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

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

Making (and re-making) Art – Nobody’s Perfect

“Secure Your Chains” ©2018, Molly Larson Cook 18 x 24 Acrylic on canvas “X-rays of famous paintings reveal that even master artists sometimes made basic mid-course corrections (or deleted really dumb mistakes) by overpainting the still-wet canvas.” –Bayles and Orland, Art & Fear Several years ago, back in the days when I was a full-time writer instead of a full-time artist, I taught a course … Continue reading Making (and re-making) Art – Nobody’s Perfect

Doing As Little As Possible

“Boy, Howdy” ©2018, Molly Larson Cook, 22 x 28, acrylic on canvas Available The Dog Days of August are upon us…the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer with heat waves everywhere on the planet.  This weather is conducive to one thing for artists – doing as little as possible. Not that we’re not doing anything.  We’re just doing the little things like reorganizing our supplies, … Continue reading Doing As Little As Possible

Traveling with an Artist’s Eyes…and Heart

  Mexican paper flowers Leave home, leave the country, leave the familiar. Only then can routine experience—buying bread, eating vegetables, even saying hello—become new all over again. – Anthony Doerr So I did.  Left home, left country, left the familiar.  Okay, I only did it for a couple of days over Memorial Day weekend, and it wasn’t far from my front door to the border of Mexico, … Continue reading Traveling with an Artist’s Eyes…and Heart

The Painting Part — with Singing and Dancing

“Morning Dance” © 2018, Molly Larson Cook Acrylic on canvas, 24″ x 30″   “Painting is the easiest job on earth, until you get to the painting part.” Brian Rutenberg I’d like to meet Brian Rutenberg and if I ever get back to New York, I’ll look him up.  I found this line of his on somebody else’s blog and immediately remembered Picasso’s declaration that … Continue reading The Painting Part — with Singing and Dancing

Creativity, Solitude and Happiness

  24″ x 30″ acrylic © 2018, Molly Larson Cook “A Felicidade” “In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for constructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone.” ~ Rollo May I’ve begun work on a new collection of jazz paintings, putting my solitude to constructive use as Dr. May suggested.  I’ve long been open to creativity, … Continue reading Creativity, Solitude and Happiness

Knowing When to Stop: The Axeman Cometh

I’ve spent a lot of years in the world of words – writer, writing instructor, editor, and oh, yes, reader.  I’m familiar with William Faulkner’s famous advice to writers that they must sometimes “kill your darlings,” those phrases you are particularly fond of which are really not all that good. This kind of murderous idea is a little shocking, I suppose, but I laughed out loud … Continue reading Knowing When to Stop: The Axeman Cometh

It’s Not Just About the Paint

  My summer vacation – I say that with a wry little smile – is about over, and it’s time for me to get back to work. This year, my summer vacation was more about doctors, lab technicians, pharmacists and naps than it was about artists, canvas or painting.  I know that into each life some glitches are likely to fall and mine fell hard this summer.  All things considered … Continue reading It’s Not Just About the Paint