Beryl Cook is well-known for her much-loved flamboyant depictions of large, often scantily-dressed women with a lust for life and time in the pub.
These are high quality limited edition prints by Beryl Cook
Browse this Artist’s Work
Beryl Cook – Silkscreen Original Prints
About The Artist
Beryl Cook found fame as a painter by accident in her late 40s. One day she picked up some paints belonging to her son and started a picture. She enjoyed it so much she could not stop.
Her work were largely inspired by the people of Plymouth where Beryl has lived for over 25 years. She remains fascinated by life in this lively naval port which is full of pubs, fishermen and sailors.
She was born in 1926 in Surrey and was one of four sisters. Having left school at 14, Beryl worked in a variety of jobs but at that age showed very little talent for painting.
At one time she was a showgirl in a touring production of ‘The Gypsy Princess’.
She also worked in the fashion industry, which inspired her life-long interest in the way people dress and how they look. In 1946 Beryl married her childhood friend John, who was in the Merchant Navy. When he retired from the sea they briefly ran a pub.
Their son John was born in 1950, and the following year they left Britain to live in Southern Rhodesia.
In 1963 Beryl and her family returned to the UK where she began to paint in earnest. They moved to Plymouth, where in the summer months they ran a busy theatrical boarding house.
Her talents were ‘discovered’ when people staying at her guest house started talking about the unique paintings on display.
Eventually an antique dealer friend persuaded her to let him try and sell a few. To her surprise they sold very quickly. Bernard Samuels of the Plymouth Art Centre became aware of this ‘local phenomenon‘ and in 1975 he finally convinced her to have an exhibition
She has since become well-known for her much-loved flamboyant depictions of large, often scantily-dressed women with a lust for life and time in the pub.
To many people’s surprise Beryl is a shy and private person, in complete contrast to the extrovert characters featured in her work.
In January 2004 her boisterous characters starred in a two-part animated television series made for the BBC.
The series called Bosom Pals transported Cook’s well-endowed ladies from canvas to screen in the tales of Stella and her vivacious friends.
The Dolphin pub on Plymouth’s Barbican, which features in many of Cook’s paintings, is also prominent in the animated film.
In 1995 Beryl was made an OBE.
Beryl Cook lived and worked in Plymouth, where she died in May 2008.
About the Author
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