CRESSKILL, N.J. — Lifelong Cresskill resident Paulette Cochet has experimented in watercolor, mixed media, art journaling and drawing since 1980. Now, the professional artist and illustrator is helping others master their art.
Cochet teaches painting at Flat Rock Brook Nature Center in Englewood and in private sessions in an Alpine studio.
"I lost my mother many years ago, and she was a painter. She was probably my biggest inspiration," Cochet said. "I love to see that creative spark really come out in others — that's what makes teaching worthwhile.”
The former children's book illustrator who produced for corporate media said she appreciates working one-on-one with novice and advanced artists, hosting up to 10 students per class.
Since January, she has kept up with her own art journal, working page-by-page, in a project that she hopes to continue for life.
"I got up this morning and it was the first thing I did," she said.
"I admire her as a teacher. She got me to pick up a brush and I enjoy her careful instruction," said Lily Ginsberg, an author and one of Cochet's students.
"My big concerns is that they stopped teaching script in schools,” Cochet said. “The Declaration of Independence is in cursive, so we need to learn it so we can read it.”
"Digital art is great,” she said. “But everyone has their own expressions when they create something by hand, I appreciate those individual characteristics.”