TOPEKA (WIBW) -- JAMES PRINGLE COOK IS ANALYZING A MOUNTAIN SCENERY PAINTING DONE BY A 7 YEAR OLD ARTIST.. TO CRITIQUE THE WORK OF THE MULVANE ART MUSEUM’S SUMMER CLASSES FOR KANSAS KIDS.. THE PAINTING, SHOWS LOTS OF PROMISE FOR A SEVEN YEAR OLD GUIDED BY THOSE TOPEKA INSTRUCTORS. THE 7 YEAR OLD.. IS HIM.. AND COLORADO MOUNTAIN SCENE BRINGS BACK CLEAR MEMORIES OF HIS TIME BEING TRAINED BY MRS. CARR.. AND HOW CRUCIAL IT FOR THE MULVANE TO INSPIRE A NEW GENERATION OF ARTISTS..
…and I remember very, very well sitting on the grass outside the museum, working with Tempra paint and pots of paint and .. I don’t know why I was painting the Colorado mountains but I was.. So, ha, ha.. it wasn’t the same sort of program that it is now. Now, it’s wildly energetic in there, and lots and lots of kids and lots going on.
HIS FAVORITE NATURAL SETTING IS AN HOUR AWAY FROM THE MULVANE…
“I grew up in the Flint Hills, it’s a great love of mine.. it’s sort of an endless spring that I get great comfort in.”
JAMES ALSO FINDS COMFORT IN HIS GALLERY STUDIO ON MAIN STREET IN ESKRIDGE.. INHERITED FROM HIS GRANDFATHER.. THE OLD COMMERCIAL BUILDING HE CALLS HOME FOR SIX WEEKS OUT OF THE YEAR, DOUBLES AS A STUDIO FOR HIS ARTISTIC WIFE, DE ANNE MELTON. COOK HAS WORKED IN WATERCOLORS AND PRINTMAKING.. BUT HAS A MUSCULAR STYLE HE CALLS IT.. PUSHING AND PULLING HEAVIER OILS INTO WORKS OF ART WITH A THICKER, ALMOST SCULPTURAL TEXTURE.. DE ANNE IS ALSO SHOWING HER WORKS THIS SUMMER.. AND WHEN JAMES PRINGLE COOK’S SHOWS MAKE THEIR WAY BACK TO TOPEKA.. IT’S PRETTY SPECIAL.
“Having a show at the Mulvane was like coming home, it was a very warm thing and just the fact that was my first introduction to something formally thought of as art.. I saw things on the wall and then went to the class, and it was.. and then to come back and have a show there was special.”
THE PLACE WHERE COOK LEARNED HIS CRAFT IS SET TO CELEBRATE ITS 90TH ANNIVERSARY. “It’s the first place where I thought about being an artist, so it means something to me. So for this community to have a facility like the Mulvane is important.”