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Holladay Journal

Holladay Artist of the Month Tricia Cook

Feb 03, 2023 08:34AM ● By Collette Hayes

Artist Tricia Cook is an educator as well as an artist passionate about home renovation and design, oil and acrylic painting, collecting inspirational art volumes and capturing ideas in her watercolor sketchbook. (Photo credit Tricia Cook)

Holladay Artist of the Month Tricia Cook uses a minimal number of elements in her renovation and design projects as well as her oil and acrylic paintings to create the utmost visual impact. Clean lines and balanced color, shapes and texture bring out the beauty in her simple artistic scenes. An observer isn’t overwhelmed or distracted when contemplating the message which Cook intends to convey.

Selected by the Holladay Arts Council as Holladay Artist of the Month, Cook is an educator as well as an artist passionate about home renovation and design, oil and acrylic painting, collecting inspirational art volumes and capturing ideas in her watercolor sketchbook.

Cook studied interior design at Utah State University and then transferred to the University of Utah receiving degrees in consumer studies, economics and special education. Completing reading certifications at the University of Utah Reading Clinic, she has extensive background in reading intervention and is a certified Wilson Dyslexia Therapist.

Cook enjoys her job as an educator, but art is her passion. She is the owner of a successful tutoring business, The Tutoring House, which provides educational services to over 120 students ranging from intervention for students struggling in academics to guidance in college essay writing. She also enjoys working as a special education reading intervention specialist at the J.E. Cosgriff Memorial Catholic School. After work, she tries to take time out to nurture her passion for taking something and unlocking its hidden potential. Whether it is renovating an old home, applying finishing brush strokes to a painting of a white barn or bringing the neighbor’s garden of vibrant orange poppies to life on canvas, Cook finds enjoyment, relaxation and satisfaction in the artistic process of creation and reflection.

“I absolutely love working in education, but I also love art,” Cook said. “It is my passion. I have remodeled seven homes and truly enjoy the artistic process of taking something and enhancing it.”

One way Cook immerses herself in the artistic experience is by reading and collecting books in the art genre. She browses the aisles of the art collection section at the local library and explores the dusty shelves of antiquarian bookstores to find the unusual, the old or the rare art volume to inspire her inner creativity and foster an artistic growth mindset.

Although Cook enjoys painting with oil, acrylic is her medium of choice. She sells and donates paintings but also gives away a lot of her completed art to family and friends.

“Acrylic dries fast and isn’t as forgiving as oil,” Cook said. “But I can get more texture with acrylic using a palette knife or dry brush technique.”

Influenced by Brian Kershisnik, one of the best-known contemporary Utah artists, Cook uses a sketchbook like Kershisnik to explore ideas for future paintings. Cook’s little watercolor sketchbook is overflowing with big ideas hidden among inspirational paintings filled with color and suspended in a watery-based solution.

“During Covid, when we were in isolation, each week my two children and I participated in a sketchbook challenge,” Cook said. “The idea was to depict a simple topic or idea using artistic expression. It was truly a lot of fun.”

In October, Cook participated in the Plein Air art competition as well as the Plein Air Quick Draw event sponsored by the Holladay Arts Council. Her plein air painting of the Roots Garden Shop on Highland Drive and plein air quick draw painting of Caputo’s Italian Market and Deli shop front was exhibited at a plein air reception and art auction held at Relics Framemakers & Gallery in Holladay. Cook’s primary focus is to continue to work on building her artistic portfolio and explore opportunities to exhibit her art work more frequently.

“I enjoyed participating in the Plein Air Quick Draw event,” Cook said. “It was a fun and enjoyable way to connect with people visiting the Holladay Plaza and to become immersed in the artistic process together. When I create something others enjoy, to me that is artistic success.” 

Cook’s artwork will be on display through the month of February at Holladay City Hall.

If you would like to nominate a Holladay resident for Artist of the Month visit