Goodnough loved to draw from an early age and when he was a teenager he signed up for a Saturday morning art class taught by Walter Long, a former Syracuse University art professor. Long recognized Goodnough?s abilities early on and passed some of his work on to a former colleague at Syracuse. This led to Goodnough?s talents being rewarded with a scholarship to Syracuse University to study art. Like so many of his fellow abstract painters, Goodnough was drafted during World War II. He served in the field artillery and did portraits and murals for various military installations. He became aquainted with the works of Henri Matisse, Piet Mondrian, and Pablo Picasso through some old magazines that he discovered in 1945. The works of these artists left a great impact on young Goodnough. After the war, Goodnough moved to New York City and studied art on the G.I. Bill at New York University. He earned his master?s degree and started teaching there while simultaneously running a soda fountain, working as a carpentry instructor and helping friends run a news stand till he could afford to make his living off the sale of his paintings. He even reviewed exhibitions for ARTnews during this period but gave that up because after viewing so much painting he began doubting why anyone should paint. In Purple Vertical one can see the beauty of Goodnough?s lyrical abstract style. The subtle layering of colors gives the surface a soft textured look. Patterns resembling mosaic tiles add elements of interest to this eye-pleasing work of art. Purple Vertical exhibits qualities of calm and control that add to the overall effect of the serene composition.