ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Meet Dana C Cook, Color-Blind Artist

Updated on April 21, 2019
bravewarrior profile image

Shauna has a deep appreciation for those who bring us beauty, peace, and reflection by way of the extension of their souls through art.

Dana C Cook, artist
Dana C Cook, artist | Source

Introduction

It could be said that art has the most universal reach of The Arts. It knows no language barriers; there are no words to decipher or misconstrue. Art invokes, evokes, and expresses emotion. It touches our souls and makes us think, question, see that which we may never have seen – or refused to see – without the visual expression that talented individuals put before us.

With that in mind, I’d like to introduce you to a phenomenal artist who does that and much more. What’s unique about this talented man is he’s color-blind.

His artwork touches my soul in a way no other artist has. His work is beautiful. Each piece tells a story, but you have to really look in order to hear it and see it. And that’s his intent. His work enlivens the senses and forces you to go deep within yourself to grasp the meaning behind the vision.

His work is so inspiring, I was compelled to ask for an interview and he graciously complied.

Meet Dana C. Cook.

When did you first discover you're color blind?

The first time I heard the term “color-blind”, I was a kid in school, third grade, I think, where the kids were given unwrapped crayons and told to use a particular color in a specific area. I picked up the crayons that I thought matched the colors the teacher called out. I’m not sure that I did too well, though. When the class turned in their papers, mine was completely different from everyone else’s. At that point my teacher suggested I take a color-blind test.

Did the fact that you're color-blind have any influence on your decision to pursue art?

Being color-blind has nothing to do with my pursuit of art in any way. Being color-blind is natural, it’s only defined by words and not enough is said with regard to being able to evoke a feeling or a sense of area that we are always surrounded by. So, to sum it up, in college I felt inferior to other art students at first, until my designs became the talk in the hallways.

Interesting Fact: The maker of Crayola Crayons was color-blind

Emerson Moser, Crayola's most senior crayon molder, until he retired in 1990, was blue-green color blind. Read more here:

What is your preferred medium and why?

I was very comfortable in wood sculpture and black and white photography, but in truth I need to paint, push color!

I prefer acrylics for two reasons: 1) being water based, acrylics are better for the environment, but more importantly, 2) I usually paint fast and this medium allows for that more effectively. The drawback however, is it’s more difficult to paint outdoors down here (in South Florida) because the water in the paint evaporates quickly, which makes the paint get dense and less flowing.

Some Examples of Cook's Amazing Art

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Look closely. What do you see?An example of depth and textureBeautiful!
Look closely. What do you see?
Look closely. What do you see? | Source
An example of depth and texture
An example of depth and texture | Source
Beautiful!
Beautiful! | Source

From where does your inspiration come?

Inspiration is a funny thing. Rarely am I “inspired” to paint a scene or subject, but more by the need to move the color the way I want with a mood in color, rather than a subject in color. It is usually my goal to allow the spirit of the color let the subject(s) reveal themselves and, hopefully, I can then carry its meaning as intended

What is your creative process?

Creative process for me is a ritual. Everything clean and clear: brushes, water, palette… my mind. Then I stare, make mind moves, stroke styles, color themes, math, and stare some more. Then I mix my colors and go. After all this, stopping is the hard part.

How Cook's Process Culminates

Notice the realistic rose-colored glasses
Notice the realistic rose-colored glasses | Source
Breathtaking!
Breathtaking! | Source

The colors in your artwork are beautiful and marry together well. How do you determine which colors to use? How do you "see" them?

I am well-educated with a degree in Fine Arts, so I should know the mathematics of mixing colors and the color wheel. Fact is, I will use the wheel for reference, but rarely color that doesn’t belong in the black and white. Tonal range is easy to see being color-blind. Some colors “bounce” when next to each other. Some are just too weird to look nice together. I can talk for hours on this subject alone.

Beautiful Pastels

This is a sketch done in water colors
This is a sketch done in water colors | Source
Winding waterway
Winding waterway | Source

How do you describe your artistic style?

I cannot describe my painting style; that is for others, I guess. I usually like to hide elements in my paintings that are there all the time, but not blatant. Many times in a single piece. At times, I will work with geometric planes and use simple shapes to create a flat, yet dimensional effect that makes sense, or not. A good example is in the Yansi painting.

Yansi

Yansi is the Cherokee word for buffalo
Yansi is the Cherokee word for buffalo | Source

Your artistry goes beyond the canvas. You've also designed fishing lures. Please tell us about that.

I’ve always had a passion for fishing, even as a young boy living in Philly, but had nowhere to fish. So I bought fishing magazines and catalogs – anything to get me closer. I learned to tie flies from those books and eventually got good enough to trade my lures for more materials at a sporting goods store. It never left me and is just another way for me to explore the artistic side of creativity. Not just the lure itself. It’s the effective application that is judged by Nature, not people. However, in making the product attractive to the paying customer, I have to alter the design somewhat.

Salt Water Fishing Lures Designed by Dana C Cook

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Various colorful salt water fishing luresGo big!Dana's Trolling Dart used on Miller Time Charter Boats out of Boynton Beach, FloridaTrolling Dart hanging from the cabin of the Miller Time charter boatMahi Mahi caught off a Miller Time expedition using Dana's Trolling DartTrolling Dart in the making
Various colorful salt water fishing lures
Various colorful salt water fishing lures | Source
Go big!
Go big! | Source
Dana's Trolling Dart used on Miller Time Charter Boats out of Boynton Beach, Florida
Dana's Trolling Dart used on Miller Time Charter Boats out of Boynton Beach, Florida | Source
Trolling Dart hanging from the cabin of the Miller Time charter boat
Trolling Dart hanging from the cabin of the Miller Time charter boat | Source
Source
Mahi Mahi caught off a Miller Time expedition using Dana's Trolling Dart
Mahi Mahi caught off a Miller Time expedition using Dana's Trolling Dart | Source
Trolling Dart in the making
Trolling Dart in the making | Source

Where can art lovers and/or fishermen go to purchase your work?

I’m not here to promote anything, but to hopefully enlighten those who are intrigued by the concept. However, anyone who is interested in purchasing my work or place a custom order can reach me via email at danaccook@yahoo.com.

What advice do you have to offer aspiring artists?

Hey, aspiring artists out there! You are already a pro. Don’t unlearn your childhood. Study your art and art history. Be able to create an opinion of knowledge. Create your own tools if you can’t find what you need. Be creative in life, not just your artistic medium. Most of all, appreciate everything!

Thank You, Dana!

Shauna L Bowling, writer and Dana C Cook, artist
Shauna L Bowling, writer and Dana C Cook, artist | Source

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Shauna L Bowling

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      11 days ago from Central Florida

      Genna, I love that line, too. I think his advice to aspiring artists applies to all of us, no matter our path in life. Very profound thoughts from a very talented and gentle person.

      Thank you so much for your comment!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      11 days ago from Massachusetts, USA

      What an interesting article and interview, Shauna. I can certainly understand why Dana's art became the talk of the always in college. Such a marvelous talent...I love his work, and his way of "seeing" and creating. "Don’t unlearn your childhood." That is perhaps the best advice for any aspiring artist I've heard in a long time. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 weeks ago from Central Florida

      "A gift to the engaged". What does that mean?

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      2 weeks ago from london

      Sweet Chuckle.

      I'm asking for something as a gift to the engaged. He has not responded yet.

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      2 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Manatita, I think you nailed it regarding the first painting. And I agree, Dana does have a very reflective, loving appearance. It emanates from his soul.

      I'm thrilled that you're interested enough in his work to reach out to him. I'd be interested in seeing the result of your request.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      2 weeks ago from london

      Extremely beautiful pieces, made more amazing by virtue of his handicap. This piece you asked about looks like a woman in shrouds and hood, down on her knees … it's esoteric, reflecting a bridge between this and the afterlife. Just one take. I'll ask him for some work.

      He has a reflective, loving appearance (face).

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      3 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Dee, I agree with you. The colors are amazing. He's truly very talented.

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      3 weeks ago

      I am amazed at how this man creates beautiful art while being color blind! Such lovely art work and the colors blend beautifully.

    • profile image

      sanea 

      3 weeks ago from settelite town qwetta

      Quetta is from Pakistan is city place

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      3 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Thank you for reading and leaving a comment, Sanea. Tell me, where is Qwetta?

    • profile image

      sanea 

      3 weeks ago from settelite town qwetta

      I would like to interest that information it's very useful information thanks alot

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      3 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Ruby, he truly is very talented. I love Dana's use of color. Very creative, to say the least.

      Did you not see the angel in the first painting?

      Thanks for your comment, Ruby. Much appreciated!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

      I am amazed at the different images I saw in Mr. Cook's paintings. I can't imagine being color-blind and using colors like he does. He is truly gifted. In the first painting, I saw a hooded man with a rope-like necklace around his neck. Thank you Shauna and Mr. Cook for displaying your talent.

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Mar, I'm partial to Dana's pastels, too. His use of color amazes me.

      Thanks for your very kind comment. It's great to see you here!

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Paula, we have younger sister. I'm the eldest of the three. All same mom. Dana and I have the same dad. Sis came after our parents divorced and Mom remarried.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      4 weeks ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Sha,

      You know I loved this interview - especially seeing what Dana has been up to and the fabulous pictures. You look beautiful - a picture reminding me that talent can run in a family.

      I especially love Dana's pastels. It's inspiring that his color-blindness makes him more in tune with the tones of color - and obvious in his work.

      So lovely to see you publish! Excellent interview. Love, mar

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      4 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Of course, I understand...and it makes sense. Is he your only sibling? Same Dad & Mom? Power of suggestion, you sure do look alike........How nice that you both live in Florida! It's a really great interview, Sha.!!

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Paula, I wanted to get clean comments without my followers and friends knowing there's a connection between us. Guess the cat's out of the bag, now, but I'm proud to be Dana's sister, and not because of his talent, but because of who he is!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      4 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Show bias??? BULLSHIT on that!! So what?? You can and should be proud of him.... I'd be shouting it from the rooftops. He really IS amazing. What crazy woman let him go?? Awww nuts....I'm out of the game anyway, honey. He was born in '60...LOL.......I graduated in '66!! I'd hate to get arrested for pedophilia! Or.....on 2nd thought.....LOL

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Paula, I didn't want to show bias when I posted this. That's why I didn't let it out that Dana is my brother. He stands on his own merit. However, I'm very proud of him and wanted to showcase his talent.

      He's actually very well known in Boynton Beach.

      Sister-in-law? There was one, but Dana and I share the fact that we're both divorced.

      Yeah, I'm REALLY proud of him. That's why I wanted to showcase his talent.

      Love you, Sis. And I've always been a brat, just ask my mom and brother! You should know that!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      4 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      OMG!!! You BRAT!! LOL....I want you to know, the very moment I began to read this, I thought to myself (SWEAR TO GOD!) "Oh, this must be Sha's brother, the artist.".....I vividly remember you speaking of him. But since you never mentioned the relationship in your article.....I stopped thinking it was your brother.... I repeat......You're a BRAT! OMG...you can be so proud of him! Soooooooo aHEM! girlfriend......now that I know he;s your brother......if there a sister-in-law???? or can I be HER??? LMAO!!! He's really attractive, in more ways than 2!!

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Paula, I've been waiting for someone to bring up how I met Dana, even though you did it in a round-about way, My article was purposefully written in a way that it would't be obvious. However, I'm too proud to not let the truth out.

      I first met Dana in 1960 when my mom brought him home from the hospital.

      Dana is my brother. He's amazing!

      Look at the last photo. Notice a resemblance?

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 

      4 weeks ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Girlfriend......I totally love this article, introducing such an amazing artist! I'm excited to have met him and learn his fascinating talent, way of thinking and such artistic perfection. I agree, his paintings are breathtaking, Sha!.....

      Getting to meet him and interview him face to face!! You GO, girl. I'm proud of your enthusiasm and professional confidence. What a girl! No wonder I love you!

      (Nice pic...you sexy Mama!!) He's nice looking! I like the hairy chest WOO HOO! (I'm bad) LOL

      Thank you so much for this great GREAT piece of art!! It had to be so interesting to meet him! Love ya, Paula

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Thank you so much for stopping by, Flourish. I learned a lot I didn't know when I conducted this interview.

      As far as the colors Dana uses in his lures, they are mostly to please the consumer. It's the shape, length, and make-up that lures the fish. They mimic bait they are normally attracted to.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      4 weeks ago from USA

      Math is in everything! I enjoyed this. Thanks for showing us some of his lovely work. I've always wondered how people discover they are colorblind. And I guess fish aren't colorblind. Interesting! I never considered the question.

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Dora, Dana is an amazing man. The last line of his advice to aspiring artists sums up his outlook on life. Appreciate everything!

      He'll be pleased that you paid particular attention to Yansi. It's one of his favorites.

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Thanks, Linda. I actually was surprised to learn that math is a component of painting. But, now that I think about it, math plays a part just about every aspect of life. From the tempo of music, to baking, to decorating and more, math makes it all happen.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      4 weeks ago from The Caribbean

      What an amazing person Dana Cook is! All the paintings you show are beautiful, but the Yansi above all with its details and clear divisions into separate areas. His advice gives us a clue to his success despite his challenge. Thanks for sharing his story.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      4 weeks ago from Washington State, USA

      Shauna, I had not heard of Dana, and I'm glad that you introduced us to his work. The first painting is mesmerizing (and yes, the first thing that I saw was the angel). I think every art (music, sculpting, quilting, baking, etc.) is based on mathematics. I'm fascinated by his process. Thanks for the interview and a well-written article.

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Peggy, I have to agree with you. He certainly is awe-inspiring. Dana's work is interesting. The more you look, the more you see.

      Thanks for stopping by and spending time with this phenomenal artist.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      4 weeks ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      It's fascinating to hear from an artist as talented as this man, but to further understand that he is color-blind is awe-inspiring. He certainly has overcome some major obstacles and serves as an inspiration to others. Thanks for this insightful interview.

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Thanks, Bill. I remember her. She was amazing!

      I'm so glad you enjoyed this interview. People who can draw have an enviable talent. Those who enlighten this world despite disabilities are gifted beyond compare.

      Enjoy your week, my friend!

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Thanks for your great comment, John. I saw the latter of your visions in the first painting. I actually saw the angel before I saw the woman. It's interesting to learn what people see when looking at a piece of art.

      I'm glad you enjoyed the article, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

      There was a singer on America's Got Talent who was deaf....beautiful voice....that singer and this artist just blow me away. I can't even draw good stick figures, Sha! How is that possible?

      Thanks for the interview. Just fascinating!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Shauna, I know you had mentioned Dana in the comments on one of my recent poems, so I was waiting anxiously for your article about the colour blind artist. U certainly didn’t disappoint. This was a very good introduction to him and his work. I love his use of color, which may be slightly different but none the less effective than someone not effected by color blindness. His fishing lures sure great too. In the first painting I saw either a monk praying or a woman crying and a small angel near the left shoulder.

    • bravewarrior profile imageAUTHOR

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 weeks ago from Central Florida

      Mary, thanks for being the first one to the party!

      I'm impressed that you saw the angel in that painting. That's the first thing I saw. Then I saw what you call the Grim Reaper. I saw her as someone lamenting her life. The angel is helping her along her way.

      Funny how kismet comes about, huh? Maybe if you email Dana, he can enlighten you on the craft of making lures.

      Thanks for stopping by and Happy Easter!

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      4 weeks ago from Brazil

      That was fascinating. When he referred to using math in art, I never knew those subjects were connected. I didn't realize the the founder of Crayola was color blind as well.

      In that first image, I see the grim reaper with an angel behind.

      Funny how things happen, just today I was just thinking about how difficult it might be to make fishing lures.

      Thanks for bring this artist to my attention.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)