Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ray Cooper: Looking, Waiting, Doing

Yes, I'm a paint nerd. I love talking about pigments, brushes, mediums, substrates, studios, studio light, palettes, processes -- all of it. I love looking at the way paint drips, and the way it blends, congeals, or cracks.

So I enjoyed meeting Ray Cooper, an artist I wrote about for the September 2011 issue of BoldLife Magazine, who presented an approach to painting I hadn't heard about -- tachisme, where "one carefully made stroke can say it all." Cooper also paints with rollers instead of brushes. Maybe I'll try that out some day.

Here's an excerpt from Looking and Waiting and Doing, BoldLife Magazine September 2011

When he's in his studio, Ray Cooper is prone to spending long periods of time looking at his work, contemplating the visual problems at hand and what he needs to do to solve them.

These moments of observation are interspersed with bursts of creative activity — mark making and paint dripping — after which the artist is again "looking and looking and waiting." He's spent a lifetime evolving his process. "You have to paint something for at least 5 years before you really begin to understand it and feel relaxed with it," says Cooper. "Ten years in you might hit another plateau."

While Cooper is reticent to categorize his aesthetic style he eventually settles upon the term "lyrical expressionism," saying, "I don't have the angst required to make abstract expressionist paintings."

Learn more about Cooper and his current exhibits in Hendersonville, NC visit

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