Using very fine brushes and working under a magnifier, Louisiana’s Christina Goodman creates richly detailed miniature paintings on jewelry and small artworks.
Artist: Born in Italy, Goodman grew up in the Washington, DC, area.There she was exposed to a great deal of art, particularly Renaissance paintings at the National Gallery (her parents were lovers of Italian Renaissance art). She also developed a love of miniatures.
At the University of California, Santa Cruz, she earned her BFA before going on to study fashion design at Parsons School of Design in NYC.
While in New York City, she learned sign painting, decorative painting, faux finishing and gilding. Goodman uses the skills and knowledge gained on those past jobs in her work now.
Ultimately, Goodman merged her interest in art, fashion and miniatures by making hand-painted jewelry, which she has exhibited at fine craft shows, miniature shows and in shops and galleries since 1993.
Studio: Goodman is based in Abita Springs, about an hour north of New Orleans.
Her studio “shedio” is in an outbuilding on her property. The converted shed is at the edge of a wetland forest with lots of birds, flowers, squirrels. “It’s idyllic!” she said.
Art & materials: Richly detailed, hand-painted jewelry and small art works on wood panels, using acrylics, acrylic gouache, inks, gold leaf, fine brushes and a magnifier.
What’s popular: Miniature landscape jewelry. Also birds and animals. ($250 to $350).
Other favorites: Bee earrings and pendants ($240 to $340). Also animal/pet portrait commissions ($300 to $400).
- Prep the wood panels with gesso.
- Paint them under a magnifier (often a sketch is done beforehand).
- When the painting is completed, it is varnished, signed on the back, waxed and buffed.
- Assemble the bits and pieces into jewelry designs, often adding semi-precious gemstones. Recently, she has been adding her own trompe- l’oeil painted gems.
Favorite tools: Tiny brushes. “I’m continually collecting new ones,” said Goodman. “Most recently … curved-tip squirrel hair brushes from India.”
- Italian Renaissance painting and ornament.
- Manuscript illumination.
- 16th-century Dutch flower painting.
- Icon painting.
- Mughal and Persian miniatures, which the self-taught miniature artist has been studying since 2020.
Special or unusual commissions:
- Special: Tiny (5 to 10 mm) paintings for an exquisite, dollhouse-scale replica of Ham House in England. The “Green Closet” in the Ham contains miniature paintings. So Goodman was painting miniatures of miniatures.
- Unusual: A dodo bird pendant.
- American Craft Council Pop-Up Marketplace, online. 2022 and 2023.
- Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, online. 2021.
- Craft Optimism, Smithsonian show, online. 2021.
- Smithsonian Craft2Wear, Washington, D.C. 2019.
- Best in Show award, Smithsonian Craft Show. 2015.
New project: Creating patterns for her new Spoonflower shop, using her original drawings and paintings. (spoonflower.com/profiles/christina_goodman)
What’s next: American Craft Council online Pop-Up Marketplace, Aug. 7-20.
Where to buy:
- Instagram: @christinagoodman_