Award-Winning Miniaturist Acrylic Painter Finds Unique Niche Working Small & Ultra Precise
Ed Cook's miniature original acrylic work, 3" deep by 5-1/4" across, includes his color palette along the sides which patrons can frame showing or not. Scroll down for more miniature artwork...
Batavia, IL resident Ed Cook may be known as a miniaturist acrylic painter, but there’s nothing tiny about his exceptional talent. As a very active nonagenarian (90 years young!) producing original artwork, he doesn’t mind people knowing his age. In fact, he has this to say about it…
“I want people to know that just because one ages doesn’t mean one’s interests have to stop. While one has life, live it!”
He’s always loved to draw beginning in the second grade. While growing up in Boise, Idaho, his mother once took him to a department store to watch a demonstration by an artist working in oils creating mountains and waterfalls using a palette knife. Watching that painting come to life planted the desire in him to someday do the same. While in high school he was considered its best artist.
After returning from service in the Army, he married his soulmate who recently passed away. He didn’t believe he could support a family as an artist, so he painted as a hobby until 1980 when a job change prompted him to pick up his neglected talent and commit it to the Lord. The Bible verse in Proverbs he chose was “commit they works unto the Lord and thy thoughts shall be established.”
Once he did that, he says things started happening beyond the ordinary. Even his painting skills improved. Suddenly whatever he needed to set up a home studio started coming his way through miraculous circumstances.
An artist friend frequently urged him to paint loose and then suggested he should be painting miniatures. He gave Ed the address to enter a miniature show where one of his paintings received an award – he had found his niche. Recently, he has started painting larger, but his miniature work measures anywhere from 3” x 4” to 2-3/4”x 4-1/4”.
Fast forward, and he is now a well-established painter of miniatures. To qualify as a miniaturist painter, artwork cannot exceed 35 square inches.
Why does he enjoy about working small?
“I love the precise aspect of it,” he says.
His work is known for including his color mixing off to the side. His patrons can choose to frame that aspect of it showing or not. Sometimes he’ll add additional whimsical touches in that same border area such as a cartoon figure.
He takes his own reference photos but never directly copies. Instead, he exercises artistic license with the image as he pursues a good painting. He doesn’t make many preliminary sketches because he already has in mind how he wishes the work to look when completed.
Favorite subjects include rural landscapes, old barns or old buildings.
Since 1982, he’s been painting on Saturday afternoons listening to classical music or favorite old radio shows. Jack Benny is his favorite, along with Fibber McGee and Molly to name a few.
Ed’s work has been recognized with inclusion in the Whiskey Painters of America and Miniature Artists of America of which he holds a Signature Membership. He’s also an inductee in the Illinois Senior Hall of Fame and the Fox Valley Arts Hall of Fame. For the past 30 years, he has been represented by River Gallery in Chattanooga, Tenn.
His work ranges in price from around $2,000 to $3,200. Studio visits can be arranged by appointment through his email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
LIGHT AND SHADOW
DAWN ON THE PRAIRIE
HOPE IN PINK