Christopher Cook Artwww.ArtPal.com/cwcook1000
In order for me to share with you my artistic vision and source of inspiration, I find it necessary to shed some light on my past history. I was born into a dysfunctional family. Without revisiting the pathology, let’s just say that as a boy I ran away from home many times until I was old enough to join the Navy. The U.S. Navy afforded me the opportunity to travel the world and experience many beautiful and interesting places, such as Bergen, Norway, Hamburg, Germany, The Netherlands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. After my stint in the Navy, I still had the travel bug in me.
I spent the next few years out west in California, Arizona, and Texas. One day, in the middle of the Arizona desert, I became fascinated with a 20 foot tall Saguaro cactus. I happened to have some drawing materials in the trunk of the car, so I sat down in the desert sand and proceeded to draw the colossal cactus.
I believe that experience ignited a fire inside my spirit. The Saguaro cactus was so magnificent, free, and beautiful in its own way. Up until that encounter with the Saguaro cactus, life wasn't going so well for me as I had been diagnosed with manic-depressive disorder, which is also known as bi-polar disorder. Perhaps I was a misfit of sorts, because most jobs were very boring to me. I had tasted success in several sales positions, but I wasn’t really happy. I longed to be creative and my right brain was screaming to be heard and recognized.
The next day I patronized a local arts & craft store where I purchased watercolor materials. Over the next few weeks and months I painted dozens of pieces en plein aire, mostly of the desert, flowers, sunsets, mountains, rivers, waterfalls and monsoons. The important thing was that I had discovered something positive and meaningful to focus my thoughts on: it was called art, and it brought me closer to nature. To quote the great Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh: “I feel alive when I’m painting.” I could certainly relate to that famous quote because it seemed that whenever I was enamored to the canvas, my creative juices began to flow.
Life was now more of a journey and exploration of nature and beauty. Art simply provided a vehicle of expression, a sense of self-worth, and hope for the future.
Over the years I've sold and given away quite a few pieces from LA. to Miami. I always strive to add a lot of color to my paintings, and capture as much detail as possible to make my paintings appear realistic. As far as being influenced by the “masters,” I would say that Renoir was my favorite of all the great French impressionists.
If you were to take away something from my story, I suppose you could say that we have choices in life: to focus on the good rather than the bad, the uplifting over the depressing, the beauty versus the unpleasant, and the positive instead of the negative. Art keeps me positive. It's beauty and creativity are uplifting, and that makes it a good thing. Being able to create art gives me a reason to get up everyday and keep moving and breathing. My goal is to create something of value and beauty that can be appreciated and passed down through generations. Hopefully, my original artwork can achieve that end.
That stated, without further ado, I'll just keep on painting.....maybe I'll learn something along the way