Excerpted from the catalogue essay 'Goudie at 50'
by Roger Billcliffe
'Joie de vivre - that's what I paint' - and it would be no mean epitaph for a painter who in some circles is as well known for his love of life and the pleasures it presents as for his work as a painter of stylish portraits, bold landscapes and novel still-lives. This artistic credo signifies a sincere attempt to paint pictures that reflect his own enthusiasm for life, pictures that will please, amuse and intrigue his audience and at the same time enhance their lives.
Tom Honeyman quoted the belief of many of Cadells admirers that he made painting look too easy. Goudie's natural skill and painterly manner combined with a certain flamboyance of personality have brought similar indictments. The bravura of handling, its breadth and fluidity often hide a sometimes lengthy preoccupation with a particular problem. The results are fresh and immediate but the path to the finished painting may have had many twists... The fruits of experience are sometimes taken for a lack of depth or concern about traditional values.
Goudie is also deeply concerned about his craft. He feels that his pictures should please not simply puzzle and that pleasures can be achieved without playing to the gallery. He says that he has been called 'an old fashioned painter'- he chooses, rightly I think, to treat it as a compliment - perhaps the finest compliment he could be paid.