Toronto native Alyssa Goodman employs a sensitivity not just in her monochromatic watercolour technique, but also in the subject material of her work. Working on smaller scales, Alyssa explores themes of sexuality, intimacy and closeness. The detailed and delicate execution of quaint woodlands, villages and riverbanks make perfect backdrops to display these themes with romance and vulnerability.
We connected with Alyssa on FRONTRUNNER’s social forum to discuss her art in more detail.
When did you start your art practice?
My art practice began about six years ago during my final years of university. I took my first watercolour course and fell in love with the medium.
How has your upbringing influenced you as an artist today?
I grew up in a home where art simply meant drawing stuff. I was unaware of the limitless potential of contemporary art or the intense influence of classical art on the world we live in. The most valuable influence my upbringing gave me lies in my desire to spread art into all spaces; galleries, homes, and public spaces. Society needs to be intertwined with the art visibly created by its people.
How has your work evolved?
My work evolves as I do. Although, I consciously continue to explore similar themes in my practice as I grow, learn more, and expand my knowledge. This personal evolution allows my work to be more informed and dive deeper into the complexities within these topics. My work a year ago represented a broader view of human sexuality, whereas my work now is much more intimate.
What are your artistic/creative inspirations?
My community is a huge inspiration for me. The people I see every day are who I like to think I am representing in my paintings. In an alternate reality dreamscape that is, where the hardships of life melt away for them.
Tell me about your process.
I start everything with a drawing. Once I’ve figured out the composition, I go into the sky and clouds and work my way down from there towards the viewer. Often I take reference photos of trees or plants I find myself drawn to while out on walks.
Do you think your work has a message? How is it received?
As a landscape painter, I think the conceptual aspect is lost on most people. Escapism and romanticism within the work are clear, but the deeper themes I leave up to the viewer to define for themselves.
What memorable responses have you had to your work?
My favourite response to my art is when older people praise and love it without finding the tiny hidden figures!
What is safe and/or dangerous in terms of experimentation?
My work is very small and intimate. The shells, the paintings, nothing is larger than a piece of standard paper. This format in itself is dangerous. Galleries and collectors want BIG art. It would be safe for me to begin experimenting with larger works, but we’ll see if it happens.
Where would you like to see your work in 3 years? What goals do you have for your practice?
Within three years I would love gallery representation in my city and hope to add some much larger scale works on paper and a broader audience. As for my practice, I want to learn how to work with ceramics!
Are there other emerging artists you can recommend?
Nadine Mosallam @nadinemos, Jordin Alanis @jordinalanisBailey, Quinones @skullsqwatYan, Wen Chang @yans.revengeRyan, Helstern @thatlosersmolik, Cameron Wylie @a.million.baby.teeth, Sam Holzberg @samholzberg
FRONTRUNNER social forum: @alyssajwgoodman