The Art of Love | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

The Art of Love

Graphic Illustration courtesy of Rob Cooper

It is said that "life imitates art," so who better to ask about love than Wendy Eddleman and Rob Cooper? Both artists are Jackson natives, have jobs working for some of Jackson's most recognized artists and are active in their own acts of creation (including children). Their talents range from working with glass, to illustration, to painting, to jewelry and both are killer cooks. On a rainy Thursday morning I caught up with them in the glass studio creating on their own before beginning their workdays.

How have the artists you work for (Rob for Andy Young and Wendy for BeBe Wolfe) influenced you?

Rob: It is always inspiring to be around someone who has a successful career making artwork. Without Andy's invitation to join his studio I probably would never have been drawn to working in glass. Now I have been working with glass for over 10 years and I am still finding new things to do with it. I think as a medium it has endless possibilities to explore, and so my work is always changing, hopefully for the better.

Wendy: Working in the Wolfe studio I have been able to be part of creating something daily and improving my own skills in the process. I have been working at the studio for five years and am always inspired by (Wolfe) and her mother.

Who are some of your favorite artists outside the area?

Rob: Kiki Smith is always up to something interesting. She seems to master so many different mediums and gives them all a human quality.

Wendy: Patti Smith for her amazing creative energy and lifetime staying power.

So you both obviously see art as important and more than a "hobby."

Wendy: I think creating in general is important. It could be anything, from cooking, having children to creating a print.

Rob: Of course art is indeed important. It helps to give life meaning. Some cultures don't even have a word for art in their vocabulary because it is so integrated in their daily lives.

What have you had to learn to balance your art, jobs, relationship and family?

Rob: Once a family is in motion the role of survival comes forward, art remains important but it has to take a step to the side pretty often. Although I must say that Lucie (their daughter) at 5 years old will do a painting that totally blows me away.

Wendy: You have to learn to have a lot more discipline and patience! We have noticed, though, that because you are so busy, the time you do set aside to make artwork is more precious, and you actually tend to be more productive. Plus, we both work in and around our mediums so much that we can keep a creative mindset, say opposed to if we worked office jobs.

Many artistic couples haven't stayed together or haven't had a healthy working relationship. How is your relationship different?

Rob: We have been together six years so far, we mainly try to address the necessities of an evolving relationship without letting our individual egos get in the way.

Do you ever collaborate?

Wendy: We just happen to have a bun in the oven right now! Actually our best collaboration would have to be Lucie, who constantly inspires me. Just watching the things she does and listening to the things she says fuels my creativity. Her creativity brings me back to my true nature as an artist, which is innocent and pure. This is one of my most valuable tools.

Do you have any advice for artistic collaborations and relationships?

Rob: First, set the mood with low lights. …

Wendy: Give each other lots of space and freedom. Acknowledge that everyone does things differently and keep trying new things.

What inspires each of you most in your life?

Wendy: Meaningful interactions with people, hearing their stories. Also hours of uninterrupted time with nothing to do but allow my mind to wander. This really seems to promote improvisation in my work as well as in life … being a dreamer ... being alive is pretty inspiring, don't you think?

Rob: Experiencing life through all the senses, sharing experiences and naturally watching our daughter grow.

So where is your favorite "romantic" spot in Jackson?

Rob: Greenwood Cemetery in the spring is an oasis of blooms with a horizon of downtown, as well as the history of all those who have lived before us.

If you could pick one edible item to describe your relationship what would it be?

Wendy: Something crunchy.

Rob: A chocolate-covered ant; bittersweet.

Is there anywhere we can come see your work soon?

Wendy: At our favorite gallery, Attic Gallery. The owners are another pair of artists who are the epitome of love. There is a kitchen-themed show in March.

The Attic Gallery, 101 Washington St., Vicksburg, 39183, 601-638-9221.

Previous Comments


So where is your favorite “romantic” spot in Jackson? Rob: Greenwood Cemetery in the spring is an oasis of blooms with a horizon of downtown, as well as the history of all those who have lived before us. Spoken like a true artist! Many people can't see the beauty in a memorial park - they're just afraid of them. However, if you think about all the lives that have past through and the landscaped beauty, a cemetery can be considered romatic. Plus, it's nice and quiet. :-)


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