Providing a little lift: Artist uses her talent to create smiles – and funding for Shriners Hospital

April, 2017 Posted in Arts, Culture & History, Community
00001GirlOnSwing jpeg dgvPaintings

“Girl on a Swing” by Denise Goodin-Vasquez

By Mary Owen

A local artist uses her talents to help support Shriners Hospitals for Children, a charity “near and dear” to her heart.

“I began this journey by painting gifts for my grandchildren, and then upon request,” said Denise Goodin-Vasquez, 48, who started dgvPaintings last year. “During the winter months, my husband’s painting business slows down due to weather. I thought I might try to paint Christmas presents for my grandkids – easy audience!”

Goodin-Vasquez is a Stayton wife and mother of four grown children and three stepchildren. She is also “Grandma Naunie” to six grandchildren, one due in April.

Goodin-Vazquez has lived in Oregon for 21 years. She moved to Stayton about six months ago, and loves it!

“Such a charming town with friendly folks,” she said.

Her interest in selling her paintings stemmed from requests she received once she began posting her art on her Facebook business page plus her work as a certified nursing assistant with acute-care patients at Shriners Portland before leaving for health reasons.

“I love that organization so much!” said Goodin-Vasquez, who has been in the medical field for more than 20 years. “Superheroes are real, in their staff and the rock-star patients. Those beautiful children have the best outlook on life. They embrace each day and even go to school there during their stay. I miss working there.”


Denise Goodin-Vasquez

Goodin-Vasquez decided to donate 25 percent of her profits after painting her second work.

“I just sent Shriners money from the elephant watercolor commission,” she said. “This client contacted me from my Facebook business page and asked me to do an elephant. She would only say her grandma, who passed away last year, collected elephants. She told me to do whatever came through from her grandma.”

From three photos of elephants the grandmother loved, Goodin-Vasquez began painting what she “felt.”

“I’m an intuitive painter,” she said. “I began looking at the pictures and knew when I had found the right one. As I was painting, I had to change colors of eyes and toenails on the grandma’s elephant. It’s hard to explain unless you have experienced this yourself.”

She even added daisies to the painting, and the client told her the creation was “spot on.”

“Her grandma had daisies at her funeral!” Goodin-Vasquez said. “Years ago, someone she knows drew her an elephant with the same color daisy on its trunk. None of this I knew until the painting was finished. I love the Lord, and I know he works through me to help people in this way.”

Julian Vasquez lost his mother last year, and the couple lights a candle for her and one for Goodin-Vasquez’s grandmother, making sure they stay lit day and night.

“When a candle is done, I noticed we had a lot of glass,” said Goodin-Vasquez, who uses battery-operated votive candles in her display. “I just decided one day to see how acrylic paint would look on glass. It turned out great!”

She also likes painting on wood, including “Girl On A Swing” on plywood, one of her more popular works. Her husband paints personalized rocks with little animals and the names of their grandchildren.

“My favorite acrylic is a baby hedgehog,” Goodin-Vasquez said. “It’s hard to choose as I love them all! All of them bring smiles. I love helping people lift their spirits.”

Pleased with the watercolor medium used to paint the elephant, she loves the way it looks and plans to use it more.

“It opens up to more than just nursery or children’s paintings to me,” she said.

Of her new-found popularity as an artist, she added, “I’m still in awe of how quickly this has become a ‘thing’ for me. I have even had people ask me if I teach, which makes me giggle, but is so humbling. People have been so kind, so gracious.”

Recently, people have asked her to create greeting cards using her original paintings.

“They are toooooo adorable!!!,” Goodin-Vasquez said enthusiastically. “I can’t wait to post a display online.”

For more information, send an e-mail to or visit dvgPaintings on Facebook.

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