Glen Burnie artist Andrea Goggans will display a collection of her abstract paintings at the Mountain Road Library meeting room in Pasadena through November.
“I'm excited,” Goggans said. “I primarily do art as a hobby. This is the first time I've had my art displayed anywhere outside of a school setting or in my friends’ homes.”
Goggans graduated from the University of Maryland in 2018 with a degree in Japanese but has always had a passion for art. Throughout high school and college, she always included art classes in her electives.
“It remained a hobby, but one I was passionate about,” Goggans explained. While painting is her favorite medium, she also enjoys ink sketches, photography, polymer clay sculpting, resin art, needle felt, and other sewing-type crafts.
Goggans doesn't remember when she first began experimenting with art as a child, but she still has sketchbooks from elementary and middle school with figure drawings. She became more serious about her hobby in high school and took many art electives, including drawing, painting, printmaking, photography and ceramics.
“Every year, I had something different, and I loved it,” she said. “When I got to college, I wanted to keep with that trend while still focusing on my studies.”
At Anne Arundel Community College, like in high school, she filled her electives with art classes. She had less wiggle room in her schedule at the University of Maryland, but she took two art classes — drawing and painting. The painting class was profoundly influential.
“I was a bit nervous my first day, expecting to sit down and paint a bowl of fruit or something similar, but I lucked out and somehow managed to get an abstract artist as my professor,” she explained. “He had a sense of freedom to paint that I resonated with, and I enjoyed my time in the class thoroughly.”
Goggans began to develop her style in the class.
“I had three to four hours, two times a week, to paint as much as I wanted, and I enjoyed experimenting with small things that eventually led to me finding a groove,” she said.
She was surprised to find that the teacher and her classmates admired her work.
“I had never really had a lot of confidence in my art, so I was shocked to find out that [the teacher] liked what I was making, and my classmates did as well,” Goggans said. “He even asked me to be a teaching assistant for him after that semester, which shocked me even more given that I was not an art student. I declined because I was graduating, but I was very humbled to have been asked.
“Quite a few of the paintings I have displayed at the library now were made during that class.”
A humble artist, Goggans allows the abstract art to express her emotions.
“I don't think I try to capture emotions when I paint, more that I let the emotions that I feel shape the methods that I use when painting,” she said. “If I'm angry, maybe I hit the canvas a little harder than usual with my brush, or if I'm sad, I might choose colors that reflect my mood. I switch to something brighter when I'm feeling better.”
She often works on several canvasses at one time.
“Sometimes it's out of necessity, since the methods I use require gravity to do some of the work for me, and that takes a bit of time,” she said. “Usually, though, it's because I hate wasting paint, so I always have one brush-cleaning canvas sitting near me. Sometimes those paintings end up looking really interesting, so I focus on them and then need another brush cleaning canvas,” she explained.
“I like letting the paint be paint, and watching how the way I apply it, the method or tool or pressure that I use, changes the way the paint sits on the canvas.”
Asked what influences her painting, Goggans responded, “I would say nature, but not in the sense of the physical embodiment of nature. It's more like the colors and impressions it gives me. The sky is particularly influential to me in that sense. It has mood and feeling, and while I don't try to paint exactly what I see when looking at the sky, I would say I emulate the mood.”
Her art varies from vivid, to more muted, based on the texture. “I like playing with texture, letting the paint do what it wants,” she said.
Goggans is thankful for her parents' support and encouragement. “They put up with me when I had my hobbies all over the place,” she said.
Her cat, Tsume (Japanese for claw), also provides her with feline encouragement, comfort and fun, though she said her house plants cower in fear.