Layers of Motivation: An artist process

written by Ed Peaco. Follow Ed at EdPeaco.Com

Muscle Cell Membrane by Holly Goodwin

Holly Goodwin’s process for making art relies on layers of motivation:

• learning more about her genetic muscle disease at the molecular level,

• finding beauty in magnified cells, and

• focusing her mind by listening to music.

Holly comes from a creative family, has studied music and art, and she works better when music is in the air. 

“It gives me a ‘flow state,’ when you lose track of time and your body relaxes, when I have music on and I’m thinking,” she said, noting that her students at Republic High School agree.

Holly chose “The Blue Danube” to play frequently while working on “Muscle Cell Membrane” (the work’s title and the subject’s description).

“It’s got a lot of tension on the left side where the cell wall is about to stretch and break, which happens on a daily basis,” she said. This process happens to everyone, but Holly has to be careful about her activity and diet due to her condition. 

Epiphany by Holly Goodwin

For creating the other piece for the exhibit, she chose an album by Earth, Wind and Fire, especially the song “September.” “It just pumps you up. I actually created that piece in three or four hours,” she said.

The second entry is “Rhabdo,” short for Rhabdomyolysis, the syndrome in which damaged skeletal muscle may break down rapidly. 

Branching out, Holly has employed cardiac tissue, skin, cross-sections of teeth, and rods and cones in the eye. As a result, dental and medical specialists have requested commissions.

“I love painting molecular structures,” she said. “By the fact that I’m excited about this subject, I have produced more in the past five years than I have in my whole life.”

Holly Goodwin, artist

Holly’s work was shown during “Inspired By…Music,” at The Creamery. The show featured work by Springfield area artists, using music as their inspiration. A playlist for the exhibit can be found on Spotify here.

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