Alison Goodwin’s work is well known throughout New England where she has been living and working for the past decade. Since she began painting professionally in 1989, Goodwin has allowed several cycles to move through her work. Yet her consistent style shows a deliberateness and maturity which call attention to her work.
Goodwin names Hundertwasser, Klimt, Matisse, and Giotto as masters from whom she draws influence. Hundertwasser with his colorfully skewed architecture and landscapes, his abhorrence of the straight line. Klimt by his gold, his tightly woven patterns, his grace. Matisse with his whimsy and his wallpaper. Giotto in his saints, his reverence, and his narrative. Goodwin gathers the fruits of her influences into a contemporary style that brings freshness and life to her images.
Goodwin’s work in enriched by her love for nature and the outdoors. Living in Portland, ME; Cambridge, MA; and Montpelier, VT during recent years, Goodwin has cultivated a perspective on northern New England that captures the spirit of the ocean, the city, and the mountains and carries that spirit into a wonderfully playful universe. Her landscapes explore the sweeping luxury of nature, the unbridled paradise. Her skies burst with stars, moons, and mountains. Her islands rise triumphantly from the choreography of the sea. Her little houses and buildings tilt with the landscape and settle into the natural world. Goodwin’s landscapes evoke a profound sense of beauty, and reveal her passion for the varied geography that surrounds her.
And Goodwin’s paintings bring together a sophisticated aesthetic of fine interior spaces and funky dwellings. Her interiors are sublime and welcoming. Elegant, yet non-linear spaces explode with color and pattern as the myriad of rooms seems to disappear around corners. These rooms recall Matisse and Van Gogh. But Goodwin adds a new dimension of meaning to her interiors when she diminishes the barrier between the inside place and the outdoors as trees seem to climb through her windows toward leafy wallpaper and the natural world beckons from the open door.
Goodwin’s work is informed by a spirituality influenced by her Catholic upbringing. Her figures are often haloed, pious creatures, transcending the human form into divine supernatural beings. Yet, these somewhat erotic figures are often depicted bearing forbidden fruits, recalling passion and fertility. Effectively, they radiate a redeeming and forgiving joy.
Within her work one finds a refreshing faith in humanity and the natural world that brings a sense of passion and whimsy to its soulfulness. This is not unexpected from Goodwin, who seems to find her artistic sense of self in a space between living and dreaming.
Alison Goodwin was born in Montreal in 1959. She moved with her family to Portland, ME at the age of nine and lived in Portland until 1990. During this time she summered in Kennebunkport. In 1990 she moved to Cambridge, MA where she lived for two years before settling in Montpelier, VT. She is the mother of Izabel and Noah and returns to Maine frequently with her family to soak up the salt air.