Cook was born in 1957 in Dunfermline, Scotland and trained at Duncan of Jordanstone School of Art in Dundee under the auspices of Alberto Morrocco and David McClure. Since graduating, he has followed his own path of visionary works which has won him a number of awards including the Guthrie Award at the Royal Scottish Academy in 1985.
He was recognized early as an exceptional talent winning the first prize at the annual student show at the Royal Scottish Academy in 1983. He then won a travel award which took him to Paris, Amsterdam, Belgium and Cyprus.
In the 1990s he was already visiting Seagreens (his current home) and travelled regularly to Turkey, the Balearics and significantly, at the invitation of the Everard Reed Gallery, to Southern Africa for three months in 1997.
He was able to secure the tenancy at Seagreens shortly after his return and eventually bought it in 2004. He has transformed the ruined remains of a fisherman’s hamlet into a garden of figures and creatures, carving driftwood and fusing cement and fragments of crockery. Living in an isolated hamlet by empty grasslands on the edge of the North Sea, David uses his environment as the inspiration for his work. Seagreens has given David a real sense of belonging which is now deeply imbedded; he can immediately capture the dramatic impact nature has on the world around him in all seasons.
His surroundings are very clearly an ongoing inspiration to David who, when moved to paint, can spend up to 20 hours painting at a time (without break). His expressionist landscapes and seascapes of the East Coast of Scotland are captured in his distinctive loose style – rugged coastlines, wild seas and tempestuous skies – similar in essence to the works of MacTaggart and Eardley who were both inspired by the same location.
He continues to travel – in particular to the Balearics – and this body of work, whilst concentrating on the vivid landscapes found on his doorstep, is peppered with some pieces from his overseas trips and still life compositions with wild flowers from his garden.
Over the past couple of years, David has had successful solo shows at the Kilmorack Gallery and Kinblethmont Gallery and most notably at the Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh in 2009. David has worked with Fraser Gallery for many, many years and shows in a number of other key galleries across the UK and overseas.