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Kent Perry Goodliffe
(Salt Lake City, UT, 1946 - )
Kent Goodliffe was born in Salt Lake City, Utah on June 3, 1946, but grew up in Springville and American Fork. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts, a double degree in painting and drawing and in crafts and jewelry, from Brigham Young University in 1970. Two years later he earned a Master of Fine Arts in painting and drawing with a minor in craft and jewelry design. While working on his MFA he had an assistantship with the Art Department at BYU. From 1973 to 1988, Goodliffe taught art at BYU and at Utah Community College (now UVSC) he taught classes in design, crafts, jewelry making, sculpture, drawing, figure drawing, and oil painting. Since 1985 Kent has worked full time as an artist, mostly doing commissioned portraits. He has specialized in what he labels "monochromatic, toned-ground, Prismacolor pencil paintings." Most artists' drawings are preliminary sketches or studies for works produced in other media. However, Goodliffe's delicate drawings are finished works of art in and of themselves and are often mistaken for monochromatic paintings. The artist uses the classical "toned-ground" approach employed by artists like Watteau, Rubens, DŸrer, and da Vinci. The technique uses paper which has been "toned" to a medium value. The highlights are produced by adding layers of light-colored pencil and the dark colors create the shadows while the paper provides the middle tones. Goodliffe explains "My light areas are created by the accumulation of innumerable carefully crosshatched lines, while darks are carefully built mass tones." Kent tones 100 percent cotton fiber, acid-neutralized paper with non-fading permanent acrylic pigments because even the best commercially toned papers fade with time. Speaking about his choice to produce mostly figurative work, Goodliffe says "I believe that God is the Supreme Creator, that He created this world and its infinite beauties for the use of man, His supreme creation. Therefore, I find satisfaction and challenge in interpreting my surroundings and presenting them as I see and feel them. I believe in man's Divine parentage, that each of us is a child of God with divine potential, each being unique in his or her own way, each created in the image of God. Could there, therefore, be any more beautiful more perfect subject for man to study, to draw, to paint than the human form? I think not!" Although Goodliffe has spent many years specializing in Prismacolor paintings, he has recently started painting more with oils. His work has won 12 major awards in statewide and national exhibits during the last few years. Because he has painted so many portraits, many of his works are in the private collections of the families of those who commissioned the works. He also has pieces in art museums and other private collections.