To See with the Human Heart

In the bleak early winter – apologies to Christina Rossetti – my November studio has become more than chilly. At some moments, it’s downright bleak. I’m taken back to January art school days in Maine where we worked on our projects in an unheated building, thanks to a power failure. Classes were not cancelled. The show went on, but the faculty took pity and brought … Continue reading To See with the Human Heart

Choosing for a Small Exhibition Is a Labor of Love

“Art should be persistent; exhibitions should be small.”–Robert Henri, The Art Spirit I have been persistent and have been invited to mount a small exhibition of my “Colors of Jazz” in my new also small hometown in July. This is a happy piece of news for me after I lost opportunities when I left San Diego for Mexico back in 2018. And then moved again … Continue reading Choosing for a Small Exhibition Is a Labor of Love

Art and Science: Together and Apart

Despite some discussions about the similarities between art and science, it’s good to be clear: they both matter, but they are not the same. David Bayles and Ted Orland make this abundantly clear in their Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking. From Bayles and Orland:“It is an article of faith, among artists and scientists alike, that at some deep level … Continue reading Art and Science: Together and Apart

Plato Had It Right

And so it begins. Plato is rumored to have said (who knows who really said what back in the day?) that “The beginning is the most important part of the work.” Whether he said this or not, I have long believed it. It’s the first stroke on the canvas, the first words in a piece of writing, the first notes of a new composition, the … Continue reading Plato Had It Right

Houses, Boxes, and Art

In his fine old book, The Art Spirit, subtitled “Notes, Articles, Fragments of Letters and Talks to Students, Bearing on the Concept and Technique of Picture Making, the Study of Art Generally, and on Appreciation,” (first published in 1930), Robert Henri, my favorite writer and teacher when it comes to art, has a couple of things to say about houses. Houses are on my mind … Continue reading Houses, Boxes, and Art

Proceeding Through the Heat

“What veteran artists know about each other is that they have engaged the issues that matter to them. What veteran artists share in common is that they have learned how to get on with their work. Simply put, artists learn how to proceed, or they don’t. The individual recipe any artist finds for proceeding belongs to that artist alone…”— Bayles & Orland, Art & Fear … Continue reading Proceeding Through the Heat

Covering the Waterfront

    “I Cover the Waterfront”©2020, Molly Larson Cook36″ x 24″Acrylic on CanvasAvailable   It’s a fallow season and I know from my days in farming country that this is a good thing.  A productive thing.  We all need to rest at least a little.  Rest, relax, refresh, reflect.  I’ve been using the time to look through my older work, reconsider it and wonder if … Continue reading Covering the Waterfront

This Thing of Seeing Things

“Have You Met Miss Jones?” The Colors of Jazz Collection ©2020, Molly Larson Cook 30″ x 24″ Acrylic and ink on gallery-wrapped canvas   “This thing of seeing things. All kinds of seeing. Dead seeing. Live seeing. Things that are mere surfaces. Things that are filled with the wondrous. Yes, color must be seen beautifully, that is, meaningfully, and used as a constructive agent, borrowed … Continue reading This Thing of Seeing Things

The Art and Spirit of the Painting

  “These Foolish Things” 24 x 20 The Colors of Jazz Collection ©2020, Molly Larson Cook   “Dominant 7th chords are some of the most common chords you’ll find in the jazz repertoire…But they’re also some of the most confusing to play over, especially when it comes to all those #9, b13, #11 alterations and accompanying scales.” Are you a musician?  Perhaps you understand that … Continue reading The Art and Spirit of the Painting