of colors that were used in these paintings from all different shades of dark colors, light colors, and bright colors as well. One of her drawings called “The Blue Mule” has different shades of grey and you can see where she darkened the shadow and lightened the shadow of the horses. I noticed in most of her drawings that mostly all the horses have some type of shadow and shading to it. I see lots of different lines in her drawings as well with many different dimensions to them. There was one carving that was half human half horse that really caught my eye because the way she sculptured it and the pastel colors she used.

Content Analysis

Cox does an amazing job showing us her concept and idea of her art work. Her meaning behind it is that we humans live in a society where we don’t realize that we are just going around in circles doing the same things over and over again, we seem to be stuck in this situation and we can’t stop. I love how Cox actually goes on the ride and she starts drawing what she sees and what she feels, she was on one for four hours one time and she expressed what she felt and how she felt while she was sitting on the horse. She explains that the antique carousel is a visual metaphor of society.  She says the disquieting effect of the anxieties was experience regarding things beyond our controls expressed through the arrangements of values, lines, shapes, and colors.


Synthesis / My Experience

Walking into Cox’s art exhibit right away I fell in love with each of the paining and artwork because of all the different colors and how realistic and alive she made them. I knew there was a deep meaning behind the images because some of them looked dark and the way she drew the horses you can tell there was some emotion put in it. I do feel that at times I feel like I’m constantly on a roller coaster and I can’t get off which is almost like being on a carousel. I have the same routine where I was up go to school then work, wake up then go to school then work and it’s on repeat day after day and I feel like I just want to jump off and just breathe for a second and be free.


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