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Artists rockin horse of a different color

The rocking horse painted by a Tigard artist will benefit the Children's Relief Nursery
by: Submitted photo, HORSIN’ AROUND FOR CHARITY — This rocking horse painted by Jill Jeffers Goodell, of Tigard, is for sale and proceeds will benefit the Children’s Relief Nursery in Portland. The creation is entitled, “A Horse of Different Impressions.”

TIGARD - A brush with death gave Tigard resident Jill Jeffers Goodell a new look on life and a new passion to paint the world.

One and half years ago, cancer changed Goodell's outlook on life. She likened it to taking a full swing to the right and facing the unimaginable. But sitting in her home's art studio last week, Goodell had a different outlook on the 'big C.'

'I'm so glad cancer came to change my life so I could do this,' she said.

The 'this' that Goodell spoke of is her creation for the Rockin' Horse fund-raiser for the Children's Relief Nursery.

Goodell's painted rocking horse, entitled 'A Horse of Different Impressions,' is on sale for $500. Those interested in the rocking horse can call the Children's Relief Nursery at 503-283-4776. All proceeds from Goodell's horse benefit Portland's CRN, an organization designed to provide intensive interventions to stop child abuse and rehabilitate parents.

The CRN Rockin' Horse Auction held in November raised nearly $10,000 for the organization.

'It's people like (Goodell) who really make our services possible,' said Chris Otis, CRN executive director.

In late 2005, Goodell left her 25-year career in public relations. After months of chemotherapy and two surgeries, she returned to her first love: fine arts.

As a painter, Goodell has been juried into the Water-color Society of Oregon and the Oregon Society of Artists. She has exhibited her work at many art shows including the Portland Rose Festival and the Lake Oswego Festival of Arts. She is a board member of the OSA and belongs to the Portland Plein Air Painters.

Goodell also teaches drawing to adults from her home and holds classes in her studio in Tigard and the Village Gallery of Arts in Beaverton.

But to Goodell, her work on the rocking horse for CRN was the highlight of her year in 2006.

CRN recruited 28 artists to paint on actual rocking horses. The horses were donated to CRN from local correctional institutions, Otis said.

Each artist used the horse as a blank canvas and painted and created their own works.

For Goodell, the horse represented a chance to delve into impressionistic painting.

Monet's lilies adorn one side of the horse; while on the other side are Van Gogh's sunflowers. Beneath the horse is an impression of a country river with two different paintings banked on either side.

Goodell admitted that with all the time she committed to painting the horse, it was hard for her to give it up. But she called the project a great gift to herself. The creation allowed her to explore the use of vibrant and cheerful colors.

'Life takes on a different color when you've brushed with death,' Goodell said.