Mark Cook Biography

Mark Cook was born in Rock Island, Illinois in 1960. He grew up along the banks of the Mississippi River where Iowa meets Illnois. He explored and immersed himself in the fields, farms, creeks, lakes, ponds and woods around his childhood home. The textures of nature, worn sheds, barn and outbuildings always appealed to him, but his goal was not just to paint what he saw but to also transfer the feeling of warm sunlight, wind and the weathered world.

He received his formal training at The American Academy of Art in Chicago where the urban landscape could'nt have been more different than this early life spent in the natural world. Instead of woods, he found himself in the concrete canyons of one of the world's largest cities. Even there he was able to see the beauty that skyscrapers and silos shared. Painting reminded him of his past and helped him appreciate the present. Currently, he lives near the Missouri River where Kansas and Missouri meet and paints the fields and farms around his home. Whether his paintings are of a specific location or based on collective memory, viewers find themselves moved by his landscapes, often feeling that they have been to that place or want to go there.