Chris Cook Artist

Southern Art – Georgia Artist – Landscape Paintings, Christian Art, Southern Expressionist Art

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Landscape in the evening

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I find this picture captivating. Moreover, I love that it was created using a computer program. Art is a beautiful thing, and technology is a wonderful tool that we can use to create words, ideas, tools, images, and items that help us in our daily lives.

If there’s one thing that I have learned in my time working for Madison Studios is that, when it comes to the internet, nothing is really what it seems. The picture, font, slideshow, movie, etc. that we see and enjoy on our favorite website is really just the product of a series of characters assembled in a language called HTML that tells our computers to show us what we see. The “back end” of a website would be very much like looking at the back side of a woven or stitched tapestry; the seemingly chaotic stream of randomness and disarray, all pointing to the bigger picture on the other side.

This painting, for example, is the sum of countless clicks, swipes, and passes over a digital pad that communicated a vision from Chris’ mind through his hands into a computer, that took that information and assembled it into a visual signal that we are able to interpret as this beautiful work of art. I realize that this is quite possibly an over-complication of the creative process, but I can not help but to be in awe of everything that goes into the creative process of so much that we enjoy these days.

Chris is a master craftsman of both visual images and websites. He has an eye for creativity and development unlike many of his peers. What a blessing it is for us to be able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of his labor.

Chris Cook is a premier southern artist and owner of Madison Studios, a web design, maintenance, and e-commerce and marketing company. For his artist biography, contact information, or to view more of his work, click HERE.

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Train in Landscape

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Trains have always fascinated me. There is just something magical and captivating about tons and tons of steel, cargo, and motor, chugging along two iron rails all across the country. The familiar whine of the horn as it plows through crossings, the hisses, clacks, and thumps as it moves on down the line. There is also something special to think that there is typically only 2-3 people on board, responsible for moving, and more importantly stopping, all of that cargo across the country.

I’m sure that technology has changed a lot about the how, why, and when trains move their cargo from place to place, but little can be done to decrease the fascination and grandeur factor that come with seeing trains go by…

This painting is a print of an original that Chris made. I love that artists are able to create prints of beautiful works that they are sure many people would love and appreciate, rather than limiting us to single copies of their creations. This painting is sure to appeal to lovers of trains, landscape paintings, and fine art alike. I really like it.

Chris Cook is a premier southern artist and owner of Madison Studios, a web design, maintenance, and e-commerce and marketing company. For his artist biography, contact information, or to view more of his work, click HERE.

 

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Cotton – Chris Cook – Southern Artist

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After the “Snowpacolypse 2014”, I drove by a cotton field that had recently been combined and had bales of the white stuff lying on the field’s edges. The funny thing was, because of the snow, the field looked like it was ripe for the picking all over agin. It’s funny how two very different “white and fluffy” substances can both make such a tremendous impact on the southern landscape.

Cotton has been a staple crop of southern states, and the source of numerous resources for textile, paper, farming, cooking, and livestock production for years and years. Bostwick, GA houses a working cotton gin that most local students are fortunate enough to tour at least once during their tenure in Morgan County Schools. In doing so, they are able to pay an homage to the crop that helped to pave the way for the prosperity that many people in this area enjoy today.

I feel like this painting does a good job of capturing several characteristics of cotton. The dimensions and textures of the paint strokes in white help to give reference to the fluffiness of cotton. Chris also uses very dark earth tones juxtaposed against the bright white of the cotton balls. This is a stark reminder of what it looks like to ride by a field of cotton in the late fall. The fields are full of white fluffy pillows of cotton, right for the picking.

Cotton can be quite a controversial topic for discussion here in these parts, but there is no denying that it has made, and continues to make a tremendous impact on our world, as it is truly is “the fabric of our lives”.

Chris Cook is a premier southern artist and owner of Madison Studios, a web design, maintenance, and e-commerce and marketing company. For his artist biography, contact information, or to view more of his work, click HERE.

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Ice Storm

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Ice, Ice, Baby….Old Jack frost is nipping at us again this week…

Chris classifies himself as a “Southern Christian Artist”. Those three words say a great deal. Here in the South, winters are typically brief, mild times of cool and cloudy days, dotted with occasional bitter cold days and the ever elusive flurry of snow. If we get “winter weather” here in Georgia, it is typically in the form of ice and/or sleet. Seldom do we really get any accumulation of snow.

In this painting, Chris depicts a field of land that has been “impacted” by the ice storm. He shows us the sparse patches of snow left on the ground. I can almost imagine the water-logged ground squishing beneath my feet as I look at this painting.

Its funny how most of our “damage” from winter storms comes from the fact that it rains, things get wet, and then it’ll get cold enough for things to ice over and get really nasty. It’s a curse of living in such a mild and temperate part of the country. It’s also interesting to assess the dynamic of how our society is impacted by the presence of snow, ice, or any other “winter weather”.

What do your and yours do to prepare for/endure winter weather? What are your memories of snow and ice storms here in the south? Share them in the comments below.

Chris Cook is a premier southern artist and owner of Madison Studios, a web design, maintenance, and e-commerce and marketing company. For his artist biography, contact information, or to view more of his work, click HERE.

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Night Cabin:

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I am a “Mountain Person”. If you read the previous blog about mountains at dusk, you’ll understand my opinion about the two types of people in this world (beach and mountain). Which one are you?

When I say that I am a mountain person, I do not mean that I don’t like sitting on the beach, watching the waves roll in and breathing in the salt air. What I do mean is that there truly is no substitute for a few days, or even several hours spent in the crisp, clean mountain air. Many of my favorite memories from trips and vacations involved being in or around mountain streams, cabins, and campfires with the people that I love. There’s really nothing quite like being there.

Two memories in particular permeate my mind as I think about my fond memories of mountains. One is a time that I spent with a few close friends hiking on the Appalachian Trail. I can remember one of the clearest nights of my lifetime, sitting by the glow of a fire and staring across the gap at one of the most vast expanses of stars that I can remember. The other is a weekend retreat that my family took to a cabin in the North Georgia mountains. I can still remember sleeping in the loft, walking through the rustling leaves down by the creek, and the crisp feeling of the air on that weekend.

When I look at this painting by Chris, I find peace in my memories and thoughts of time in the mountains. I think that he does a very good job of composing this image. As a “mountain person” I take delight in all of the mountain elements that he brought into this picture. I love the glint of snow, the halo over the clouds from the bright moon, the towering trees, and the cool creek that is running beside the cozy cabin.

His art, regardless of the subject matter or style, seems to inspire emotion and evoke memories and feeling. I really like this painting because of the way that it makes me feel. Maybe i’m partial, but it really does make me feel good when I look at it.

Chris Cook is a premier southern artist and owner of Madison Studios, a web design, maintenance, and e-commerce and marketing company. For his artist biography, contact information, or to view more of his work, click HERE.

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Clothesline

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I imagine that the days of clotheslines being the norm were definitely a “different” and probably a “simpler” time.

To me, clothes lines seem to signify a time in history when people weren’t rushed by the need for convenience and the speed of modern technology. If your clothes were out on the line, that was alright. I can’t see the people that used clothes lines feeling the need to be as hurried, pressured, and pushed for time as we are today.

Chris painted this picture on a very large canvas, big enough to be a focal piece in a family room, or entrance to a home. I feel like it serves as a great reminder to days past, and as an encouragement to us to slow down, maybe put the phones down and be willing to let life happen at its own speed, rather than hurry it along.

What do you think? Have you ever put clothes out on the line, and then sat back and sipped a glass of lemonade in the breeze? What do you do to take the time to sit back and simply enjoy life without all of the pressures and hurries of today’s busy life?

Chris Cook is a premier southern artist and owner of Madison Studios, a web design, maintenance, and e-commerce and marketing company. For his artist biography, contact information, or to view more of his work, click HERE.

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Golgotha – 3 Trees

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They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). Matthew 27:33

On that day, some 2,000 years ago, the God of all the universe took it upon Himself to punish His one and only Son (God incarnate) once and for all for the sins of all mankind.

Though the people of both Roman and Jewish “Authority” could find no fault in him, they beat, accosted, and nailed an innocent man to a tree. They hung him there between two convicted criminals, cast lots for his clothing, and left him there to die.

On that day, the Sin debt of the entire world was paid in full, once and for all. Yours, mine, and even that person who just cut me off in traffic’s…

I’m reminded of a passage from one of my favorite hymns. “My sin, oh the bliss of that glorious thought. MY sin, not in part, but the whole. Was nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more. Praise the Lord, oh my soul!”

Chris took an image of three trees, positioned in a field, to serve as a reminder of that glorious day that took place 20 centuries ago. What a great reminder of that awesome gift that was given to the world so long ago. I think it serves as a great reminder to us all as we see it of the unmerited gift that is freely given to anyone who would believe in Christ as Lord and Savior of their life.

Art speaks, and this picture is worth more than a thousand words. What a fantastic reminder that we all need to hear and remember daily.

Chris Cook is a premier southern artist and owner of Madison Studios, a web design, maintenance, and e-commerce and marketing company. For his artist biography, contact information, or to view more of his work, click HERE.

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Storm Clouds Rolling In

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There’s nothing quite like getting to sit in a place where you can watch a storm roll in. Being able to see, smell, and hear the rain, lightning, thunder, as well as feeling the change in pressure and temperature is a truly awesome experience.

One of the perks of Madison’s location in the state is that we are relatively flat, and therefore we can typically see weather patterns rolling in from quite some distance. Chris took the opportunity to capture some storm clouds in this original painting on paper. As I look at it, I can almost imagine that i’m in a field in the summertime, maybe even hitting a swimming hole. I see the clouds in this painting, and can almost begin to feel the cooler air stirring and hear the faint rumble of thunder as the storm rolls on in.

Weather is one of those strange things about memories. So often, a specific time of year will have it’s own specific feeling, smell, and sights that all help to influence what we remember about different times. Take, for instance, the difference between a pop up shower in the spring, that might leave the air smelling of fresh flowers and cut grass, versus the steamy smell of post rain asphalt on a sunny summer day, or the crispness and almost dusty smell of wet leaves that accompanies a storm in the later months of fall.

Weather, like so much of our lives, factors greatly into how and what we remember about places, times, and events in our stories. This is just one snapshot from Chris’ memory banks, but it is one that I can relate to, and identify with as well.

Chris Cook is a premier southern artist and owner of Madison Studios, a web design, maintenance, and e-commerce and marketing company. For his artist biography, contact information, or to view more of his work, click HERE.

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What’s his story?

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One of my favorite pastimes is to pick a random person, someone unknown to me, and to think to myself, “what’s their story?” It gives me an opportunity, albeit completely in my mind, to try and put myself into someone else’s shoes, and imagine their story. I might see a couple sitting on a park bench and think to myself, “he has the ring in his pocket. He’s known she was the one since the first date, and he’s finally ready to pop the question”. Or, I may see a young boy using a small stick as a laser blaster or sword, “he’s blasting storm troopers, or slaying members of the foot clan!”

I feel that, so often, the story behind a piece of art enlightens us to so much more about both the artist and the subject. In writing these blog posts for Chris, I have been able to get a lot of the “why behind the what” for many of the paintings that I’ve written about. How great would it be if we were about to know the truth behind the half smile of The Mona Lisa, or what The Thinker was actually thinking about?

I want to leave you with a question about the man pictured in the painting above. What is his story? Why might Chris have painted him sitting at the bus stop, with a sign for the drivers license station being in close proximity? How old is he? Why isn’t he driving? Comment below, and let us know what you think!

Chris Cook is a premier southern artist and owner of Madison Studios, a web design, maintenance, and e-commerce and marketing company. For his artist biography, contact information, or to view more of his work, click HERE.

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Yellow House – Madison, GA

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The homes in Madison, GA are some of the most classically beautiful, and well maintained that I have seen in my lifetime. Many of them are Antebellum, and date back to the days of the Civil War and before. Several are plantation style, and have servant’s quarters in the back yards. It’s like a little piece of history, preserved forever here in my home town.

Growing up, I took the beauty of Madison for granted. I had the typical teenager complaint of being bored, and “having nothing to do”, citing arguments like “we need a bowling alley where the old Ingles used to be”, and “if we could just get a movie theatre”. Now that I am somewhat older, I appreciate the preserved beauty that is within the Historic District of Madison.

Chris does a fantastic job of capturing not only the beauty of this yellow home, but of the gorgeous landscaping and foliage that surround many of the homes in our community. This is another one of the images that Chris created with his digital painting program. He uses the tablet to “paint” the colors onto the page. While the yellow of the house is definitely prominent in this painting, I can not help but to be drawn to the beauty of the flowers, trees, and bushes around it.

I think that it is a great testament to Chris’ ability to be able to capture this home in such a realistic manner as to draw the viewer to feel and experience the landscaping around this gorgeous yellow house. There really is something special about Madison, it’s homes, and the feeling that they inspire. Chris captures all of those in this painting.

Chris Cook is a premier southern artist and owner of Madison Studios, a web design, maintenance, and e-commerce and marketing company. For his artist biography, contact information, or to view more of his work, click HERE.