The Majority of my work consists of technical, realistic rendering. I put in my five years of art school training learning the tricks of Chiaroscuro (~95k) and the mechanics and structure involved in life drawing. There is a kind of magic and sense of accomplishment that goes with learning realism. A few years ago though, I picked up a book called, "New, Used, and Improved" sort of an update on the New York are scene and how Pop Art has branched out, evolved, encompassed new elements. It looked like "Fun Art" to me and that's what my work was no longer providing me with. FUN! So I began working in acrylics, doing what I called the "Party Series (~82k)." It was scenes of improbable, made up, cartoon figures. In it this dog named "Fisk" appeared regularly, observing human behavior or bearing the brunt of human attentions. I began thinking in terms of, humans ARE animals. So I started to switch into an all animal portrayal.
Painting these in a child like format was also something of a ruse for myself to distance me from the more ruthless, animal aspects of human interaction that generally frighten me and send me scrambling back to my studio to work in the sanctuary of isolation. Children are generally pretty unconscious of the nuts and bolts workings of the dominant, submissive theme of life. A logistic I see as a constant in the daily life of humans. I've watched lots of National Geographic programs and each one of those victims and predators reminds me of someone I know! I have unfortunate leanings to the submissive end of the spectrum, as in, I generally don't like to discuss my work, thought process or even show my art because of the ever eager, willing critic poised to strike.
Ultimately I decided to title this series, "Fine Art Rorschach" as different people seem to get very different stories out of the figures interactions. I have taken the liberty of putting a sentence or two with each painting to describe how I see it. You may or may not agree.
If you'd like to get in touch with me you can write to me via Snail mail at
the following address (sorry, I don't have email, yet).
Barbara Cooper (~32k)
P.O. Box 150-491
San Rafael, CA 94915