(1949 - present)
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 the average person 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 join in efforts to 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 Cheyenne Frontier Days Western Art Show in Cheyenne, WY. She has been profiled in Art of the West and Southwest Art Magazines