Sarah Goodnough

Living Beyond Ordinary Series

This series, Living Beyond Ordinary, is about being courageous, vulnerable and pushing past limitations to create an extraordinary life with full self expression and an open heart. This past year has been filled with many big changes in my life. Change causes growth, and these paintings reflect my journey of taking a huge leap into the unknown, really getting to know myself, and finding balance with mind, body and soul. Through life’s challenges, we get to choose to see it as lessons and opportunities, or dreadful circumstance. For this reason, I chose a playful and colorful theme by incorporating dancers and circus performers to emphasize the joy of being alive and experiencing our physical and emotional strength and grace. Metaphorically, I used symbols and animals to help tell this story of growth and awaking. It is a dreamy narrative that I think we all can relate to in some way…it is not just my story, but a story of what it means to be human. Through trusting, having courage and being vulnerable, we discover our own truths and have the experience of being known, and through this we have the ability to shine our light brightly into the world.

Living Beyond Ordinary Originals

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Contemporary artist, Sarah Goodnough, is endlessly inspired by the human spirit and the splendor of nature. She lives in Oregon, both in the lively city of Portland, and the quaint coastal town of Astoria, located at the mouth of the Columbia River. She finds the dichotomy between big city vibrancy and culture and small town friendliness and scenic beauty, to be a great balance for her artistic imagination. Born and raised in Massillon Ohio, Goodnough moved to Portland in 1997, after graduating from Miami University of Ohio, with a Bachelors degree in Mass Communications. Pursuing and creating art her entire life, she is primarily a self-taught artist with some schooling in fine arts. Goodnough made the choice to follow her dream and seek out an art and design career after her move to Portland.

About Sarah’s Art

Goodnough’s work celebrates life. Her artistic style is expressive, using vibrant color, strong composition, and layered texture. She paints abstracted viewscapes pulling real life scenes into redefined realities of wonder and brilliance. Astoria, Oregon’s rich salmon fishing history, and the fascinating life cycle of salmon, is the source for her Salmon Series. The dramatic riverscape of Astoria also influences many of Goodnough’s paintings, as seen in her Boat and Bridge Series and riverwalk tree and house paintings.

Goodnough creates in a variety of mediums; painting in oils, acrylics and watercolor. Additionally, she works with pastels, blockprints, mosaics, and photography. She frequently uses photography taken from her daily walks and world travels as reference and inspiration for her paintings. She enjoys combining the texture, line and form captured from life and her photos to create new and different realities in paint and mixed media. By playing with color, pattern, composition and texture, she produces vibrant and unique work that is sensitive to mood and emotion.

Artist Commentary

I think all of us have felt disconnected from our family, friends, nature, environment or God at different times in our lives. We struggle to stay connected, as we work to achieve and maintain a way of living that creates balance for our lives. Finding an equilibrium is a unique experience for each of us. I have discovered that I reconnect with my surroundings and stay true to my inner compass through creating art.

I choose to depict in my work the natural beauty of the world. I also draw upon the internal beauty and positive human spirit that dwells within each of us. I believe in staying present to life and to take each day as a gift, rather than focusing on thoughts that can burden and entrap us. This is the message I want to convey to the world around me.

How often have you looked at a piece of art and quietly asked yourself, “What does it mean?” Maybe even on a subconscious level, because our brains are wired to find order and meaning in everything. An image can speak to people on many different levels, perhaps meaning something totally different than what the artist originally intended. The image becomes something that transcends the artist. It becomes universal; something “meant” for everyone, interpreted by their own unique and individual life experience… that to me is the magic of art.

Artist Direction

I find that I often think how my life experiences and thoughts can be translated into art. Sometimes it is inspired by a discovery about a person, an experience in nature, or even a thought or pervading feeling that intrigues me. I automatically think about how I would translate it visually.

My latest work will continue its focus on the Pacific Northwest-viewscapes and subjects from nature that are a reflection of this area. As a transplant to this area, I am continually awed and inspired by the grandeur of the Northwest.

My grand artistic goal is to visually explode concepts that teach, inspire or uplift the viewer. I want to empower others to be their best, and to follow their dreams for who they want to be in the world; to make personal choices that leave them feeling inspired, alive, and living an exemplary life beyond the ordinary.