Eileen Goodman

Eileen Goodman, watercolors
Eileen Goodman is painter well known over her long career here in Philadelphia for her naturalistic watercolors of fruit, flowers and gardens.

Whet’s not obvious in images of her work is that she often works at a somewhat larger scale than is usually associated with watercolors, sometimes 4×3 ft (122x92cm) or larger.

Goodman explores the subtle cast of light on her subjects, often keeping her colors subdued in favor of studying delicate value changes.

I can’t find a dedicated website for her work, but she is represented by the Gross McCleaf Gallery.

There is a nicely done short video by John Thornton about Godman’s work and inspiration, with close-ups of her paintings, on YouTube.

Eileen Goodman’s watercolors are currently on display in a show at the Woodmere Art Museum in Chestnut Hill: “The Weight of Watercolor: The Art of Eileen Goodman“, that runs until March 14, 2016.


3 Replies to “Eileen Goodman”

  1. I was lucky enough to study under Eileen in college. She was one of two teachers that actually urged and supported me, to the dismay and objection of other teachers, to learn the skill of painting and drawing. She was an incredible instructor who “had my back” when my pear looked too “pear like,” according to others. I fondly remember looking at her work during the instructor’s exhibitions and wondering “how did she do that?” or “will I ever learn to paint like that?” I eventually did, somewhere else, but that was not Eileen’s fault, rather she was one of the few moments of clarity in what amounted to three and half years of utter confusion. Should she ever read this, I would like to express sincere gratitude for the few times she was able to help me and for being one of the few who ironically did not drink the “kool aid” (at a contemporary school) and was adamant enough to stand apart from the rest. Thanks Eileen.

  2. Shaun, Thanks for your personal view and experience. (I don’t know that Eileen will see this, as I don’t have contact information for her.)

    I was also fortunate to have a few instructors (at PAFA in the 1970s) who held out for tradition against the tide of the modernist establishment, so I know how important that was; and it says a lot for her character both as an artist and as a person.

  3. I had a similar experience at college. I was lucky enough that one of the professors had gone on sabbatical and the adjunct hired to cover his classes was a very talented young classical realist painter. You would not believe the vitriol from some of the tenured professors who felt threatened by the presence of a teacher who could actually draw and paint. Completely unsolicited, out of the blue, and behind his back, they would make disparaging comments.

    And the height of hypocrisy: They would feign concern that the new teacher was giving students the impression that correct drawing was the only way to make art. Of course, he never said anything of the kind; he was simply teaching students how to draw, in classes with such titles as “Fundamental Drawing 1.” But the “old guard” professors were themselves trying to purge representational art from the curriculum so that modernism would be the only option.

    Nothing scares a fraud more than the appearance of the genuine article.

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