Carolyn Sharon Goodridge, born on October 21, 1960, in Port of Spain, Trinidad, West Indies, immigrated to the U.S. in 1963. During the next 10 years, Carolyn was introduced to a heavily spiritual way of life through Beryl Odell, her grandmother’s who was a pastor a Pentecostal Church Brooklyn, New York. A great deal of importance was given to the power of healing through inner power and religious focus. Carolyn developed an interest in the fine arts at the age of 10, first writing short stories, plays and poems and then expressing herself through songs for the piano and guitar and later focusing on drawing and painting.
After the death of her grandmother in 1976, Carolyn’s religious direction shifted away from Western theologies. She developed skill in Yoga under the guidance of her teacher Ma Prem at the Carnegie Hall Yoga Studio; became widely read in the Eastern religious philosophies of India, and landed in the Korean Zen Buddhist tradition. At age 19, she left home to live in a Chogye International Zen Center in Chelsea Manhattan, and studied Zen meditation with the late Zen Master Seung Sahn, founder of the Kwan Um School of Zen.
Carolyn’s formal art education began in 1986 at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York as a night student in textile design. At FIT she discovered her inexhaustible love of painting. In 1984-5 Goodridge took a 4-month journey through Germany, Sri Lanka and India to restore her faith in Life after a painful divorce. The trip worked.
In 1990 she left New York to pursue full time matriculation at the University of Florida in Gainesville with her two-year old twin daughters. She spent the next seven years living as an on campus art student, extensively exhibiting her work on campus and in neighboring towns. Carolyn was awarded her Bachelor’s of Fine Art in Painting from the University of Florida in 1993, and a Master’s in Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 1997.
The abstract paintings produced by Goodridge reflect her artistic progression from realism to abstraction. An avid student of art history, Goodridge was inspired by the mystical works of color field artists Mark Tobey, Mark Rothko and Clyfford Still, the whimsical master colorist Hans Hofmann, the musically oriented, German Expressionist Vassily Kandinsky, the exploratory work on dreams and the collective unconscious by Paul Kleé, and genius of musician John Cage. Studying their works had a liberating impact on Goodridge. She began to realize a freedom and reconnection with her love of color and music, legacies of her West Indian culture. The imagery also reflects her background in Zen meditation where spontaneity is key to understanding oneself.
The artist brings a rich integration of spiritual philosophy, with modern science and ancient psychology to the artwork. The titles of the paintings are constructed from personal interpretations of classic texts such as the I Ching, the Tao Te Ching, the Upanishads and essays on quantum mechanics. The imagery is intended to stimulate the intuitive and emotional sensitivities.
In addition to painting, Goodridge is an independent curator and the Executive Director of Art Impact International, Inc. The artist is dedicated to the preservation of creativity, past, present and future.