PEOPLE OF INTEREST
The CONTEMPORARY PAINTER
ED DRONDOSKI PHOTOS
Deb Gooch paints nearly every day in her studio on Seventh Avenue in Vero Beach.
Vero Beach artist Deborah Gooch, known for her
striking paintings that fuse elements of realism with
those of abstract expressionism, started drawing as
soon as she could hold a crayon.
She grew up in horse country outside Baltimore, Md.,
where the physical environment of rolling hills and old
homes combined with the creative instincts of her parents
nurtured her love for art, along with her love of horses.
“I had a great childhood,” she said. “I remember being a
Brownie Scout and they had a drawing competition. I struggled
doing a drawing of Black Beauty. I can remember crying
and my dad coming into the room and trying to comfort me.”
She said the sketch was terrible and certainly didn’t win a
prize, “but I still have it somewhere, tucked away in a box of
Gooch studied painting at the Maryland Institute College
of Art in Baltimore. She worked as a commercial illustrator
and designer in Maryland and later in Florida, where she and
her husband, Jim, have lived for 30 years. In Vero Beach, she
has established herself as a respected contemporary painter
who has a loyal fan base of artists and art lovers.
“When I look at her work, two things come to mind,”
fellow artist Barry Shapiro said. “First, the range and the
wonderful imagination she brings to her canvas. Second, the
level of talent. Look closely and see the drawing skills and
the ‘painterly’ quality of her work – it’s truly astounding. In
a city with a large art community and a wealth of talent, Deb
Gooch stands out as a cut above.”
As a classically trained artist who taught at the Vero Beach
Museum of Art, Gooch said her work is grounded in realism.
She pushed herself beyond the “tried and true” fundamentals
of that style and ventured into abstraction. Her current out-
BY JANIE GOULD