Bancroft Studio Tour


Birds Creek painter, Abigail Cook and her husband and young children moved from the Kawarthas to the Bancroft area (Birds Creek) two years ago and, although she had an immediate interest in pursuing joining the local Bancroft and Area Studio Tour (BAST), she decided to just wait and check out the one that was slated for 2023 to see if it would fit into her sense of opening up to involving herself in art activities here in North Hastings. And upon visiting a number of locations during the Tour this past September, she found that she vastly enjoyed the experience and was highly impressed with the fine art and crafts on display and decided to submit to join it for 2024. And went through the application process and was accepted.

And rightfully so. In her studio on South Baptiste Road, she creates magnificent and unique acrylic on canvas paintings—primarily landscapes based on reference images she collects here in North Hastings and Algonquin Park, etc. She has a very unique style that has evolved over the years from landscape images that not only covered the canvas but wrapped around the edges to her present looser vignette style placement of forests and hills and trees floating with white unpainted areas around the edges of the canvas surface. It’s a highly novel look that has attracted lots of attention from other artists who see her work on display and express intentions to give the look a try.

Abby was born and raised at Young’s Point and home schooled. This meant no art training but she recalls always loving art (especially Impressionism) after being exposed to it and other styles of painting she saw in books in her home. She dabbled in original decorating of furniture with crafter colours; and studied books on art-making. As she matured, she took up painting on canvas with oils and at the age of fourteen, had one of her works win the “Future Promise” award when submitted to the Buckhorn Festival of the Arts—the prize being a 10-week course in oil painting at the Art School of Peterborough.

She created art in oils as her medium until she was married and had her three children when the toxic thinners (then) required for oil painting gave her pause to be exposing her family to it; and she moved on to acrylics. She mastered the switch and that is her medium of choice going forward.

As for shows and exhibiting of her work, that has been primarily jury shows and solo hanging of works in cafes and restaurants when she was in the Peterborough area—and now at Sun Run café in Maynooth and the Art Gallery of Bancroft annual juried show since moving to this area. But she primarily concentrates on display and sales made via online sites—Instagram being the most successful with some interest created on Facebook and on her own web site.

Be sure to make the studio of Abigail Cook—located at 159 South Baptiste Road, Birds Creek—a mandatory stop during this coming fall’s BAST (the weekends of September 21-22 and 28-29). Her contact information is Instagram: abigailcookartist, Facebook: Abigail Cook

(Profile writing and photo by Allan O’Marra)