Art, Science and Politics equal Western Australian Beauty by Jeannine Cook

Western Australian artist, Philippa Nikulinsky, is not only a superb botanical artist, but allies science, dedicated field observations and enormous skill to a passion for celebrating all the ecosystems of Western Australia. Her long years of art-making allow her to record the ever-changing landscapes, flora and fauna in a fashion that goes beyond environmental issues and political concerns, ultimately to achieve an incredible body of beautiful work that enriches Australia.

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Hans Hoffman - an Artist in Constant Evolution by Jeannine Cook

From his early exposure to Cubism and Fauvism, Hans Hoffman evolved through a lifetime of experimenting in painting to an extraordinarily inventive approach to creating art that is often as relevant today as it was when it was created in the 1960s. Seeing his evolution in the large exhibition, ”Hans Hoffman - The Nature of Abstraction” at BAMPFA, Berkeley, reinforces my own belief in each artist’s need, and capacity, to remain open and flexible to growth and change.

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How a New Display can Transform Art by Jeannine Cook

Staying at The Chetwood, an artist’s residency in Oakland, California, and evaluating my art with fresh eyes as it hangs at Subrosa Coffee, also in Oakland, is an interesting process. It is all thanks to photographer, Terri Lowenthal, who has hosted me here at The Chetwood.

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Revisiting Earlier Drawings by Jeannine Cook

The tang of mint, the fragility of a lily - botanical drawing teaches about so many aspects of plants. Yet it is interesting to measure that as I have evolved as an artist, those earlier drawings have led me on to learning so much more about trees, rocks, environments, places. Seeing two exhibitions of my botanical metalpoint drawings up now in Berkeley and Oakland at the same time is both a celebration and a realisation of how the world can teach us artists so much more, all the time.

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Fastening your robe, 17th century style by Jeannine Cook

As I looked at portraits of 17th century Spanish royal ladies in the Prado, they suddenly offered a fascinating sampling of how women fasten their dresses. Not for them a simple method of closing their dress. Rather, the fastening became part of the bold, imaginative design of the gown, part of the message of power, wealth and circumstance that was so dazzlingly recorded in paint by Court painters.

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Out and About, Drawing Book in Hand by Jeannine Cook

Having a drawing book with one when out and about rewards, not only at the time as one hones drawing skills, but also later,.Then a drawing becomes a passport to remembering the sights, sounds and sensations experienced at that time. Yet, for me at least, I have realised that these drawings are a world apart from my usual metalpoint drawings. Does that matter? Who knows!

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Using Art to Remind by Jeannine Cook

Symbols of past glory, of empire and and global reach, caravels and carracks still sail in Lisbon, woven in Persian 17th century carpets, painted on Japanese screens or even depicted in pavement cobblestones. All reminders of nearly six centuries of empire, for good or for bad. Seeing these emblematic ships at a moment when the Brexit furore is reaching a crescendo in England made me ponder the parallels of the erstwhile Portuguese and British Empires.

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Never Assume - in Art! by Jeannine Cook

Paul Signac’s St Briac, The Cross of the Seamen, 1885, was one of many reminders to me not to assume you know much about an artist’s oeuvre, no matter how many works you have seen. This exhibition, “From Monet to Matisse: Masterworks of French Impressionism from the Dixon Gallery and Gardens” was a collection of surprising and enlightening paintings that dusted out the cobwebs and made me learn more about the Impressionists.

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