About the Artist
After 26 years of teaching arts and crafts in a psychiatric hospital setting, combined with a lifetime interest in design, I found abstract art a natural transition. In 1994, I began studying abstract acrylic painting. I then studied design, color theory, silk screen, monotype printing and paper making at the Corcoran. Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, The Art League and Glen Echo. My work is mainly about color, design and shape. I continue to experiment with new materials and art forms, the latest being collage and fused glass. I work at my studio, Upstairs Art Studios, at 4948 St. Elmo in Bethesda, MD. which I share with 6 other artists.
My work is primarily about abstractions of color, design, and shape. My eye is drawn to patterns and shapes in whatever setting i find myself, taking inspiration from local color in the areas i have traveled, and in simple items that present themselves to my eye. I have traveled extensively throughout the world, and these experiences have influenced my art in many different media. The colored skeins of thread from the markets of Morocco, the figure of a young girl in Mexico, and hospital food in Poland have each become part of a varied and progressive body of work.
Cookie holds a degree in Political Science and History from The Ohio State University where she met her husband,Jack Smith Kerxton.They lived in Germany from March, 1957 through August 1958 where her husband was stationed and her daughter, Liz, was born. Back in the states, she taught Boutique Sewing for Montgomery County Adult Education and did substitute teaching in High Schools until she started working at Fairfax Hospital, as director of the Creative Arts Therapy Dept. on the in patient psychiatric unit. Her husband, was CEO of a well known architectural firm, CHK , until his death in 1993. After her husbands death, and a 26-year career teaching arts and crafts in a psychiatric hospital, she began studying abstract acrylic painting. She continues to experiment with new materials and art forms such as collage and fused glass also using the MacBookPro to create artworks.
Cookie's work has been shown in numerous juried shows and galleries. She is active in several organizations that include Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, The Smithsonian Woman’s Committee and the Salonistas. As a result of her vocal cord cancer, she started her own fund, 9114HNC (Help for Head and Neck Cancer), which grants money to patients with head and neck cancer in financial need. She shares a studio, Upstairs Art, with six other artists.