CLINTON — Though Marilyn Goff was born in Baton Rouge, her father, Norvel Meeks, and grandfather John F. Meeks were some of first timber people in East and West Feliciana.
“They had the first lumber mill in Jackson called Meeks Lumber Co.,” Goff said. “So, from 3 to 5 years of age, I lived at Stonehenge Plantation in Clinton.”
Goff describes herself as an amateur artist who loves to paint and draw.
“I’ve been painting all my life,” Goff said. As the East Feliciana Parish Clerk of Court’s featured artist for January and February, Goff’s paintings in pastel and watercolor mediums adorn the walls of the office in Clinton.
Since elementary school, Goff has had success as a painter. She won a Catholic Youth Organization art show for a painting of a forest scene she calls “Mystical Forest.”
Her preferred medium is pastel, though some of her artwork is created using watercolor.
“I’ve tried my hand at oils, acrylics, even poster paints,” Goff said, laughing. “But I wanted to try something a little different. That’s when I began working in pastels. I didn’t want to do what everyone else was doing.” Goff describes the medium as a powdered pigment rolled into round or square sticks and held together with a nongreasy binding agent. Artists who work using the pastel medium are sometimes referred to as pastellists.
“They are so soft and blend so beautifully,” Goff said.
Goff’s pastel artwork often includes bold, vivid colors that saturate the paper or canvas. She once used blank newspaper print to create one of her most impressive pieces — a Native American woman wrapped in red tribal blanket napping with a black cat, which Goff titled “Content.”
Another favorite, “Beating the Storm,” is of a mail carrier racing across the desert on a horse trying to beat an impending storm.
“You can see the dust devils and tumbleweeds beginning to roll about and the churning of a colorful, stormy Squaw Valley sky,” Goff said. Most of Goff’s at the Clerk of Court’s office are Western or Native American-themed. Some are of nature scenes in watercolor.
Goff said she learned about primitive camping tribes that followed pioneers out west, so she once packed up and moved to Oregon taking a job as a park ranger. One of Goff’s pieces, different from the others, is “Blessed” and was inspired by a summer trip to Italy. It features the face of a religious icon.
In February, Goff’s artwork as well as some of her photography will be on display. Her collection of photography has been accumulated over the years working as a journalist and as the former publisher of The Watchman.
Goff retired after a 20-year career as an associate professor in the mass communications department at Southern University.
Amanda Hayden, of the Clerk of Court’s office, said local artists from East and West Feliciana, like Goff, are welcomed and often featured, however, some artists have been from the communities of Baker and Zachary.
“We try to select artists as local as possible, but sometimes have to go outside the parish,” Hayden said.
The first Clerk of Court, Debbie Hudnall, began featuring area artists’ work on the walls of the office, 12305 St. Helena St. Other businesses in Clinton also use work by artists as part of their decor, such as Red Boot Deli and McKnight’s.
Artists interested in having their work featured at the Clerk of Court’s office, should bring in several pieces for Hayden to review as well as a brief biography.
“Often, more than one artist is featured at a time,” Hayden said.
“We also prefer artists to check out our space as well to see if it will work for them.”
All work to be featured must be approved by the East Feliciana Clerk of Court’s Office.
Hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
For information, call (225) 683-5145.