Primarily an Impressionist, she painted portraits and Western and Native American themes, and also created some bronze sculpture. Goodwin signed her work under various names as Mary Alice Goodwin, Mary Alice Myers, M.A. Goodwin, M.A.G., and beginning ca. 1969, as Maggie Goodwin.
Born in 1924 in Rapid City, South Dakota, she recalled being scolded for doodling in class in fifth grade. When the teacher saw that Maggie had captured a good likeness of her classmate, though, she stopped in mid sentence.
"I knew then I was an artist and I have worked ever since to go beyond merely getting a likeness of the subject. I have worked to become a "painterly painter"; that is, to produce a good painting that also happens to be a good portrait," Goodwin said.
Growing up in the Black Hills of South Dakota, Goodwin was mentored by Della and O. A. Vik, trading work in their studio for art lessons. While there, she sold supplies to Gutzon Borglum, sculptor of Mount Rushmore and won her first award, The National High School Art Exhibit Certificate of Merit. The love of the Black Hills and its people would later be the subjects of her best paintings: Western landscapes and cowboys and Indians: the faces and places of the American west.
She studied under Boardman Robinson at Colorado College during the early 40s before getting married. Despite having four children, she continued to hone her skills, painting after midnight when they were asleep. She painted many portraits on commission and showed regionally.
In 1962 they moved to Boulder, Colorado where she studied at the University of Colorado experimenting with abstraction, collage and mediums other than oils and pastels. In 1966, she studied in San Miguel Allende, GTO, Mexico at the Instituto Allende and fell in love with Mexico and would return years later to teach and paint there.
In 1975 and 1977, she took workshops with Ben Konis and co-taught with him. Other important workshops she attended were with Sergei Bongart in 1979, Donald "Putt" Putnam in 1984 and Albert Handell in 1986.
In 1978, she was asked to judge the Amarillo Artist Association Show, Amarillo, Texas.
During the 1980s, her children now grown, Goodwin's art career flourished. She was travelling, teaching and exhibiting nationally and producing her best work. She focused on pastels and they brought her national awards and new recognition.
Being asked to join the Pastel Society of America was a crowning achievement. Then she was featured in several important magazines and two book features followed. She was teaching in Mexico and at her Boulder, Colorado studio and she started to sculpt, eventually producing six limited edition bronze sculptures. She was listed in American Artists of Renown.
This prolific period ended when she was stricken with Meniere's disease, and had to stop painting because of vertigo. The dizziness eventually subsided and she returned to work. In the year 2000, she was diagnosed with lung cancer and died in 2002.
Goodwin preferred to paint from life. She usually finished paintings in three sittings and only used photos as reference when she couldn't complete a painting on site. Preferred mediums were oils and pastels. She painted the poorest and the richest of society but portrayed them all with equal nobility. Her work reflects her love for nature and for those who live in harmony with it. In her words: "I have no interest in art fads or art only as commerce. Painting for me is a joyful, exciting attempt to interpret my passion for the subject. When I am painting a portrait, my subject becomes the most interesting and beautiful person in the world."
Her work hangs in the collection of the late Joan and Ray Kroc of Mc Donald's fame. Her enduring legacy will be the many portraits that have become family heirlooms. She left a great collection to her four children who have kept it intact.
Permanent Collection in Dahl Fine Arts Center, Rapid City, SD
Book References:American Artists of Renown
1981-82 Wilson Pub. How To Feed A Starving Artist
, 1983 Montana Press Pub. Co. B/W Featured.Best of Pastel
, Rockport Press 1996 Featured. Colored Plates.Portrait Inspirations
, Rockport Press 1997 pg 59 Featured. Colored Plates.
International May/June/July 2000 Title: "Master Pastel Artists of the World, United States Showcase" Color Plate Page 66American Artist
May 1985, Title: "Women Artists of the American West" by Diane Casella Hines, page 72 Color plate.Colorado Homes and Lifestyles
, Feature article Sept./Oct/ 1985 Pages 76-77 Title: "Portraiture: The Look of Posterity" by Andrea Rabin. Color plates
South Dakota State Fair 1952, 57 and 58 Best in Show
Nebraska Five State Show-1962 First Place, Oils
Poudre Valley Art League 1964, Honorable Mention
Colorado State Fair (Not sure of the date)
Cheyenne Western Show, 1975 and 1985 Awards
Boulder (CO) Artists Guild 51st Annual Show, 1976 Pastel Award
Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club, New York, NY 1986, 1989 Anna Huntington Hyatt Bronze Medal Award for Pastel (1986)
Women Artists of the American West--1978 and 1981. Awards
Death Valley 49ers Show, Death Valley, CA 1987. First Place Award
N.V.A. L. Juried Art Show-1988 First Place
Featured Artist, One Woman Show, Dahl Fine Arts Center, Rapid City, SD 1975
Boulder Art Association Art Mart, Boulder, CO
Boulder Artists Guild 51st annual Show, Boulder, CO 1976
Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club, New York, NY 1975,76, 78, 1980, 82, 1986
Allied Artists of America, Inc. New York, NY 1978-79
Women Artists of the American West, Las Vegas NV, 1978,79,80,81,82,83,84 and 1985
Death Valley 49ers Show, Death Valley, CA 1987
Salmagundi Club National Open, New York, NY 1978 and 1980
Boulder Art Association, Boulder, CO
Boulder Artists Guild, Boulder, CO
Women Artists of the American West
Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club, New York, NY
Pastel Society of America, New York, NY
International Pastel Society
Submitted by Leslie A. Goodwin, daughter of the artist from her notes and archives. January 2008