Artists as Storytellers

Some Houses Are Bigger Than Others
Mixed media collage
copyright 2014, Molly Larson Cook

Houses are very much on my mind, although this piece was done long before I began looking for one.

It reflects more of my history than the present or my future. My family moved often because of my dad’s work, and I grew up in all kinds of houses in the many places we lived.

Now I think of them in a different way, through not only my buyer’s eye but also through my artist’s eye.

Poet Edgar Guest was right that it “takes a heap o’ livin’ in a house t’ make it home,” but it also takes a lot o’ lookin’ to even find that house in the first place. And even more lookin’ to find one with space for an art studio.

I’ve been packing up the studio the last several days and as I do that, I ask myself how the next place will look. In Bellevue, Washington, where I got back to my art journey, I worked in a corner of the living room. In Utah, where I first began to paint again, I had a 3-bedroom apartment with a room for my art work. In San Diego, where I started painting full time, I lived in a tiny casita, 300 square feet, which I described as an art studio with a bed. And that was the truth.

When I lived in Mexico, the living room of the condo had the best light and I painted with a view of the blue Pacific. I was not satisfied, though, with much of anything I did there. The western light was much too bright and distorted the colors.

When I got to Oregon a couple of years ago, where prices were a little lower, I opted for an office space cum studio in a classic old building downtown where I had large north facing windows, the artist’s dream. I’ve been as busy as a proverbial Oregon beaver for the past couple of years, right through the pandemic, and am now working toward an April 2022 show here.

As we prepare to find a home of our own, I’ll wait to see what turns up in a house or where I might find another good studio space.

Meanwhile, I’m reviewing the work of the past few years as I sort and pack. The collage above was done in Utah before I left collages behind for full-time painting. Collages are, of course, a form of abstract figurative work, and I still enjoy both creating and seeing them. I also enjoyed collecting the images and papers — cutting, pasting, tearing. Different kinds of stories are told in collages.

La Divina
copyright 2016, Molly Larson Cook
Mixed media collage 24 x 24 on panel

So the move is helping me not only get better organized (I make no promises!) but also to rethink where I’ll go next. The Jazz Collection is near and dear and I won’t be giving that up. But I may take some steps back to the collage work to tell the stories I have not yet told. Take the collage above…the girl on the right is my mom, age 4. Stories…

Like Jimmy Durante, I’ve got a million of ’em!

4 thoughts on “Artists as Storytellers

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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