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Artist Judith Ann Cooper, Drawing
My artwork is created from an exploration into my psychic depths. I open 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 and furthers my understanding of my place in the cosmos, including that moment of wonder where “magic” takes place and I am privileged to be its witness. (continued below)


Creating art from this universal connection, not only can we heal and nurture ourselves, it is a way of healing and nurturing the world by forming that bridge for others to cross. We are able to connect to that life force that is in the natural world and in our souls, when we take the time to listen and be present.

I try to honor whatever place I am in and create from there. This occurs in different ways. Sometimes I see something that inspires an image, or a series of images. Other times, I am feeling something very deeply and strive to recreate that, in terms of its energy, its essence, or my perception of it. Or, sometimes, I simply make a mark and start a dialogue between the paper and myself, literally coaxing the image out.

It is like looking into a crystal ball where initially only vague images appear. Then slowly, through this conversation between the paper and me, an image is born. I never know what will appear. Even if I have an idea ahead of time, 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 parallel to the living of my life.


My chosen two-dimensional media of charcoal, 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.


At times certain ideas request a three-dimensional response. I love the fact that clay comes from the earth and that its possibilities seem unlimited. Free form sculptures, which have energy and gesture as their main aesthetic, are worked wet from a solid lump of clay and stroked into a three-dimensional form. Carving tools are then used to enhance the surface or to add detail to a specific area.


Ceramic pieces may also be created around a particular concept or emotion, such as personal transformation or transition. Here the use of symbols and imagery can be used to evoke that emotion or concept. By giving them form and substance, we can pay tribute to those parts of ourselves, or 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.


I use any hand-building technique that I need to accomplish a particular piece: pinch, coil and/or slab construction. During the creative process relief pieces are added and other areas are carved away; incising, impressing and resist techniques are all used to enhance a surface to create the feeling that I want the piece to have. Underglaze may be applied and sponged off to allow the natural clay to show while adding contrast to the detail work and overall form.


One of my greatest joys is to have others be touched by something that I have created. There is something so very special when another human being responds to my work, when some kind of resonance happens, or some type of mutuality has occurred. It is an intimacy that is acknowledged with artwork being the link, in the living of this journey we call Life.

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