Austin woman makes sure her world is a kaleidoscope of colors

Lois Goodman’s home is like walking through a rainbow.

By Breze ReyesNovember 14, 2023 2:53 pm, ,

Art is everywhere. But for Lois Goodman, it literally surrounds her.

Her home is decorated with 29 different colors, both inside and out. Her backyard, nicknamed “Under the Sea,” is engulfed by an ocean, filled with swimming mermaids and fish.

She drives around Austin in her latest art car, “Mermania,” which has been decorated to look like mermaids lounging on a coral reef. It features a mermaid’s face on the hood, a mermaid on each side and a huge, 3-D tail coming out of the roof.

Breze Reyes / Texas Standard

Lois Goodman’s art, "Mermania."

“I always felt like I could swim better than I walked, so I’ve always considered myself to be a mermaid. I’m much happier in water than on land, so I surround myself with mermaids because it makes me happy. And who doesn’t love a mermaid?,” Goodman said.

In 1998 Goodman attended the Art Car Parade in Houston, where she was inspired to create an art car of her own. The next year she entered her first car, “Psyched Out.” Goodman had a birthday party where she and all her friends decorated the Volkswagen bug with a tarot theme.

She is an intuitive reader and offers consulting services to clients around Austin. Each session begins with tarot cards.

Breze Reyes / Texas Standard

Goodman says she has always felt she could swim better than she walked and thought of herself like a mermaid, which has inspired the art she surrounds herself with.

“What I noticed about art cars is you decorate them with what you love,” Goodman said.

Her second car, “Peaches on the Beaches,” was a Honda covered with seashells and sea creatures, with a woman in a yellow polka dot bikini painted on the front. Her next car was another Volkswagen bug, “Mic Luv Bug, Can’t Get No Traction,” which had a large rendition of the Rolling Stones’ lip and tongue logo – Goodman is a big fan.

She then moved on to her next car, “Carsmos,” which represents Goodman’s entire universe. It had the sea on one side, planets on the roof, regions of earth on the hood and the Austin skyline on the back.

Breze Reyes / Texas Standard

Ocean scenes are seen in much of the art surrounding Goodman's home.

The fun doesn’t stop there. Shortly after she moved into her home, she transformed the rooms by treating each as its own art project. She describes herself as a collector of all kinds of things that she loves, and that inspired how she decorated her home.

When she first moved into her house, she painted the walls white because after years of living in apartments, she thought walls needed to be white. Then she realized she owned the house and had the freedom to do whatever she wanted with it.

Her kitchen displays a collection of salt and pepper shakers and china. The back room has tall windows that bring light in from the backyard, shining onto a large bookshelf where her collection of tiny shoes sits.

Breze Reyes / Texas Standard

Some of the china and dishes Goodman has collected is seen on display in her home.

Walking around her house is like walking through an art museum. There is so much to look at, yet it isn’t overwhelming. Her sunglasses collection is hung neatly through the hallway and her hats hang uniformly along the walls.

Goodman never considered herself to be an artist because she can’t paint or draw in a straight line. But walking around her house, you wouldn’t expect her to be anything but an artist. She pulls projects, crafts, collections, colors and anything that brings her joy all to one place. Goodman is able to bring together potentially contrasting colors, finding aesthetically pleasing ways to have them complement one another.

The combination of many bright colors is often a recipe for chaos, but Goodman has the ability to make them all flow together. There are no beige or earth tones found anywhere near her house.

“It’s amazing how important colors are to your well-being,” she said. “I like the vibration of really vibrant colors. They make me happy.”

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