Artist Statement . . .
I create by opening myself as a vehicle through which energies and visions can flow into imagery. A deep reverence for life and the natural laws of the universe are an integral part of my spiritual center. This connection allows me greater intimacy with my core of existence, including that moment of wonder where ‘magic’ takes place and I am privileged to be its witness. Creating art from here is not only healing and life affirming for me but also offers a bridge for others to cross.
This similar to that moment when we are able to connect to the life force that is in nature and to find that connection in our souls, when we take the time to listen and be present. When I create, I try to honor what I listen to within. This occurs in different ways. Sometimes I see or hear about something that inspires an image or a series of images. Other times, I am feeling something very deeply and strive to manifest that, in terms of its energy, its essence, or my perception of it. And other times I simply make a mark and start a dialogue between the surface I am working on and myself, literally coaxing the image out.
This process is like looking into a crystal ball where only vague images appear at first. Then slowly, through this conversation, an image is born. I never know what will appear. Even if I have an idea ahead of time, and many times I don’t, my hope is to have the process of creation be the main event, not the fulfillment of some preconceived goal. This approach to my artwork has been very rewarding. My art is reflective of my life and my inner work, rather than something that I do along side of it.
Pastels and graphite are a delight to work with. I love using my hands and fingers to "rub in" over the paper. The subtle gradations that can be achieved, and the softness and sensuality of the tones, are wonderful in contrast to the details and linear textures that can be attained with the pencils. Painting offers an entire world of possibilities, particularly in terms of the building up of textures and surfaces. I enjoy the multi-layered affect because one layer dries before another is started. It can resonate with the many layers of consciousness that we encounter during our lives.
At times certain ideas or ways I am feeling evoke a three-dimensional response. When I was facilitating the workshop, Spirituality/Creativity: The Archetypal Figure, figurative work started manifesting. Starting with the stick that outlines her face, the rest of the piece, Cat’s Cradle, fell into place. A larger figure, My Archetypal Inner Guide was next, and then the smaller Gestural Figures. The mixed media Boats were in response to my aunt’s death and funeral and were made as a tribute to honor her and her women friends.
In my current teaching with individuals and groups, I strive to honor what the individual wants to focus on. Here the use of symbols and imagery, as well as the choice of materials, can be used to evoke that emotion or concept. By giving them form and substance, we can connect and pay tribute to those parts of ourselves, and the world around us, which words alone can neither reach nor soothe. My wish is that my work will evolve and grow as it honors the full range of the living of my life and those I am privileged to work with.
Acrylics on Panel
Protection of the Sacred
About the Artist . . .
Judith Cooper was raised in Manhattan where she went to the High School of Music & Art and continued her art education at Boston University as a painting major with a minor in Art Education. She taught in the Gloucester Public Schools for 29 years where her focus was at the high school in ceramics, drawing and the portfolio class for students interested in attending art school. She’s done graduate work through The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in California, completing her Masters’ Degree at Lesley University where she was an advisor in their Learning Community Bachelors’ Program.
She has enjoyed working in many different materials, including fibers, ceramics, pastels, graphite and acrylics, as well as mixed media sculpture with natural and found objects.
Her work is in private and corporate collections and she has received awards from the Cambridge and Concord Art Associations, and the Women’s Caucus for Art. In her Lexington studio she works with private clients as well as facilitates different types of workshops. Judith is also currently teaching at the Lexington Arts & Crafts Society.
Visit Judith's Website
Studio visits in Lexington, MA
Acrylics on Panel
Multi-Media (cheesecloth and hosta leaves)