Lakelife Magazine – Chris Cook Artist

Wow. I am continually surprised and grateful for interest in my work. I get emails from time to time with comments about one of my paintings or an occasional walk in from a tourist to look around my office that serves as a “gallery” of my work.  However, this latest article about my paintings has really hit the mark.  I am getting stopped all over Madison with people saying, “I saw that great article about you”. 



I am so thankful for Beverly Harvey with the Eatonton Messenger/Lake Oconee News for writing the story in Lakelife Magazine.

The article is in their latest magazine – Winter 2014. If you do not already have a copy, please go find and one in the Georgia’s Lake Country area.

The issue is overall very nice and I am so proud to be right in the middle of it.

For those who are interested, go check out the Publicity Page on my website (click here) to see a list of other mentions of my work out there – you may be surprised!




Just Trying Something New

I have painted many different subjects, in many different styles and even experimented with different media. In looking at my website, I noticed that I do not often paint Still Life paintings. After working so hard to make the deadline for the Farm Show at the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center, I had to take some time off to rest.

In visiting my art studio after 2-3 weeks after that rest, I took a stab at still life. I wanted to work on my “brush work” and keep them loose… so I painted all of this series (so far) with an oversized brush to force the looseness.

Take a quick look at the early results – what do you think?


lemons sunflowers2 sunflowers1 still-life-with-orange still-life-with-lightbulb still-life-with-cupcake still-life-peppers still-life-cherry-mug still-life-apple

Why Did Judas Kiss Jesus When He Betrayed Him?


Pablo-Picasso-Painting-020-500x338My inspiration for this particular painting of Judas Kissing Jesus (I have painted up to 10 versions of this subject) was Picasso. A Picasso painting of a lady, the yellow lips… When I saw this painting in one of my many books on him, it popped right into my mind. Judas. Those odd colored lips. The odd way to identify Jesus, the kiss from Judas… weird huh? Oh well, that is the truth, the way it came into my mind.

Then I had to explore other paintings by Picasso to get my reference for Jesus and oddly enough found it in another Picasso painting of a female. (see the two images with this article)

With this start I just made up the other characters in the painting. I unconsciously added an extra finger on Judas’ hand that is “pointing out Jesus” along with his kiss.

Judas Betrays Jesus with a Kiss
Judas Betrays Jesus with a Kiss

In searching for an answer to – why a kiss – I found this nice article on a website called Jesus-Story  (

After Judas left the upper room where they had been eating, Jesus washed the feet of his friends in an act of godly service. Then they went out to a garden across the Kidron Valley, a garden they must have known well. Jesus prayed there, but the peace of the garden was shattered by the arrival of a contingent of guards and officials. They had come to arrest Jesus. With them was Judas.

Because there were many pilgrims around, it was necessary to have a sign (the kiss) to identify Jesus. If there had been a struggle the wrong man might have been arrested, especially in the dark. A kiss was normal enough; it was the way a pupil greeted a Rabbi, and Jesus had been a teacher to Judas. Mark, writing in Greek, uses an emphatic form of the verb katephilesen. Judas kissed Jesus with more than usual fervor and affection.

Jesus submitted quietly to the soldiers, but spoke some final words to Judas: Friend, why are you here?

The words can be read as a loving rebuke, but they can also be translated as Do what you came to do.


Just add this to the many, many questions that I have about the stories of Jesus.

Chris Cook

Painting a Painting 3 Times

Not sure if you noticed, but sometimes many artist paint the same painting multiple times. I have read that some great artist, like Robert Motherwell did this because he still felt he had to work it out, that earlier versions were maybe “not it” – was quoted saying “maybe now looking back, it could have been an earlier painting that was it”… Artist like Vincent Van Gogh painted the same painting multiple times to give one to his friend and brother but liked it enough to keep one for himself.

For me personally, this happens for several reasons.

  1. I notice an older painting and take a renewed interest in it and paint another version of it with a fresh look at the original.
  2. I feel that if I sell it (haha) that I might regret not having it around, so I paint another exactly like it (or as close as I can)
  3. I want to share it with friends and/or family and (like Van Gogh) want to have one too
  4. I looked at the original and something bugs me and I take another shot at it (like Motherwell, maybe the original was it?)
  5. I have a wild idea that maybe a museum would want the painting and paint it larger to be more in line with the works in a museum.
Jack Ruby Murders Lee Harvey Oswald on TV
Jack Ruby Murders Lee Harvey Oswald on TV

The second and the last reason above is the reason is the reason for painting the theme of Ruby shooting Oswald again and again. I stuck with the original theme which was to mix Pablo Picasso’s Painting of Guernica (black and white with a little brown) with a still from the television footage (black and white) of Ruby shooting Oswald on live television. Both the painting and the images of the 60s event seemed to have something deeply in common, something that has not changed since men have been on earth – a propensity towards violence to gain power over another person or group of persons…

Maybe I paint paintings multiple times because… I can?

Chris Cook






Chris’ has created six large, new paintings + six smaller works on paper for this show. It is an exhibition inspired by the agrarian way of life, visually celebrating the world of farm living in Morgan County. Click Here for directions and more information.

FARM – Opening Reception FRI, SEP 5th from 6-8pm

unnamedSEPTEMBER 5, 2014 – JANUARY 4, 2015

An exhibition inspired by the agrarian way of life, visually celebrating the world of farm living in Morgan County. FARM explores the rural values of respect, reliance, and love in relation to land by pairing eight regional artists with eight local farms.     Click Here for directions and more information.

Chris’ Statement of his work for the show:
In my many trips to The Lambert Farm, I have seen a wide variety of textures, light, structures and typography. I traditionally paint from photos or my memory of what I see – so, now to paint what I know, see and feel? The answer – The Lambert Farm painted through the eye of art history – more specifically, American Moderns. A wonderful blending of the style, technique and color pallets of six well respected American Modern painters with the the actual scenes, buildings and terrain of the Lambert Farm brings to life a whole new way of viewing the land we see everyday here in the Piedmont Region of Georgia. Chris Cook.

Life on Earth When Jesus Was Here.

What was life like when Jesus was on the earth?


We do have the Bible and other historic writings chronicling the times in the middle east at the time of Jesus.

I have thought about this enough to draw my own opinions. I am not an old world history expert but I think the following of the time:

  • there was knowledge that “this was the time” of the coming Messiah and it was well know (see Daniel 9:24-27)
  • there were probably lots of men claiming that they were the Messiah and knew the prophesies – thus could imitate the signs and actions
  • there was an accelerated number of demons present on earth, demons being cast out… I am open to anyone out there that knows more on the subject to correct me
  • it seems that the demons also knew quite well who Jesus was upon encountering him – while the “religious leaders” of the time seemed to have more trouble in acknowledging him
  • lots of confusion, violence, evil, power hunger, pride, repression…

The religious establishment seemed to be expecting Him too, but from all that I read of their interactions with Jesus – they assumed that he would “come to them” and “work with them” and that they would be in the center of his work here. That did not happen. Jesus found himself in conflict with them throughout his ministry. There is way too much here to write about here and to show you on a canvas…

This painting is made of six equal sized little paintings all on one canvas. You can draw what you want from each or of the totality of the painting as a whole.


Chris Cook


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


Barns, Barns, Barns…

Tennessee Barns: 1 through 5.










Why paint the same picture 5 times? Good Question. As I was about the finish Tennessee Barn #1, I was really liking the way it looked compositionally and the color scheme as well, but, I had an idea for another color pallet that I “could have used”. I pulled out a second blank canvas the same size and roughed in the same composition and left it there while finishing the first.

I thought about Monet, and how he painted the hay stack picture over and over again – using roughly the same composition, point of view… but at different times of day to get different light. What a marvelous idea… but he painted those paintings “En plein air” that is a French expression that means “in the open air,” and is particularly used to describe the act of painting outdoors (on the spot).

Unfortunately, I was painting this in my art studio in Madison, Georgia while that barn is sitting in a sharp curve in the road just outside of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I had made a quick photo on my iPhone from the side of the road years ago, so I could not observe the barn at different times of day – I abandoned that idea and went with “I could have painted this in a different color pallet idea” that I had originally.

I repeated this idea until I had exhausted color pallets I felt were appropriate for this subject. Now I have a wonderful set of five paintings of the same subject if someone wanted to make a grouping on their wall, or a nice set of different color paintings of the same subject to suit someone’s idea of “I like those colors”.

I went on to paint another barn from Blowing Rock, North Carolina two times with two different color pallets. You will just have to go to my website to see those.


Chris Cook


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





Night Noise

Night Noise.


This painting is from the distant past, but I still have it hanging in view of my desk here at my office so that I can see it daily.

This work started with some small pencil sketches to work out the composition. My concept was to visually create that feeling we all get when we hear an unusual noise at night. We would like to ignore them and think to ourselves, “it was probably just the wind”… but more often than not, we feel compelled to investigate the noise.  I don’t know about you, but I am usually a little anxious… walk slowly and quietly looking around… opening doors slowly… sound familiar?

In this composition, I used a second person to increase the drama. A noise outside that gets you and your spouse out of bed must be more than something to write off as the wind. The second person stays cautiously back a little peering out as well. The outside is dark and unknown, a little creepy, while the interior is bright, warm and safe. They are both venturing out… will they go out or just say all is well and go back inside where they can go back to watching TV or back to sleep?

That is all up to your imagination. I just like to create works that give you a chance to think, or to create your own story with. Either way, hope you enjoyed my story.

Chris Cook


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


Paul In Thought.


This painting idea came to me through a Bible verse –


New International Version: Romans 9:3 “For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race…”

But also through starting with a blank canvas and using a method I learned about through my favorite Abstract Expressionist – Robert Motherwell’s method of starting a painting with no pre-conceived ideas… which he learned from the Surrealists Max Ernst, Yves Tanguy, and Roberto Matta. From them, he learned the concept of “psychic automatism”, a form of doodling in which the artist allows an unconscious, spontaneous impulse to lead the way.

Wow, how we can learn and pass down ideas from the past into the future.

Anyway, all that said, I started doodling without conscious thought and had a basic structure in place. After first passes of paint, I felt I saw John The Baptist, but just his head… I painted a quick “platter” underneath to depict the story of when his head was presented.  I reconsidered as that is a nasty subject matter for a painting, so with more washes and paint slinging, I started thinking of the verse above that really reveals Paul’s love for others.

Look close at the painting and you may see the process described above.


Chris Cook


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.