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Tony Cook
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I was born in England and worked as a newspaper reporter before serving in the Royal Artillery for my national service. I wanted to go to Korea with my unit - I mean, free travel and all - but wiser heads prevailed and I was given a War Office job testing new recruits. Following army service, I emigrated to Canada and entered the photographic business, intending to make a career out of my hobby. Surprisingly, I spent many years in the photographic and audovisual industry in various senior marketing positions. Eventually tiring of the corporate environment, and foolishly forgoing the satisfaction of a regular paycheque, I started my own digital imaging and creative production house in Toronto, where I still live. I am married with three lovely daughters and three grandchildren. Over the years, I've enjoyed working in various art forms, in addition to photography and computer graphics. I expanded a childhood love of scratching initials on school desks and assorted trees, and began wood carving. I joined the Ontario Wood Carvers Association (OWCA), studied with famed carving teachers Joe Dampf, Benoit Deschenes and Wayne Barton, and somehow developed my own style of interpretive carving. I probably wasn't paying attention. I became President of the OWCA, and edited their newsletter and website for several years. I showed my carvings in OWCA competitions and at the Canadian National Exhibition, the world's largest carving competition. I studied drawing at the Art Gallery of Ontario and with several drawing masters. I subsequently took up watercolour painting. I credit teacher Ruth Hayes with giving me assurance that I could handle this medium and Barry Coombs for introducing me to the finer points of brush handling, design and simplification. I have enjoyed workshops with Art Cunanan, Hi-Sook Barker, Doug Mays and Marc Gagnon, each of whom has been very patient.

More recently, I began to work with Acrylics, studying with the famed Lila Lewis Irving and DiDi Gadjanski.

I am very fortunate to have discovered a friendly and supportive environment within the art societies that have accepted me as a member. Among these have been:

Toronto Watercolour Society, North York Visual Artists, North Toronto Group of Artists, Bayview Watercolour Society, Don Valley Art Group, Art Guild of Scarborough.