Artist of the Month - John Cooke, Rochdale

PUBLISHED: 12:21 03 November 2012 | UPDATED: 22:17 20 February 2013

A play of light on a cottage near Coniston – snow and sunlit dwellings frequently appear in John’s paintings which mainly cover Dentdale and the Lake District

A play of light on a cottage near Coniston – snow and sunlit dwellings frequently appear in John’s paintings which mainly cover Dentdale and the Lake District

John Cooke gained early inspiration from the landscape around Rochdale. Barbara Waite reports

A strong feeling for the industrial landscape of the Lancashire moorland has inspired artist John Cooke since he walked the wild places of the county as a young child with his cousins from Rochdale.

Brought up in the Potteries his visits graduated from those early rambles to climbing trips on the local gritstone. After art training in Stoke he moved to East Anglia where he taught, eventually moving to Dent, near Sedbergh, in 1976 where he set up his studio.

The effect of the northern light gives me an idea for a picture, says John, who exhibits at the Silverdale Art and Craft Trail. Once started, brush and paint take over so that the abstract qualities of the painting start to matter as much as the subject.

He was trained as an oil painter, but has taken up gouache since it allows oil and watercolour techniques in the same painting. He has works in the permanent collection of Stoke-on-Trent City Gallery and is collected by people from all walks of life and holds a one-man exhibition in London every February.

Many of his works have been used commercially as posters, cards, calendars and book covers by Shell, J. Arthur Dixon, Penguin and Readers Digest among others. He has written two books on painting.

Johns studio in Dent is open most days call 015396 25354 to make sure or visit his website www.johncooke.org to see more of his work. A4 framed pictures start at about 250, up to 450 in oils. Larger works can be four figures.

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