How often we are asked to give reasons for making art and for what it means? I’ve mined my thoughts and find it always comes back to the visual. I’d like the viewer to just “take it in,” because I make it intuitively. Oh yes, there are years of study, practice, observation, travel, dream analysis and image gathering from the world at large. Film, literature, poetry and art history play a big part too, and all these are tumbling around in my psyche when I reach for paper, ink and press. It is one of the intense joys of life to gather these entities and create.
Artist Books are my form of crossword puzzles. One has to hold one’s horses before laying down images, as there is much calculation for the pictorial and for the written word to deal with first. By and by, a 12-foot-long concertina book emerges, which can be folded up and put on a shelf, spread out or arranged in the round, as you’ll see in the photos.
I love Medieval art, and the notion of a Monk in his Scriptorium with tempera, gold leaf and pen at hand. My monoprint collage “Mad Monk” comes from these thoughts. I collect papers from many sources and keep them according to color. Many are former etchings, woodcuts or lithographs, now torn into a new life and arranged for a new reality. 24-karat gold leaf often is used for embellishment.
Distant Voices, which includes artwork by Rosemary Cooley, will exhibit at Washington Printmakers Gallery through July 28. You also are welcome to read Rosemary’s biography or view more of her recent work here.