The Heroine’s Journey of Janet Cook

What is the best thing that I love about my work? Having an idea and bringing it to fruition. Also, the freedom to work on what I want, when I want, for as long as I want.

What is my idea of perfect happiness? Being loved, feeling satisfied with my work and enjoying a warm summer’s evening (with or without a glass of wine of beer)

What is my greatest fear? Becoming ill. Illness can rob you of your time, motivation and your ability. Frida Kahlo however managed to over come all these, so where
there is a will there is a way.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? Procrastination. I try to overcome this by keeping my momentum going by drawing each day. It’s all too easy to let life get in the way of making art.

What is my greatest extravagance? My studio, materials and my art education:  I love Vasari paints, Rosemary brushes and wood panels. Oh, and shoes.

On what occasion would I lie? To protect someone, to encourage, or give them a surprise, but it’s easier to be honest.

What is the influence of role models, in my work and in my life? I have had two wonderful teachers; Sharon Sprung and Mary Beth McKenzie, both paint the female figure. Together they gave me the skill and permission to do the same.
Peter Cox another teacher encouraged me to paint what is unique to me.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? The fact it can take me so long to ‘get it right ‘. Then looking at it a few days later, months, years later and seeing yet more flaws. Cleaning brushes comes a close second.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? Now, and the first year I spent in my studio after I finished taking classes. It was with much joy that I could paint what I wanted and use my imagination.

If I could, what would I change about myself? You mean aside from my tummy? I would like good eyesight and be a little less shy.

What is my greatest achievement in work? Creating a consistent body of work and finding the self-discipline to do it.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? My studio, followed by the Hispanic Museum with its huge Sorolla paintings, The Salmagundi Club, one of the oldest art clubs in the US, and Central Park.

What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? It’s a rare indulgence, but the café lattes and the warm chocolate chip cookies at Culture Coffee on West 38th Street, NYC are the best. Also, the Saturday market in Union Square is a great source of fresh
tasty food.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, and partner in crime? Husband and a close art buddy.

Whom would I like to work with in the future? I have always wanted to paint Helena Bonham Carter, but more realistically, I would like to find a dealer or gallery in California.

What project, in the nearby future, am I looking forward to work on? Finishing up work for my upcoming solo show, and creating a larger painting of my mother. I recently created a small pastel of her. It’s the first time I really captured her frailty and vulnerability.

How can you contact me?


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