"I'm drawn to people and creatures of South Africa, and the personalities that emerge from our ever-transforming environment and society. My drawings and paintings characterize quirky, expressive and unusual characteristics which illustrate narratives we all recognize and are familiar with. I use strong colours muted for atmospheric mood which describes the stories and journeys we take."
Joanna Cooke started painting formally at age 38. Although she has always had a love for figure drawing and illustration, joining an art class gave her the tutoring to begin painting and take up art more seriously. As the owner of a corporate training consultancy, many years of building a business had allowed little time to nurture her artistic side and she began to slowly develop a portfolio of works in her spare time.
Having been an adult teacher and facilitator of personal and leadership development programmes for 25 years, she now offers creativity and art classes to adults and children. She believes everyone is creative and needs to nurture their creative side to achieve personal harmony and growth.
Jo has participated in numerous exhibitions and has been a member of the South African Society for Artists since 2011. She exhibits regularly through SASA at Kirstenbosch Gardens in Cape Town, and also from her home. She works in oils primarily but also undertakes studies in pencil, pastel and ink. Although she likes to try a variety of styles to enhance her creativity, she consistently reverts back to reflective human studies. “I am a great admirer of the works of the old Masters, and am inspired by their ability to capture mood and moments through light reflection and facial expressions”.
Jo is also a part-time musician and singer, and has started writing and illustrating children's books (www.joannacookeillustration.com) She has two grown-up children and lives in Cape Town with her partner and cats and dogs.