“The unpredictability of the sea and the unpredictability of painting,” says the artist Nigel Cooke, “feed into and support each other.” Known for evocative paintings that combine references from art history and his own life, Cooke has shifted his focus to nature. In this latest body of work he channels the calamitous waters of Homer’s Odyssey, employing hues of oceanic blue, not scenically but abstracted into sinews and ribbons balletically leaping and turning. Cooke doesn’t stop until the paint is thick. His tantalizing blue lines are both vigorous and poetic, retaining the energy and romanticism of nature. —E.C.