City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Going For It

Artist Laura Goodson Talks about Jumping in Feet First to Change—and Life Itself

Born and raised in Texas, Laura Goodson didn’t start out as an artist. It was quite the opposite. She didn’t even start painting until a handful of years ago—and it was to grab the attention of a woman she was pursuing who was a frequent art collector and gallery-goer.

“I knew nothing about art…still don’t know all that much, but I just do what feels real to me,” Laura says.

Much to her surprise, not even a week after finishing her first few pieces, she landed a pop-up show right out of the gate, after a friend showed a photo of Laura’s work on her cell phone to a shop owner. The offer came so quickly that it felt incredibly intimidating to her; she initially declined, feeling like she didn’t deserve a show yet. But luckily through encouragement, she nervously went through with it.

“I go head first and full on…and in many cases, it has served me well, and in other cases, like shallow pools, it’s been a bit painful,” she says.

The night before her show, she produced 12 pieces.

“I had no idea how long oils took to dry so I took wet pieces to my show,” Laura laughs.

That night, she sold a few of her first paintings.

“In everything I do, I tend to just go for it,” Laura says. “I produce in a quick way because it’s a single color and typically single brush strokes and then I’m done.”

She said she never wrestles with wondering if a piece is done or not. She always just knows. Her art has graced the walls of The Pilsen Yards in Chicago, Modern Nomad in Denver, The Clayton Club in Cherry Creek and a permanent exhibition is on display at the Hacienda Zotoluca in Apan, Hidalgo, Mexico. A position at an environmental engineering company and easier access to the mountains brought her to Denver. While her initial romantic pursuit was the spark to her art career, and she did end up dating the woman, they are no longer together.

“I hold a great appreciation for what others can bring out in parts of you that we alone sometimes don’t even know exists,” Laura says.

She started painting cowboys and says they haven’t changed much. She tends to paint 25-50 pieces a month for her art drops.

“I honestly do not think much, I just let whatever is real and authentic to me come through onto the canvas…and it’s been cowboys for the most part,” Laura says.

Her paintings fall into a cohesive black-and-white color scheme.

“I can’t even begin to think about color. It honestly overwhelms me…I went into an art store and asked for black paint. And it has been that since,” she says.

She comments that this notion overflows to her wardrobe, which leans heavily on the same all-black shirt, black jeans and same boots because her mind is so consumed by other things. She prefers to stay simple in these spaces.

“I have seen myself liberated in ways and able to expand into abstract work that feels like I’m mirroring my mind, thoughts and feelings,” she says. “My abstracts are like one of my Man in Hat pieces see all the different elements plus other things less literal.”

Laura’s sense of freedom and letting her intuition drive her is what’s led to two other successful rental endeavors: The Cabin and The Cowboy Motel.

The Cabin, tucked away in Uvalde, Texas, serves as an artist’s retreat. Available for Airbnb rental listed as Hat Hill Hideaway, the 2-bedroom, 2-bath, “interactive cowboy-themed space” offers guests the chance to unwind and reconnect to nature. It’s also shoppable for art, limited edition jackets and curated vintage items.

The Cowboy Motel is located about 20 minutes from The Cabin. The endeavor started when her mom sent her a screenshot of the motel’s real estate listing from social media and Laura immediately put in an offer. Less than a month later, she was shocked to find herself as the owner of a motel she’d purchased sight unseen and knew nothing about.

Even though she says she didn’t have a clue what she was doing, it came together. On opening night, the hotel hosted its first five guests.

“I still don’t {know what I’m doing}, but I’ve spent a LOT of time figuring it out,” Laura says.
She adds that while she’s still not where she wants to be with the motel, she is far from where she started.

Keep an eye out for upcoming shows on her Instagram account, @LauraGoodsonArt.