Beryl was born in 1926 in Egham, Surrey, one of four sisters. She showed no early promise, nor did she have the benefit of any formal art training; in fact the only training for her now famous pictures are the experiences of her life, in which she has been a showgirl, a shorthand typist, managed a pub, worked in a wholesale fruiterers and kept a boarding house.
She married, at the age of twenty, her childhood sweetheart John, who has shared her life since, and they have truly enjoyed their life together taking enormous pleasure from the everyday 'goings-on' around them. They are now grandparents and in addition have a family of one dog and several cats, all-living together in Plymouth.
The Cooks are well known in the local pubs, which have always been the most useful source of Beryl's inspiration. Nothing and no one is safe from her devastatingly accurate observation that is never cruel, but has a way of bringing everything down to earth. Above all she paints with humor.
It is probably true that her subject matter and the colourful way she paints combine to prevent many people from seeing just how good her paintings are. They are very good indeed and will long outlive most of our present day painting because they are painted for the sheer love of painting and are enjoyed in the same manner by those who see them. Whether an original or a reproduction, it is a privilege to own a picture by Beryl Cook for she enriches our lives.
She has been likened to many famous artists from Brueghel to Spencer, and she is just as individual and just as timeless.