As my artist's statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance. -- Calvin and Hobbes

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Why Jessica really Cooks!!!

Above: Shirt; Oil on canvas, by Jessica Cook

My third randomly chosen artist from the weekend workshop adventure is Jessica Cook, a fresh-styled, smart talent who seems to be quite comfortable working in oil as well as watercolor. I gave up oils 15 years ago in favor of acrylics, because I like to wash my brushes in water, and seriously, that's the only reason. Acrylics were hard to learn as an oil painter, because they dry so fast. But, I can tell you that learning watercolor is a task unlike any other and the good ones make it seem so easy! Jessica has quite a number of watercolor figure portraits in her portfolio, and what I find so wonderful about her figures is the abstract ephemera surrounding their faces.

Abstract work is very impressive to me. You, as an artist or even observer, might assume that realism is the tough thing. We often think maybe they paint abstract because they don't know how to paint well. Lots of people paint abstract, but not that many do it really well!

I want to be lured in, and stay a while because of the blend of the colors and maybe the subtle or shocking changes in elevation of the piece. Perhaps the bold contrasts that I just have to linger on as if I'm filling in the pixels in my imagination to come up with some kind of story behind the liberal brush strokes...and, I want to go back and see it again, because the memory isn't enough! ..that's when you've pulled it off well. Even though Jessica has a separate section for abstract, I found the abstract quality of the figure drawings to be most alluring!
Above: Artemis; watercolor and gouache on paper

I think Jessica has a great future, and I can't wait to see where she goes with all that talent!
To see Jessica's complete portfolio, visit her website today!


  1. I've been meaning to comment on Jessica's shirt here for a while - I absolutely LOVE it, and enjoyed browsing all the fine art on Jessica's website.
    thank you for the sweet introduction becca :)

  2. It's very strange, but about 20 years ago, I could swear I painted the exact same painting! It is hauntingly familiar to me! Jessica is a terrific oil painter; I am so excited to see what she will do next!
    They say you are attracted to the familiar, Dave Mathews says this too. Must explain why I love that band so much.


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