Emerging Artists | Jeremy Goodding

Back to nature

Jeremy Goodding, Earthen Vessel, oil, 14 x 18.

Jeremy Goodding, Earthen Vessel, oil, 14 x 18.

This story was featured in the October 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art October 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

Granted, it wasn’t one of his go-to ingredients for a typical still-life arrangement, but it felt right when Jeremy Goodding brought a handful of dirt into his Lincoln, NE, studio and scattered it across his setup table. Punctuated by a few golden leaves and dried berries, the earthy surface was a fitting stage for the old clay kettle situated at the heart of the arrangement. With its simple, mid-
century look, the small blue pot set the tone Goodding was looking for—“a tremendous naturalist feeling,” says the artist. “It’s almost like you could take it out to the woods, set it on a tree stump, and it would be happy there.”

The rustic tableau, titled EARTHEN VESSEL, is one of a few recent paintings in which Goodding has been striving to create scenes that feel “as natural as possible.” The piece, on view in Oil Painters of America’s Western Regional Exhibition this fall, is a subtle homage to the artist’s lifelong love for the outdoors. “As a Nebraska farm kid, I was always knee-deep in dirt, so just bringing that dirt in from the outside and pouring it on the table was a wonderful experience,” he says.

While the artist is primarily self-taught, he has gleaned considerable inspiration from the works of classical realist David Leffel, and he has formally studied with artists Sherrie McGraw and Jeff Legg. Like his mentors, Goodding emphasizes light and shadow in his own works, and he describes his style as realism. Yet the very things that compel him to paint, from light and shadow to color and texture, are actually “quite abstract,” he says. “I’m using reality as an excuse to paint them, and I’m not obliterating reality in the process.”

“Naturally wired” to draw and paint at a young age, Goodding portrayed wildlife and landscapes in some of his earliest works, so it’s not surprising that nature plays a role in his still lifes today. Twigs, leaves, fruits, and vegetables often appear like supporting characters around an illuminated vase or vessel from his collection of pottery. “The narrative is generally really subtle,” he says. “I’m working on a painting now that expresses the history of a [pottery] piece and how texture is ultimately connected to that. The paintings I’m doing now are a picture of my past and a glimpse of my future, all wrapped up together.” —Kim Agricola

representation
Leawood Fine Art, Leawood, KS; Greenwich House Gallery, Cincinnati, OH; www.jeremygoodding.com.

This story was featured in the October 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art October 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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