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Bonnie Beauchamp Cooke works on large canvases prepped with several layers of just about anything she can get her hands on, including molding paste, dirt, paint and paper. Using her hands, she layers paint in acrylic and oil over the surface, creating the texture from which emerges a distinctly figurative painting primarily of horses, butterflies and figures. The uniqueness of her work is in the dichotomy and energy created by the color and texture of the medium and materials.
This lively artist is a self-called “true cowgirl” and when not painting in her Atlanta studio, she is playing, riding and working the land with her beloved family, dogs and horses on her farm in Madison. We are especially taken by her equine series, which portray her own horses. She feels that if she paints her passion, it will show. Reflecting on her love of horses, Bonnie says: “I love to watch the horses and then paint them from a split-second moment in time. In this manner I believe I can best capture the power, personality, thoughts and intensity of the animal that has both fascinated and served man from our earliest history.” The artist was recently commissioned as the “2010 Official Artist” for the Atlanta Steeplechase.
We also love Bonnie’s graphite drawings, which are a unique process. Working with heavy archival paper, she uses a special industrial graphite from China, normally used to cool heavy machinery. She applies this thick, glittery substance with her fingers then goes through the process with a graphite pencil.
The artist is also driven and motivated by her love of nature and her personal connection to God, which she shares with her viewers by including a cross in each painting. Sometimes the cross is hidden within the painting or sometimes it is a bold element from which the painting develops.
Bonnie Beauchamp Cooke studied at the University of Georgia and The Atlanta College of Art, receiving her BFA from there in painting and drawing in 1991. She maintains a commitment to the arts community by serving on the board of The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (of which she is a founding member) and The Hambidge Center of North Georgia. Her works are in many collections nationwide and have won numerous best in show awards throughout the South.