The McMaster Museum of Art

    Media File
    COOK, Philip
    Date: Canadian
    Excerpt from letter by John Arnott, undated (c. 1982), McMaster Museum of Art archives:

    "You have probably never heard of Phil Cook. Very few people have. Phil Cook and J.W. Beatty were friends and sketching companions from the time they started to paint as young men. Both told me of an incident that they ran into on a sketching trip. They saw a barn that looked interesting and went closer to look at it. The farmer came along and asked them what they were doing on his land. They said they were painters and wanted to paint his barn. The farmer looked at the barn and said "It could stand a coat of paint, what will you charge?" They looked at each other, named a price, had their food and lodging supplied while they painted the barn and left with enough money to take a sketching trip together.

    Beatty went to Paris to study and Phil stayed at home wandering around the fields and streams of what is now Toronto, looking at everything and studying everything, trees, clouds, plants, etc. that go to make up a picture. When Beatty came back and went sketching with Phil he found himself looking all over for something that would make a pciture while Phil was seeing pictures all around him and every picture he painted was a good one.

    [Phi]l was a member of the Arts & Letters Club in Toronto and went there most afternoons when about a dozen of his friends were there. ..I know that Lawren Harris, Fred Brigden and C.W. Jeffreys were usually there... they were artists who knew that his paintings were exceptional and respected him for them. They were his friends."