Considering the Lilies

Consider the Lilies of the Field”
copyright 2021, Molly Larson Cook
10″ x 8″
Mixed media acrylic and tissue collage on archival illustration board

Today, serendipity and a sidestep from jazz. Serendipity was finding a wonderful image of this lily, a cobra lily, and recognizing that I wanted to use it right away. This is how art happens.

Consider the Lilies is a one-off. I am not planning a series about flowers. But it was the right thing at the right moment and tells the right story, so who am I, the artist, to argue with that?

Serendipity’s partner is a willingness to change course. I recognized that this little creation was a side step from jazz, which is most often my subject, and that the step was just fine and dandy.

Improvisation, aka risktaking, is a willingness to leave the known and take a step in a different direction, no matter what we’re creating.

Collage, as I do it with tissue and ink and paint, is full of surprises. Even more surprises for me than my abstract paintings.

I’ll be moving now to a larger format and I’m eager to see what happens. There are few mistakes in collage, just happy accidents.

Sometimes the tissue holds and sometimes it wants to be peeled away leaving a surprising layer of color.

Sometimes the ink goes where you want it and sometimes it spreads in some other interesting direction.

I often think that collage is where the “unseen hands” of art have the most fun.

“Oh, you wanted it to look like this? Well, how about trying this instead?”

I did a mixed-media painting a few years ago, woke up about 3 a.m. and wanted to change it, did that, went back to bed and got up around 7 a.m., looked at it, liked it even though it was unlike anything I’d done. I asked myself “Who did this?” Well, it wasn’t the fairies at the bottom of the garden or the shoemaker’s elves in the night. It was me and maybe help from the “unseen hands.”

Collage asks of the artist a rare kind of flexibility not always asked of a painter. And a collage made with too much planning is rather like a novel written by someone with a detailed outline, chapter by chapter.

If an artist or an author is unwilling to welcome surprises, the result is without much life.

My work table is ready. My tissue and paint and ink are ready. I’m ready. Surprise me!

4 thoughts on “Considering the Lilies

  1. Yep, and I know you already know it…You are someone who moves, too, with the help of unseen hands! They even show up in the dive bars…;-) I remember a great night at the Ship Tavern, playing pool with a crowd of old fellows watching and cheering us youngsters on… Moll

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