Changing Gears in Art / by Jeannine Cook


Now that some time has elapsed since I finished my residency at DRAWinternational in France, I find I am still thinking about how to change gears...  I went there on the premise that I wanted to explore the option of working on a larger scale in metalpoint, especially metalpoint on a black ground.

Setting out on a new path in art-making always takes time for one to readjust, I know.  It has happened to me before, but this time, other issues in life have complicated the "digestion period".  You have to filter all the advice, new thoughts and suggestions, new concepts, and try to decide which road to take and how.
This was one route, one way of changing gears, using graphite instead of metalpoint.

Caylus, 14th July, graphite, Jeannine Cook
This was another experiment in graphite.

Caylus Stones II, graphite, Jeannine Cook
Eventually, I wanted to return to metalpoint, so I started trying to work larger and adjust - at least a little.

Maple Bark, metalpoint, Jeannine Cook
I am still going back and forth in my mind about the direction I want now to follow, but I know that the residency was good for me, jolting me out of ruts. 
I am at the stage where I can look back on the work I did in France and join philosopher R. G. Collingwood as he talked of his own artistic upbringing.  He said, "I learned to think of a picture not as a finished product exposed for the benefit of virtuosi, but as a visible record... of an attempt to solve a definite problem in painting, so far as the attempt has gone."  For me, the operative words remain, "as far as the attempt has gone".  Still more changes to come, I hope!