True Artistry: Emily Grace Goodrich

Darling discovered the art of Emily Grace Goodrich, and couldn’t help but share her stories told through lovely lines, shapes, and colors. Enjoy Emily’s commentary and artwork below, and don’t forget to be inspired to pick up your own pencil or paintbrush…

“Fun!” (a drawing of my art studio). 

 Tree. 2011. Mixed media on wood veneer paper. 


I’ve always been drawn to trees and imagery of them, and often use them as substitutes for people in paintings that are meant to be semi-autobiographical or to tell the stories of friends or family members.


Tree Study #1. 2010. Mixed media and copper leaf on cardboard. 

Radish seeds. 2011. Mixed media on wood veneer paper. 


The three paintings below from 2004-2005 take their names from lines of a short story by Truman Capote called “A Lamp in a Window,” from Music for Chameleons. In the story, the writer, lost in the woods, is taken in by a kindly older woman who, because she “…couldn’t bear to lose them. Completely,” has preserved her deceased pet cats in a deep freeze.

I’m definitely one to lose myself in nostalgia and cling to things past their time, and I sometimes question the purpose of that characteristic. The thought process for these pieces began when I super-glued together, for the third time, a teacup I’d kept for sentimental reasons, and subsequently broken. Instead of tossing it out, I kept gluing and re-gluing it, knowing full well I’d never be able to use it for tea again. The teacup became a symbol for me of the futility of hanging onto things I know I ought to let go of. In “Sit down, sit down. It’s not often I have company,” for example, the broken and re-glued teacup was set onto fabric stretched over a wood panel, then filled with tea. The tea leaked out and stained the fabric, and then “wounded” trees were drawn into the dried tea and the teacups were replaced with flat drawings. Most of the imagery shows trees with their roots clinging to broken or discarded things that have been buried in the past, underground.


“‘It’s just that I couldn’t bear to lose them. Completely,’ she laughed…” 2005. Mixed media on wood panel. 


 “Sit down, sit down. It’s not often I have company.” 2004. Mixed media and fabric on wood panel.

“‘Then maybe you will understand this,’ she said.” 2004. Mixed media on door.


After that series, my senior thesis for college, I had difficulty working on creative projects and took a rather long break from art-making. These days, though, I’m really excited about the new pieces I’m finishing up as I start working again, and the tree and radish seedling studies were a bridge for me to cross back into the process of creating. They have less thought behind them in terms of story, but were a chance for me to experiment with new techniques and materials such as copper leaf, cardboard, and coffee.

Biography of Emily Grace Goodrich:

Emily Grace Goodrich is an artist and writer from San Diego, CA. She has drawn, painted, and designed approximately since birth in 1983. She spent her childhood in Michigan and then Southern California, peeling the wrappers off of crayons (because they’re prettier that way), learning to draw and bake from her Mom, and exploring things like woodworking and electrical wiring with her Dad. She graduated from Biola University in 2005 with a BFA in Interdisciplinary Studio Arts.

After college, an interest in humanitarian issues and questions about the value of fine art in a global context led her to walk away from paint and canvas for a few years, but she’s been encouraged lately to return to her roots after seeing the crucial role of creativity in bringing social change and economic opportunity to those in need.

Her mixed-media paintings and illustrations focus mostly on imagery of trees, which she sees as symbolic representations of the people and stories in her life.

She currently works at the Make Good, a store that supports independent artists in the neighboring cities of San Diego and Tijuana; runs an eco-friendly jewelry line called Mouse and Moe, and designs products for Ember Arts, a fair trade company working with women in Uganda.


Sarah is CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Darling Magazine. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and is a lover of well told stories, Chai tea, cats, nature and Paris.


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