Jessica Cook is a figurative and still life painter. She paints in a gestural style, often bridging the line between realism and abstraction. Cook’s work transcends traditional boundaries, evoking both contemplation and emotion. The artist seeks to capture the essence of everyday life and infuse it with movement and soul.
At the University of Texas in Austin, she pursued dual degrees in English and Advertising that led to a communications career. During this time, she began a disciplined practice of life drawing and a daily visual journal of everyday life. To further her training, Cook studied at the Austin Fine Arts Classes atelier, and later with outstanding figurative artists. She apprenticed with portrait artist Marc Chatov.
Cook has had solo shows at Emory University, along with several venues in Atlanta, Georgia. She has won awards in local juried shows, and her works are featured in collections across the country. She has lived in places as diverse as the Pacific Northwest, New York City, Atlanta, and is currently back in central Texas, where she grew up.
I have always been intrigued and inspired by the varieties of expression in people and animals. Creating figurative works has helped me observe and listen closely, to move beyond first impressions and connect more deeply with our world. As I evolve as an artist, I am abstracting the figure more, playing with exaggerated color and focusing on rhythm and movement to depict the spirit of the scene. I’m trained in portraiture and traditional techniques, but will often add collage, thick texture, words and calligraphic marks to my paintings. Ultimately, I’m inspired by the wildness and seeming chaos of nature, aiming for a sense of abandon and freedom in my work.