My “Pink” painting series will be at Wild Joe’s Coffee Spot, 18 W. Main, throughout September 2017, with an “artist hangout” (i.e. super chill reception) during the Friday, Sept 8. However, these extra special “FTS” pieces (and some other surprises!) will be on public display only during Bozeman Artwalk 6-8pm Sept 8. Here’s a secret link for anyone who might like to purchase early:


This is a sneak preview of my “Pink” series, which will hang at Wild Joe’s Coffee Spot, 18 W. Main, throughout September 2017, with a reception (ok, more like a hangout) during the Friday, September 8 Downtown Bozeman art walk. They are available for purchase beginning Sept. 1 and available for pickup the first week of October, after the Wild Joe’s show closes.

I’m posting these images for press reference. Press can use these images (with artist credit Marla Goodman) online, or if you want a high res version for press use, please contact me through my contact page.

Artist’s Statement: Pink Statement – Goodman

Additional works will be on display only during Bozeman Artwalk Sept 8. Secret pre-display link for early purchases:

This was David’s and my first date.

You’ll need some gesso and a flat piece of plastic. I cut mine out of a peanut can lid! Ideally, your tool should have a straight edge and rounded corners.

I’m not sure if this is a well known technique, or if it’s new to some people, but using a piece of plastic to apply gesso (or background color) goes quickly, saves paint, and leaves a nice, smooth surface. If you don’t have a piece of plastic, a piece of sturdy mat board or a credit card can work. …Or real squeegee, I imagine.

I learned this from my first painting professor at Montana State University, Hal Schlotzhauer, and I use it whenever I need to quickly cover a surface with a thin coat of paint or gesso. It’s especially handy when I’m painting flats for plays and I’m pressed for time and materials.

In this video, I’m covering a canvas with gesso that I’ve tinted with pink acrylic paint. I use my finger to smooth the edges. When I’m done painting, if I don’t frame, I use a printmaking brayer to paint the edges whatever color I want.

I could add another coat and sand lightly with fine sandpaper for an extra smooth surface, but in this case I’m not too worried about perfect coverage, and they’re pretty smooth without any sanding.

Just now I did six canvases in less than 30 minutes, with practically no waste. I used about 1/2 cup of tinted gesso in all. (The canvases already had one layer of gesso on them)





For this week’s Rest Home art project, I tried Jen Goode’s Coloring Page Sun Catcher.

I’m always on the lookout for interesting projects that are doable in 1 hour for people with various age-related challenges, and this one seemed perfect: Residents get to make choices, it’s small enough that it’s not too exhausting, and there’s a fun surprise at the end.

To begin with, I downloaded some relatively simple mandala coloring images from a few “not for commercial use” sites and sized them to fit wide-mouthed canning jar lids (3.25″). I got the lids in the canning section of the grocery store, and they cost ~$6 for 12 lids.

Ahead of time I printed out the coloring art images on regular printer paper, and cut them into individual squares to offer choices for participants to select from. (Here’s a PDF) canning ring art

Materials I brought:

  • Coloring art print-outs
  • Colored pencils
  • A few small pencil sharpeners
  • Canning rings (3.25″ wide mouth size)
  • Salad oil in a baby food jar (I put a drop of lemon oil in to make it smell nice)
  • Portion cups or small jar lids – for oil dipping
  • Cotton balls for spreading oil (facial tissue would also work)
  • Small paper plates
  • Sticky dots (tape or glue would work)
  • Scissors
  • Baker’s twine

First I showed everyone an example of the finished sun catcher. Then friend/volunteers (and the awesome Gallatin Rest Home activities staff) helped to pass out materials and assist residents as needed. I brought some cans and we gave each resident a selection of pencils in primary and secondary colors.

Each resident selected an image and got busy coloring. Some asked for a little help to finish, others completed the job on their own.

After coloring the pictures, the participants cut out their circles and set them face down on a paper plate. We passed out a small amount of oil and cotton balls, and they rubbed the oil onto the back of the paper, making it translucent.

We adhered the circles into jar lid rings with sticky dots (glue or tape would have worked) and tied on hanging strings.

This was a quick, easy-prep project. Participants enjoyed themselves and felt very successful! Thanks to Jen, volunteers Lynne and Emi, and Rest Home staff!

These are some gelatin block monoprints I’ve made using reference images. For the skull and the cat, I used background textures created with stencils.

I learned gelatin plate printing while developing art workshops for senior citizens with physical and cognitive challenges. It’s easy and fun, and there’s lots of info on the web. I used the resources of gelatin gurus Linda Germain and Sharon Giles.

While experimenting, I found that one of my favorite techniques involves hand-painting monoprints using a reference image. I made a tutorial video to help others try it:

In the video, I didn’t go into detail about building the hinge jig: Basically, I made a little foam core platform so that my paper was flush with the surface of my gel block. Then I taped an additional piece of foam-core on, to align with the top of my printing paper. This functioned as a “masking tape hinge holder.” (Depending on how big the paper is, you’d just line up the hinge-holder with its top, and tape it down.) You can also just use a masking tape hinge and skip all the foam core fuss—whatever works!

Of course you need a GEL PLATE RECIPE Gel Plate Recipe Steps (PDF)
(Again, thanks to Linda and Sharon for their resources. They really know this stuff.)

Below are steps for a rest-home art project using a simple image. I practiced with an image I found on the web (sorry I couldn’t locate its original source to credit). Click on the first image to arrow through.

UPDATE: Here are some pictures from the Gel Plate workshop I did at the Gallatin Rest Home in May, 2017. The residents loved this activity and were very successful.









Hey, don’t talk about my friends and family like that! They are too a step up from mimes and improv performers. They’re puppeteers.

This year’s adult puppet show at Bozeman’s Verge Theater will be Fri-Sat May 12-27 2017. The show, written by comedian Ryan Cassavaugh, is called “Freak Out.” It was described to me as “a hippie blood cult B-movie musical.” So it’s got that going for it. Among a talented cast of actor/singer/puppeteers, my daughter, Wren, plays the part of the cult-leader’s daughter. Proud moments in parenthood!

I was asked to help with props, so I said yes to painting a police car and two motorcycles. Little did I know that this didn’t mean just the gas tank (easy!) it meant the motorcycle chassis: not a thing I felt overly confident about.

Here, puppeteers Pol Llovet and Ryan Lawrence Flynn experiment with their motorcycles-to-be, after cutting out plywood shapes in the back room of Sadie Cassavaugh’s frame shop (Frugal Frame Shop). Somehow they’re planning to add a front wheel, Easy Rider style. You’ll have to go see the show to see if they pull it off. 😉

(crew photo courtesy Ryan Cassavaugh)

These were some really rough canvases – made from a “canvas” drop-cloth, actually – so gessoing was the hardest part of the job. Paint doesn’t cover well on a rough surface, so I decided that a rough, painterly look was fine. I didn’t get too fussy with it.

The Police Car was really wide, but the sides were short, giving it a clown-car-like appearance. Appropriately.

Here’s what the motorcycle chassis looked like, unpainted.

First step was to paint all surfaces black. The laminate surface was smooth, so it only took a pint of “cheep” acrylic to cover all 8 sides. (It took just under a gallon of gesso to cover the three car canvases.)

The next step was to paint a bunch of mechanical looking doodads in white and bluish silver.

There were two sides of two cycles to do, so four sides in all.

Whew! I was glad I got them done early enough that the cast could rehearse with them. I am dying to see what the show looks like on stage!

Show times are 8pm Fri-Sat May 12-13, 19-20 and 26-27 2017. Tickets can be purchased in advance on Verge Theater’s Ticket page, or at the door while they last. The comedy is intended for mature audiences.


I’ve been working on a series of paintings for a show at Wild Joe’s in September, and I stopped to experiment with some of my under-painting in a series of anti-trump, feminist greeting cards.

It started with some basic ideas: (These are all available on Etsy):

Then I thought it would be cool to do a full 4-card set of notecards:

I added a needlepoint look to these, to add that revolutionary flair.

Then, one of my friends suggested that I instead use the art for a Mother’s Day card, hence the birth of the “Smash the Patriarchy and Happy Mother’s Day” card.

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This week the Gallatin Rest Home celebrated Art Week (intended to “focus attention on how artists make the world a better place”) so we did a project involving a recognizable masterpiece. I had seen student art projects that cut a work of art into a grid, then have each student paint a piece. I thought this would work well for our group of seniors citizens, so we undertook Van Gogh’s “The Starry Night.”

I cut an image of the original painting into a grid of 15 squares.
I sized each square at 4 inches and placed them on 8.5×11″ sheets for easy desktop printing. I also made a printable “coloring book” version of the 4-inch squares with black outline only, to give the painters a bit of a head start.

You can download the colored 4″ “puzzle pieces,” the 4″ “coloring book” squares and a printable example sheet PDFs here:

Since the rest home activity director wanted to do something more special than just painting on paper, I took the project a step further, and transferred outlines to 4″ mini canvas boards (purchased at the craft store). I coated the back of my 4″block print-outs with powdered graphite and traced on top with a pencil to transfer simple outlines to the 15 canvas boards. (Graphite is messy, so carbon paper is a good option, if you have it!)


  • 15 numbered Puzzle Piece example squares (from the PDF above)
  • 15 4″ mini canvas-board squares (or the 15 printed 4″ coloring book squares from the PDF above, printed on card stock or some other paintable surface)
  • Smallish acrylic brushes, water cups, smocks, paper towels
  • Acrylic paint: Phthalo blue, white and yellow. (I also provided black and violet to artists painting dark areas along the left side.)
  • One black canvas (20″x 12″ or larger) to mount the finished canvas squares on when done.  (A black poster board or foam core would be good alternatives)
  • Glue or heavy double-sided tape to mount squares


I printed out one copy of my painting puzzle squares, cut them out, numbered them 1-15, and temporarily attached them on my black canvas using double stick tape.

I also numbered my corresponding “coloring book” pieces on the back. (If you don’t think your painters need guidelines, you could just provide a colored example square and a blank canvas)

We showed the painters the entire painting-puzzle, completed, and asked each to select a piece to reproduce as an individual painting.

Next we gave each painter the black line “coloring book” square that corresponded with the example piece they selected.

Each painter received a paper plate palette with blue, yellow and white paints, and those who selected darker parts of the painting also got small dots of black and violet.

Volunteers and rest home staff passed out brushes, water, paper towels and smocks. We helped the painters get started by pointing out a place to begin, and continued encouraging them keep painting as needed. We also demonstrated how to mix colors, as needed.


Participation was good. Four-inch squares were enough to keep our senior painters busy for the whole hour. Some people had time to do more than one. It was fun to see how they all looked when reassembled and mounted to the black canvas.







Some people write letters to the editor when they’re happy or disgusted or proud or worried. I get on Cafepress and make swag.

Today’s swagfest is a tribute to a guy I’m proud to call a fellow American. Al Franken! He’s smart, he’s dedicated, and as far as I’m concerned, he’s a FUCKING ROCKSTAR. When the world (and the US in particular) seems crazy, I can listen to him speaking or read something he wrote, and realize, “Hey! There are some cooler heads, there are some smart people, there some really good, hardworking civil servants busting their asses to keep the rest of us safe and happy in a healthy, normal world.” Thanks, Al.

In case anyone else shares my Al enthusiasm, I made a boatload of Al Franken tee shirts, Al Franken pins, Al Franken stickers and other items emblazoned with heartfelt hoorays for Al.

(Thanks, Jon Tester, too, BTW. This happens to be Al’s day, but there’s not a day that goes by that I’m not grateful for Montana Democratic Senator, Jon Tester, and many other smart, decent, fair-minded people who do the difficult, crappy and thankless job of representing the people of the USA. Keep on rockin the free world.)


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