When People Ask Me, I Always Say…

“…when sky and sea agree to take one hue…”
© 2019, Molly Larson Cook
22″ x 28″  Acrylic on Canvas


When people ask me, I always say I’m an abstract expressionist, but the truth is those are just words.  I’ve loved abstract expressionism since my teens but when I look at the pictures by famous artists and back at my own work, I see few similarities.

So I reverse the process and look at my work first and then at the work of other artists to try and find my niche in the art world.  Same result.

For a while I tried to imitate the work of artists I’ve loved.  Not copy, but imitate with due regard for their genius and my lack of same.  I found a niche of sorts when I simply used the same palettes others had used in designs of my own.  It was fun and a little gratifying, but it wasn’t really me.

The gestural work of expressionists like Francine Tint intrigues me. Beyond that I find myself trying not to think too much about where I belong.  I’d rather paint and think about where I am.  Labels are labels and more often than not, chosen by gallery owners, academics and curators rather than by artists themselves.

A creative act, whatever it happens to be, is about individuality and one’s own human spirit sending out a small or large bit of something in the universe.  When I teach writing I remind students that whatever they write, however polished or in need of work, is theirs and it’s new in the universe.  No one else has ever written exactly what they’ve written unless they’ve stolen it from someone else.

I feel the same way about art.  Every effort, no matter how polished or in need of work, carries with it the guarantee that it’s unique and new in the universe.

For my money, that’s all any of us need to know.  A label may be helpful on a loaf of bread or a pair of jeans.  As for a painting, a piece of music, a poem, a dance, a beautifully crafted bookshelf, let each act stand on its own.

(Painting title from “The Blue Hour,” a poem by Judith Mickel Sornberger)








4 thoughts on “When People Ask Me, I Always Say…

  1. It does not surprise me that Molly has a common sense and instinctual approach to art. It is contrary in some ways to the beer connoisseurs, who analyze the “mouth feel,” back of palette taste and foam content of beers to determine its suitability. Thebeerchaser says, “What tastes good? What do I like about that brewski?”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s