Nana Cook was born in Vancouver, B.C. and raised on Saltspring Island. She studied make-up artistry and Middle Eastern dance, and then worked in both fields prior to teaching herself to paint in 1997.Her extensive lifelong travels in the American Southwest, by foot, car, Harley, horse and kayak, influenced her early choice of subject matter, scenes of Arizona and New Mexico.
In 2004 Nana was invited to show her Southwest paintings in an exhibit, “Women’s Declaration”, of contemporary visual art by Chinese and Canadian women artists at the Duo Lun Modern Art Museum in Shanghai, China. Two years later the same group of artists held an exhibit, “Momentum”, in Nanaimo, Canada
In 2006 Nana turned her attention to the natural world where she lives on Vancouver Island. At the encouragement of Liu Jian, Chinese artist and the coordinator for exhibits, Women’s Declaration and Momentum, Nana began a project of creating one hundred and fifty paintings of arbutus trees – which has long since been surpassed.
Following a visit to Barkerville Historic Town in the spring of 2013, Nana was invited to return as Theatre Royal’s first Artist in Residence, which she did two months later. An exhibit of the resulting work was exhibited during the summer of 2014, with all the proceeds from the sales going to Theatre Royal and Barkerville to aid in show development and the town’s preservation.
Nana infuses her paintings with dramatic colour, exciting perspective, humour, spirituality and thought provoking subjects. Nana’s paintings are in private and museum collections from China to Denmark.