Lynette R. Cook
Up David Archer Alan Bean Richard Bizley Chris Butler Michael Carroll Lynette R. Cook Donald E. Davis Bob Eggleton Dr. Mark A. Garlick David A. Hardy William K. Hartmann Frank Hettick B.E. Johnson Julie Rodriguez Jones Walter Myers Kim Poor Pat Rawlings Joe Tucciarone Michael C. Turner


Lynette R. Cook

Space Artist

I grew up with an interest in both art and science. As a double major in Drawing & Painting and Biology at the Mississippi University for Women, I began my quest to combine these different subjects into a career. By the time I graduated I had learned that there was a field called science illustration. I knew this was for me. Two years later, after having received my Master of Fine Arts degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts with a specialization in scientific illustration, I found myself freelancing at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, California. This led to the staff position of Artist/Photographer for the Morrison Planetarium at that museum, a position I held for sixteen years.

While much of my early freelance art included botanical and biological subjects, by 1995 I decided to concentrate on astronomical themes. This was the year that the first planet was discovered around a sunlike star, 51 Pegasi, and I wanted to create a painting of what this planet might look like. Soon thereafter the team of Geoff Marcy and Paul Butler announced their first two extrasolar planet discoveries. I contacted Dr. Marcy to ask if he might be willing to share his scientific findings with me so that I might illustrate his new planets. He agreed enthusiastically, and that launched what has now become my decade-long focus on exoplanets and related topics. The artwork I have created has been published in a variety of locations, including documentaries on CNN and PBS, and in the publications Astronomy, Sky & Telescope, Time, Newsweek, Eos (Belgium), Science et Vie(France), bild der wissenschaft (Germany), and Focus (Spain).

I have exhibited my original artwork as well, at major museums, research centers, and universities. These include the American Museum of Natural History, Lick Observatory, NASA Ames Research Center, the Smithsonian, Space Center Houston, and Stanford University. Some of my imagery appears on cards and prints at the Novaspace Galleries.

Currently, my working method is to create color roughs digitally, with final art being completed in one of three ways: 1) traditionally, with a mixed media combination of acrylics, acrylic gouache, and colored pencil, 2) digitally rendered, or 3) as a composite of digital and traditional elements.

As if to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the first confirmed extrasolar planet orbiting another sun, I have illustrated two books on the topics of planets and life in space that are now available. The first is a children’s picture book written by Paul Halpern and published by Charlesbridge Publishing called "Faraway Worlds: Planets Beyond Our Solar System." It is an excellent introductory book, full of colorful art that will inspire youngsters.

The second book is for adults and is titled "Infinite Worlds: An Illustrated Voyage to Planets Beyond Our Sun." My coauthor is Ray Villard, the News Director at the Space Telescope Science Institute. Infinite Worlds includes a foreword by Geoff Marcy and an afterword by Frank Drake, and is published by the University of California Press. This book is an exploration of our cosmos; including topics like the formation of planets and the possibilities for finding life elsewhere in our universe.

I am a Fellow of the International Association of Astronomical Artists and a member of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators.

Go to Lynette Cook's website

Go to Lynette Cook at Novaspace galleries