Jeanie Gooden is an American painter who lives and works between the United States and Central Mexico. In recent years, most of her paintings have been created in the colonial city of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, a city known for its history as a “creative home” for artists from all over the world.
My life has been a process of creating. An appreciation of and love for art began through music when I was very young. Later, the creative process involved developing art partnerships while working in a fine art museum. Ultimatly, it was painting that challenged me. Today, art and life are so intertwined that I need art to breathe more easily. Music remains one of my greatest inspirations but painting became my voice. The process of creating is my balance.
During my museum career, I learned the value of the visual arts within a scholorly context. I learned that painting, like any art form, is a personal and intimate experience. Making art is a form of communication that reaches beyond places, time and cultural boundaries.
Painting in an ancient city of beautiful architecture and rich color impacts my work in ways that I didn’t expect but are delightful to me. My studio in the United States is urban and working within the familiar context of my home culture is something I cherish and need. I love the United States and I adore my adopted Mexican culture. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to work within two beautiful cultures.
For me, painting is not a great mystery. Like most professions, I take everything I feel with me to work. Through my choice of color, brushes, texture or movement, I begin a dialogue that dances between clarity and confusion. I make an initial commitment to the canvas and try to embrace where it takes me. Often I end a day of painting in a much different place than expected. Listening to the canvas and trying to maintain what it gives me is a skill that I try to learn each time I paint.
My challenge is to find inspiration that pushes me to create in new ways. I paint from a very personal place…layering my emotions and feeling onto each surface. I have learned that the concept from which I begin a body of work is only important if I translate it well. If successful, the finished paintings will enable the viewer to filter what they see through their life experience. My constant hope is that i can inspire people in a very personal way. How someone interprets the finished paintings is often more interesting than anything I could suggest.
I make a conscious effort to maintain the idea that fear has no place in my creative process. The joy I have in making art is captured within the moments of completion and release…when the canvas becomes a painting and when a person connects with that painting.