RECLINING FIGURE, oil, 36 x 18
OUTDOOR CAFE AT PALAIS ROYAL, oil, 12 X 9
WAITER IN WHITE GLOVES, oil, 18 X 10
One professor, in particular, stands out in Goodwin’s memory for his impact on her own approach. In Craig Nelson’s quick-draw class, a model posed for a certain amount of time—generally from a half hour to 11/2 hours—and when the time was over, the model got up and left, and the painting had to be complete. “It trains you to put down one brush stroke where before you might put down eight,” Goodwin points out. “By working quickly you’re forced to be more articulate, more succinct with brush strokes. It leaves things for the eye to fill in, which actually engages the viewer longer because it leaves a certain mystery.”
Even at the Academy of Art, Goodwin at first held onto the idea of a dual major with a fallback career. She chose costume design because of a lifelong love of historical costumes, but soon discovered the program was focused mainly on contemporary fashion, which was not what she had in mind. So her own educational focus narrowed, at last, to fine art. But her stint in the area of costume design did bring some lasting benefits: A queen-sized closet in Goodwin’s house holds her collection of period clothing, from 1500s Anne Boleyn to 1800s Victorian to 1920s- and 940s-era American attire.
This collection began in college and provides visually compelling clothing for many of the models Goodwin paints. And as it turns out, one of those models is the artist herself. reclining figure was painted from a photograph taken of Goodwin when she was working as a model. The Victorian garb, with bustle, corset, and waterfall skirt, was sewn expressly for her to pose in, and she was given photos of herself in the dress. In painting the piece, she was drawn to the unexpected image of a woman in Victorian dress “disregarding propriety” in a quietly informal pose. “I like the idea of a woman in structured, stiff clothing—and the proper expectations of women in that society—juxtaposed with a very relaxed position,” she comments. “It’s an intimate view, a welcomed solitary moment.”
TABLE SETTINGS AT JONATHAN’S CLUB, oil, 18 X 14
Following graduation and inspired by the fine art careers of instructors like Nelson, whose work is in a number of galleries, Goodwin made her first major painting trip. She rented a car in Boston, MA, headed south, turned west at Savannah, GA, and took in much of the South. On plantations and elsewhere she found the lovely historical architecture and lush interiors that captured her imagination more than those she’d grown up with on the West Coast. It was these paintings that began to gain the attention of collectors—even while the artist moved on and turned her own attention to France.
Goodwin lived in Paris for six months, then settled back in California. She returned to Paris in June of this year with her boyfriend, Christopher Noonan (known by all simply as Noonan), whose mother is French. From that recent two-week stay with Noonan’s family came hundreds more photos of places like the Paris Opera, which the artist visited on a night when the main foyer was dressed up in garlands for a special event. “I’d been to the opera and painted it many times,” she says. “But I’d never painted it with this botanical element.”
A side trip to the castles of the Loire Valley yielded many paintings, including several at the Château de Chenonceau. The servants’ dining room, with its white stone walls, rustic wood tables, and miniature orange-tree topiaries, especially caught her eye. And of course, the many restaurants and cafés in the City of Lights were visually irresistible, especially any time the artist spied a waiter carrying glasses walking by. outdoor café at palais royale is one such work. “Light is really a stimulus for me,” Goodwin reflects. “The luminosity of glassware in restaurants, or silver tea sets, just draws you in. Light bouncing off of something really creates a focal point.”
GALA AT THE OPERA, PARIS, oil, 20 X 16
Other elements of historic architecture and furnishings are equally alluring, and together they create the kind of visually sumptuous space, full of rich color, texture, and detail, into which the artist enjoys projecting her mind as she paints. “Because I’m so in it, I feel as though I’m taking a vacation when I’m painting,” she says.
Viewers are pleased to enter these spaces as well, notes Ella Richardson, owner of Ella Walton Richardson Fine Art Gallery in Charleston, SC. “What fascinates me most about Lindsay is her ability to transport the viewer into her settings, enabling us to feel intimately connected with every detail,” Richardson remarks. “Her canvases convey a sense of effortlessness that some artists are unable to achieve in a lifetime.”
For Goodwin, these qualities reflect a concept that has stayed with her since she encountered it some years ago while studying Neoclassicism. It’s something she thinks about often as she works to imbue her paintings with a sense of beauty and peace, and she expresses it this way: “The contemplation of aesthetics can bring one closer to the divine.”
A solo show of Goodwin’s work opens in early November at Ella Walton Richardson Fine Art Gallery, Charleston, SC. She is also represented by Waterhouse Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA; Willow Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ; and Crane Collection, Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA.
Featured in October 2007