Beth Cooke is the youngest child of Percy John Hill, Ecclesiastical and Heraldic Designer. She graduated in Horticulture in 1941 and worked in the Chemistry Department of the Rothamsted (Agricultural) Expt. Station for 10 years, where she met her husband, George W Cooke in 1944. She illustrated ‘Botany for Gardeners’, R P Faulkner in 1949.
In 1950/1, Beth studied composition under the Austrian painter, Gerhart Frankl, and remained in close contact with him until his death in 1965. He encouraged her to develop a broader, looser style than her early work, taking advantage of her natural ability to use strong colour. This was developed later through her experience of the works of the German Expressionists, particularly Emile Nolde.
Beth’s subjects are various and her works use different view points to construct a total image combined with strong colour to give a sense of mood, movement, light and space; retaining the identity of the subject without descriptive painting. The purpose of the paintings is to revive some memory of the viewer which will send them on a thought journey.