James Cook paints because he loves it. Inspired by the medium itself, Cook strives for a compositional sensation that sets off a whole series of thoughts about a place, a time, or a memory of a landscape. His work is impressionistic, however, he provides the viewer with a recognizable reality. The smell, texture, and feel of the brush wet from the paint stimulates his hand. His impasto technique creates a surface full of movement and texture. The paintings jump off the canvas, the colors bringing the paintings to life. The details of the painted image can be examined from a close perspective and the scene grows increasingly cohesive and more representational from afar.
Theodore Waddell describes the West as one large painting, he simply has to select the composition. His large oil and encaustic on canvas paintings, bronze sculptures, and oil and graphite on paper are contemporary impressions of the beautiful, rugged, untamed panorama around us. With a natural abstraction and impressionism, his canvases may capture horses standing on a ridge as an impasto-thick thunderstorm builds in the distance, or horses circled together for warmth in a snowfield, or the faint movement and forms of far off cattle escaping the August heat under the shade of willows. The West’s ever-present horizon line is always lingering in the distance, balancing the canvas. Waddell uses the West as a point of departure to explore the frontier of modern painting.
The gallery chose to juxtapose Jim Cook and Theodore Waddell, who both have a deep passion for and work closely with imagery of the West that reflects the Idaho area and surrounding environs.
They both use paint in a strong and bold way to create their work – the melding of abstraction, impressionism and personal painting styles. They use different types of brushes and tools to create bold, emotional works and move large amounts of paint around the canvas to create paintings that have a sense of energy, power, and substance. They both respect and use light to their advantage in their completely unique painting styles.