Like a river exposing the secrets of a canyon, Carole Cooke’s determination to carve her own path in the world has been a major factor in shaping her career as a fine artist. As a young girl, she spent hours on horseback exploring the creeks and valleys near her hometown of Yorba Linda, California. This freedom to roam the unspoiled countryside combined with memories of family camping trips in the Sierras imbued Cooke with an independent spirit and the abiding love of nature which became the wellspring from which she now draws inspiration for her evocative, plein air landscapes.
Cooke began her professional career in the film industry, working first as a producer and later finding her niche in the more creative role of Art Director. During this period, she also began to explore her potential as a fine artist. Fired by relentless determination and a dedication to research, Cooke studied the work of European Masters, the Early California Impressionists and the Taos Masters, internalizing their expertise as a means to finding her own artistic voice.
This commitment to achieving excellence in her own creative efforts was rewarded when her work was accepted in the Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach in 1997. Soon after, she became an Artist Member of the California Art Club and a Signature Member of the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association. Despite these achievements, Cooke became disenchanted with the growing urban sprawl in her native California, a reality that motivated her move to Pagosa Springs, Colorado in 2001.
Aware that as an artist she is often privileged to explore locations most people will never visit, Cooke has committed herself to painting images that allow her viewers to share the excitement and joy she finds in the pristine beauty of nature. Cooke’s hope is that beyond bringing lasting enjoyment, these images will also encourage her viewers to help preserve these vanishing treasures.
Cooke is a participant in such prestigious exhibitions as the Masters of the American West at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles, CA, Western Visions at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, WY. and American Minaitures at Settler’s West Galleries in Tuscon, AZ. She has been profiled several times in Art of the West, Southwest Art and Western Art Collector Magazines.