Spend any amount of time on the Kansas prairie and you will experience a breathtaking sunrise or sunset on a regular basis. Over time many people have attempted to capture the nuanced beauty of pink, purple and orange bleeding into the vast blue and white Kansas sky. Amy Goering discovered at an early age that not only did she love drawing and painting, but she found a talent that captured that beauty.
Taking art classes in school began as a fun hobby and outlet for Goering, but the further she got in school she realized art was becoming more than a hobby. As she graduated high school, she decided to pursue something in art as a career. As she considered her college plans and majors, she originally thought she would be an art teacher.
“I thought about pursuing art as a career," says Goering, "I just didn't realize that being a gallery artist was an option. So being an art teacher seemed the most logical to use my art skill.”
As she watched friends and mentors teach their classes, Goering realized they had little time to work on their own art and she decided her love was in creating art. Being concerned about not having time to paint if her schedule was full of teaching, she chose to pursue being a gallery artist. As she completed her bachelor’s, she decided to pursue her Master’s in Fine Art and received it from Pensacola Christian College.
Goering describes her art as "representational art."
“In this type of art," she says, "the artist is painting an image that is true to the source and the subject is clear, yet its abstract and not a photographic image.”
“There is room for interpretation,” Goering continues. “My most favorite is called 'plein air art.’ Going outside and attempting to paint the subject as quickly as possible because the light changes and creates different nuances that make every picture different, even if it’s of the same subject.”
After Goering completed her Master’s, she was able to move in several different directions. She worked in a digital illustrator capacity while growing her gallery portfolio. Soon she had art in different galleries across the country.She lived in Colorado and Wyoming for some years after college and both places are featured in much of her art over the years.
What is most prevalent in Goering’s art is the West and Midwest, specifically the family farm in Marion and now her own farmstead outside of Galva. Her love for old barns and nature, as well as her nieces and nephews can be discovered in her art that is very obviously "representational," with it's softened edges, and warm and vibrant colors.
When confronted with a very painful and unexpected life change, Goering found herself unable to paint. Not knowing what to do next, she packed up her gear and came home. Fortunately, she was able to rent a farmhouse near her family, which gave her time to regroup and consider what she should do.
For several months, Goering worked odd jobs and found her desire to paint at a standstill as she regrouped. Through an old high school friend, she discovered an office job and adjunct teaching position for an online Art Appreciation Course at Central Christian College of Kansas (CCCK).
Goering still had not picked up a paint brush and learned that there was a need for an art teacher after long- time teacher and artist, Naomi Ulum, retired from the college. Uncertain about the direction of her personal painting, she decided to approach the former Provost of the college, Lenny Favara, about the possibility of teaching one or two basic art classes. Favara, now the President of the college, agreed.
While continuing to work in the office, Goering began to share her love of art, its history and its influence on today’s culture, to her students.Some of the students admitted to not having any interest in art and were only taking the class because of the credit needed to graduate. Over the course of the semester, those same students came back to express thanks for how much they learned.
“At the start of each Art Appreciation class,” Goering says, "some of them would state in their introductions that they know nothing about art and were intimidated by the class. So I would tell them that I understand and don't expect them to become "professional artists," but to keep an open mind and maybe they will learn at least one thing to appreciate. In the actual art classes, I reminded that we are all created in the image of God and therefore, by nature, creative. I expected them to learn that about themselves within those lessons of drawing or painting."
As Goering stood in front of her students and began to draw and paint again, there was wide variety of emotions as she stood in front of a canvas with the eyes of her students watching, but ultimately it brought healing.
“My passion for creating art had a rebirth of sorts,” Goering states. “It was nerve-wracking that first time, but as I watched students create art who had never done it before, I rediscovered why I loved it in the first place. I know I taught them some techniques, but really they helped me find my love for creating again."
In the last two years, Amy has quit working at her desk job and become the full-time art teacher at CCCK while also working as a full-time professional painter again. This new season has brought an enjoyment of teaching and rediscovering long forgotten styles and interests.
Goering has slowly worked her way back into creating new pieces as well. A recent trip to Israel for the first time was a big step forward in producing more original pieces to add to her gallery collection. The group hiked all over the Israeli countryside, so she was very strategic in planning light equipment. While at different popular and meaningful sites she was able to paint over a dozen “open plein air” pieces. These small canvases were able to capture the nuanced beauty that is difficult to see in just a photograph and is helping her recreate them on a larger scale.
Having a deep belief that art takes many forms, Goering thinks that all of us appreciate art, it just looks different for each of us. To help others discover what their passion is, she will be offering workshops to the community in October coinciding with CCCK’s Homecoming weekend. You can visit www.centralchristian.edu to learn more about those and other workshops being offered.
Also, if you like to learn more about Goering you can visit her website at www.amygoering.com. Since she has rebranded in recent days, she has multiple pieces at a discount right now and you can see those on her site. She loves to hear from admirers and fellow lovers of art. You can reach her on her site as well.
Goering’s plans include expanding her gallery representations, entering more juried shows and to paint while traveling, like her Israel trip. Be on the lookout for her art in the community in future days.
To contact Jessica Cass you can email her at Jessica_cass@aol.com or connect with her on Facebook at Jessica Cass-Freelance Writer.