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Colin Cook

'I live and work near Whitby, North Yorkshire. Originally I come from west London and lived in the South of England until moving to the North east to teach in a further education college in 1989. I studied fine art at Isleworth Polytechnic for two years before moving on to Maidstone College of Art to study for a degree, primarily in painting and graduated in 1979. On leaving college I left Kent and returned to west London to teach art in two colleges before moving to the North East to take up another teaching post. I have taught a wide range of age groups and an equally wide range of subjects including photography, digital imaging and of course, drawing and painting. I began exhibiting in 1987 in an exhibition of work at Gunnersbury museum in west London. In 1991 my work was selected for the 10th Cleveland International Drawing Biennale at the Cleveland Gallery in Middlesbrough and the following year for the BP Young European Artists exhibition of ‘Works on paper’ at the Barbican Concourse Gallery, London. BP bought the piece for their collection. After many years of teaching I began exhibiting again about five years ago. I have exhibited and sold work in a number of local art galleries over this period.

The subject matter and inspiration for my paintings is taken from the north eastern coast and moors and the Lake District. The paintings are representational based on observation of the constantly changing and intriguing light. Most of my paintings are about creating an atmosphere through the use of dramatic light and bold mark making. Compositional tension is important and hopefully created by the careful arrangement of the different pictorial elements; colour, texture, light etc. The paintings are reliant on careful under-drawing to create the structure for the looser brush marks to sit upon. The strongest shapes are worked in with large brushes and the smaller areas of specific focus are developed later. I prefer to work with acrylic paints and enjoy the flexibility that working with a water based medium gives. Sometimes the paint is heavily impastoed and on other occasions it is built up in layers or glazes. Acrylic allows for a certain immediacy as it dries fairly quickly.'

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