Thursday, May 10, 2018

DPW Spotlight Interview: Bobbie Cook

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Bobbie's painting, "Cups Challenge" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

Artwork is a form of expression that I am comfortable with sharing. It has served me well as a student, a biologist, a teacher, and a parent. Now that I am in what most people would call retirement age I wanted to become more serious about oil painting specifically. Because I knew very little about how to get started I became a weekly participant at a local open studio. The owner/artist of the studio provides everything a person needs in almost any medium you want to try. This was my informal introduction to oil painting.

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

I have really only been painting for about seven years. The first four years I would only paint in preparation for a class. Painting sporadically like that was not conducive to learning. Then I discovered Daily Paintworks when I bought a painting on eBay from a DPW member. Soon after that I bought Carol Marine’s book and decided to join DPW myself. The almost daily practice is how I have really been learning to paint.

Cups Challenge
(click to view)

Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the DPW home page announcing Bobbie's interview.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

I love working with oils and will continue learning as much as I can with this medium. As for genres, I seem willing to try just about anything. However, my favorites are outside scenes and wild animals.

Who or what inspires you most? 

Everyday life experiences inspire me. Most of what I paint is connected to my past or present experiences or experiences of those I am closely connected to like family or friends. I often think when I look at my collection of paintings that it is like a journal.

The Magic of Fireweed
(click to view)

What does procrastination look like for you? 

Procrastination is when my mind is so busy that I can no longer prioritize what I need to do. This happens when I slack off on my daily chores like housework, yard work, grocery shopping, etcetera. When this happens I just need to take time off from painting and declutter my life.

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art? 

Routines work well for me when it comes to working around my family. Weekdays are easy because I spring into action once everyone has left the house. I like to get my blood flowing by first exercising. Then I head up to my studio which is a loft in the peak of our A-frame house. I give myself myself two hours to paint a panel that I have previously under painted. I set a timer in my kitchen so that I am forced to walk away from my painting for a quick break and to reset the timer. The timer really helps me set parameters and to maintain focus. Weekends are another story. Sometimes I will paint if there is a quiet time, otherwise I will do several under paintings, or not paint at all.

Leaving Girdwood
(click to view)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings? 

In general I like to paint what I am surrounded by outside whether it be at home, or traveling. I have trained myself to take reference pictures on a regular basis. If I have the time I will sit and draw in a journal. I am always surprised how much a drawing enhances a future painting.

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging? 

I find it hard to burn out when I have so much to learn and so many new things to try. However, I do get discouraged at times and feel like I am not making any progress. This is when I go to galleries and museums to view other peoples work. I also like to check out what is going on in current art magazines. Somehow viewing the artwork of others inspires me to get back into my studio with great energy.

Thinking of Spring
(click to view)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

Color is something I am experimenting with right now. One method I have been enjoying is to start a painting with only translucent paints and then finish it with opaque paints. The other thing that I am working on is muting color to better define landscapes.

What makes you happiest about your art?

People always ask how is it that I can sell or give away my paintings. Then I think about what a mess it would be if I kept them all. I find a greater joy in the process of painting than in the product of painting. Besides, it is wonderful when someone makes a special connection to a painting that they feel they must have as part of their life story.

Foil Crane
(click to view)

Thanks, Bobbie!

© 2018 Sophie Marine

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