A martini inspires Goggans

November 16, 2004|EMILY TOADVINE

Lori Goggans latest venture with her artistic skills should be shaken, not stirred.

Since joking around with friends about having a martini named after her on the list at Two Roads Cafe, she has been painting martini after martini. She signs her work, Loritini.

"It just evolved. It all started with Two Roads," says Goggans, whose martini of choice is a Grey Goose vodka with orange and cranberry juice. The menu titles it, "the Loritini, named for everyone's friend, Lori Goggans."

Goggans says the whole martini theme probably gives people the wrong impression.

"People probably think I'm an alcoholic. I rarely even drink," she says.

The martini fever is only one of Goggans many endeavors. Her glass is more than half full with her week devoted to working two jobs, decorating people's homes for Christmas, painting murals in people's homes, and one day for playing tennis in a Lexington league. Goggans hasn't advertised, but has more than she can handle in the interior decorating world.


"It's weird how, through word of mouth, word spreads."

At least Goggans won't have to worry about neglecting her own home because she leaves her Christmas tree, trimmed in hot pink feathers and a variety of ornaments, up all year.

A box by her front door contains cranberry and wheat for a Christmas theme she plans to do in one home. She will use this to perk up the homeowner's other decorations.

"I take what they have and lay it out and add ribbons," she says.

The advantage of having Goggans decorate is that she will view things in a new way.

"It's nice to have somebody come in and lay out what you have differently."

Lots of calls for painting

In addition to having the seasonal work, Goggans still is receiving lots of calls for painting. She recently decorated the bedroom and bathroom of Rachel Pittman, 14-year-old daughter of Mike and Alycea Pittman. The color scheme is lime green, turquoise and raspberry. After her young client chose pillows and a bedspread from Pottery Barn for Kids, Goggans based the paint scheme on the colors in the bedding. She used stripes and circles in the bedroom. The color scheme was continued in the bathroom and Goggans added a woman in the bath tub with the name Rachel above it.

Of course, the woman is holding a cool, tropical drink, Goggans points out.

"I was amazed because she did the bath tub all free-hand," Alycea Pittman says.

Just as she does with the Christmas decorations, Goggans starts with an item the homeowner has and bases her color scheme around that. For instance, one woman has a shower curtain with ducks on it and Goggans plans to do a pond scene with cattails on the wall. She also will do a football field in one of the sons' bedroom and a beach scene in the other's.

For a little girl's room, she created a "Secret Garden" atmosphere, using the headboard of the bed like an arbor.

"People find stuff they love and you just go off on their ideas," says Goggans.

Not scared of color

Anyone visiting Goggans' Danville home will guess that she's not scared of color. She has lime green walls in her entry hall and pale blue ceilings. Her youngest son, Stephen, calls it Key Lime Pie.

"It just reminds me of Key West," she says.

In the bathroom off the master bedroom, she painted parrots in a jungle. They are behind ornamental iron that came from fencing, she says.

Despite her success at decorating, Goggans says she hadn't done much outside her own home until recently. She says it makes her nervous, but at the insistence of her friends, she branched out.

Goggans first exhibit came at the 2004 Great American Brass Band Festival when local artists had their work at the Heart of Danville's Antique Show. To her surprise, her artist friend, Paul Sirimongkhon, volunteered her to have a display.

"It came out that I was exhibiting. I about had a heart attack."

Goggans rose to the occasion and even sold a few of her works. A Danville woman bought her Manhattan painting of a martini with the New York City skyline in the background. One person even wanted to buy her sign, a large martini glass with Loritini written over it.

On Friday, she had her second show during the gallery hop, sponsored by the Danville-Boyle County Arts Commission. Her oldest son, Joseph, and she shared the Three Babes and a Monkey location where Goggans painted the murals on the walls for her friends who own the business. She also works there a couple of days a week.

Graphic arts major

A graphics art major in college, Goggans didn't limit herself to martini themes. She has a line of inspirational paintings that have a word, such as Believe or Laughter painted on them with bright geometric backgrounds and beads.

"It's my happy period, and my chaotic period."

She got the idea for using beads from her husband, Mark, who relaxes at night by making beaded necklaces.

"I wake up in the middle of the night and think of this stuff. ... I thought, 'I can put beads on my paintings because you frame them without glass because they're acrylic.'"

Goggans also knows about framing because she works one day a week at Maple Tree Gallery. Her connections there work out well because she started making martini lamps. She buys fabric, attaches it to the lamp shade, and adds beads, including specially-made olive ones by Sharon Duncan.

A co-worker at Maple Tree, Charles Porterfield, does the wiring with martini shakers for the base. One talent that Goggans put to work at this job is when people bring in antique lamps that have a broken base or shade. Often, the lamps have flowers on one part and she will paint a new shade to match.

Although some people might shy away from the frantic pace that Goggans has set for herself, the petite blond thrives on it. Whether she's flipping through magazines looking for ideas or picking out ribbons to deck the halls, she prefers to stay active.

"I cannot sit still," she says, noting that only when she's painting does she allow herself to relax.

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