The Questions That Matter

“when I heard the learn’d astronomer…” © 2019, Molly Larson Cook Acrylic on canvas, 24″ x 30″ available In that much-quoted book Art & Fear, David Bayles and Ted Orland suggest that perhaps there’s a simple premise when it comes to understanding our lives as artists and our work:  just pull together all the leads and pieces and we’ll discover a “single, clear, concise, fundamental, … Continue reading The Questions That Matter

Joan Mitchell – Poetry, Jazz, Abstract Expressionism

My latest so far untitled work in progress (with miles to go before I sleep!) I was reading an article for dancers recently about “taking class” at home.  In the dance and acting worlds, “taking class” is a given.  You never stop taking class – learning, practicing, working on the moves or the lines or any of the countless details of your craft.  And it … Continue reading Joan Mitchell – Poetry, Jazz, Abstract Expressionism

Playing Small May Be for Some People, But Not for the Artists of the World

“Know you could tumble any second…” ©2019, Molly Larson Cook Acrylic on canvas, 24″ x 30″ Several years ago a nonartist friend held a business seminar in a classroom at the art school in my city.  When I arrived, she was busy “saging” the room.  I asked why and she said, “Because they do art critiques here and there’s so much bad energy.” I suggested that she … Continue reading Playing Small May Be for Some People, But Not for the Artists of the World

The Art of Imperfection

What is commonly called ugliness in nature can in art become full of beauty. –August Rodin It was the father of a young boy at a Rodin show at the National Gallery and my grandmother, the consummate gardener who taught me the truth of Rodin’s statement. I was visiting the Rodin show at the National Gallery several years ago, following along behind a man and … Continue reading The Art of Imperfection

The Spirit of the Work

  “…whose woods these are I think I know…” Acrylic on canvas 20 X 24 ©2019, Molly Larson Cook (Poetry and painting) I thought it was perhaps because I’m so relatively new in the art world.  Or maybe I was overthinking the work and my art brain was rebelling.  Or maybe my quirks were taking over and nobody but me had this oddly vague idea … Continue reading The Spirit of the Work

Home, Sweet Studio

“Light breaks where no light shines…” Acrylic on canvas 24 x 30 ©Molly Larson Cook 2019 For an artist, a relocation upsets more than an apple cart.  It’s not just a matter of packing the paints and the canvases, sorting through old brushes and making a lot of decisions about what to keep and what to throw away.  It’s also a matter of adjusting to … Continue reading Home, Sweet Studio

Art Problems and Ordinary Problems – They’re Not the Same

In their fine book, Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking, David Bayles and Ted Orland make a distinction between art problems – which are unique – and ordinary problems – which are, well, ordinary. Their point here is that ordinary problems may be ordinary but they are in no way trivial. Ordinary problems are the ones that consume too much … Continue reading Art Problems and Ordinary Problems – They’re Not the Same

My Brief Happy Life in the World of Children’s Books

I thought I was ready to write something about art today, but I was wrong.  I looked through a dozen “inspiring” quotes on the subject and not a single one of them inspired me.  They mostly sounded dry and dusty, clichés from the past without connection to the present much less the future. Or smug. Perhaps I am in the art doldrums because I have … Continue reading My Brief Happy Life in the World of Children’s Books

Let There Be Joy and Goofiness and Laughter and Art

I’ll be honest…I don’t know who these girls are.  Or who this photograph might belong to.  But since I first saw it, I’ve been taken with the outright joie de vivre captured here. I think they remind me a little of my own daughters, who are all grown up now and have their own kids and never owned hula skirts – plastic, grass, or otherwise.  … Continue reading Let There Be Joy and Goofiness and Laughter and Art

Goodbye, Old Paint

Many things have happened since my last post, Art Friends.  Let me count the ways. I went to Mexico with my significant other and we found a new place to live. We strolled the streets of our new town, wandered into local art galleries and met a couple of artists.  We ate good food and drank good margaritas which, down there, do not cost $9 a throw! … Continue reading Goodbye, Old Paint