When I create I do not know what is going to happen next, nor do I know what I am going to see or feel; I simply respond and trust. I am not really sure how much of my work is an extension of me as opposed to an expression of my personal observations and interpretations, probably a little bit of both. I paint, create and sculpt because it makes me happy. I can never imagine myself not doing this. Creating is my way of figuring things out. I have come to appreciate imperfections and celebrate surprises. Everything I create must address their origins and encourage exploration. I need to see where things come from.
The visible tool markings, shapes, and textures present in all of my work are a documentation of my own journey in which everything always return to the beginning. Seeking out and trying to capture the hidden beauty and grace inherent in life’s collision of ordinary moments is of great interest to me. I love looking at something for the first time and in that moment seeing what no one else ever has. After this, all the decisions are mine, coveting and protecting it for awhile, followed by appreciation and finally just letting it go, but not all of it. Like any healthy union, a little bit of lust should always remain.
In June of 2000, Cheryl became Director of the SCA Gallery located in the Pomona Arts Colony. Along with this position came a relocation of her personal studio from the Artists Village in Santa Ana to the downtown Pomona Arts Colony. In 2001, she proposed a collaborative project between the Pomona Arts Colony, the academic community, artist Judy Chicago and her photographer husband, Donald Woodman. For over two years, Ms. Bookout worked closely with Judy Chicago and Donald Woodman to create Envisioning the Future, an intensive project which brought over 80 artists from all over Southern California to the Inland Empire to work, present and perform images with the common theme of the future. Cheryl Bookout was the Project Coordinator of this complex undertaking, which came to a successful conclusion in March 2004.
The content of Cheryl’s personal art reflects her examination of the cycle of life and the impact humans have on one another.. life’s fragile balance on this planet. Over the years she has developed techniques in installation art and mixed media painting with an extensive exhibition and collection history. She currently resides in Joshua Tree, California and is working as a full time studio artist.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
(artist’s statement: “Vegetable Series”)
This series of work is the result of my fascination with the whimsical qualities of vegetable forms. I am not interested in merely creating the exact likeness of vegetables, but rather in appropriating their unique shapes and qualities as a springboard for creating functional art objects.
The idea is not new. Cave men found gourd forms useful for containing food and drink. And why not, when these shapes are Nature’s own way of providing containers for seed and food to perpetuate itself.
The particular vegetables used in the series were found by haunting local grocery stores, wholesale markets, and various gardens, patches, and fields. Each shape was chosen for its unique whimsical quality and presence. Original molds were made from the actual vegetables and the resulting shapes used to produce the individual pieces.
I feel that the challenge of the Artist is to take the common and mundane and, thru creative vision and process, breath new life into them. I hope that exposure to this work prompts a more sensitive look at the world around us. Such things as vegetables are not just for food, but food for thought, use, and enjoyment.