|"Boats Docked in Maine" watercolor on paper by Shirley Cook.|
"I realize now that I am painting again that, although when I was not actively painting, my eyes were open and I was absorbing layer upon layer of images. I savored the beauty of God’s universe, stared at it, meditated on it, drank it in, stored it in my memory, unaware that I would one day be painting it". These are words expressed by Virginia artist Shirley Cook about her recent collection titled "From Rockland to Hampton Roads" of over 20 new watercolor paintings now on exhibit in the foyer gallery at Skipjack nautical Wares. The collection is comprised largely of plein air paintings created during her last visit to Maine combined with regional views of Virginia's Chesapeake Bay coastline and the Virginia Beach oceanfront.
|"Lobster Traps". Watercolor on paper by Shirley Cook.|
Shirley earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Indiana University in 1971, and then she went off with my husband to minister the gospel to college students. She carried her sketchbook all the time until starting a family, at which time there was no longer room or time to pursue her artwork. So she took a 35 year sabbatical to be a wife, mother and missionary. I guess I “forgot I was an artist."
|"Three boats, Rockland, Maine". Watercolor on paper by Shirley Cook.|
"I am learning to paint from life or photographs and choose shapes and colors to make an intriguing composition. I like recognizable subject matter, but I don’t fuss. Ultimately I realize God has given me this ability and I hope to honor Him with all of it. My joy is in watching the painting develop to a stage at which I can say: I like looking at this."
|"Owl's Head Light". Original plein air watercolor by Shirley Cook|
Stop by and peruse through Shirley Cook's new collection of nautical/coastal themed watercolor paintings this month at Skipjack nautical Wares & Marine Gallery. You can also see a portion of the collection on-line on our web gallery. Please click here to visit her page.