Marcy Cook | Painter

Featured Artist | October 2014

Bio: Marcy was born in Texas and attended Baylor University where she earned her BFA in Painting. She now works at her floral design business, Stems of Dallas. 

Age: 25

Marcy's aesthetic draws from the movement and change in seasons. Marcy's study of color is directly inspired by her floral design work with a primary focus in acrylic paint. She works with varying washes and intense layering to create a surface that evokes a feeling that can only be created and connected through the play of color contrast.

Favorite hangout in Dallas: The Old Monk on Henderson Ave, Times Ten Cellars in Lakewood, and White Rock Lake at sunset.

Favorite Dallas music venue: The Kessler – definitely!

Tell us about your beginnings and development as an artist. When did you first recognize yourself as an artist? What role did creativity play in your growth as an artist?

The first time I realized I loved creating was with my dad as a little girl. I remember staying home from school one day because I was sick, and he taught me how to draw a house, with a white picket fence and long driveway, in perspective. Later on, in high school, I picked up a paintbrush, loved it and decided to study visual arts for my college degree. Creativity in painting, for me specifically, is an outlet in my life that I can’t even really explain. I have to feel rested, inspired and refreshed to paint, but when those moments come, I make the pieces I’m most proud of.

Most of your work seems to give glimpse into seasons, beauty and life through the inspiration of floral design. Can you expand on the draw of floral design and its importance in your creative process?

Floral design, in it’s essence, feels just like painting. Moving elements and textures around to get the overall balance and movement that draws your eye. I think the main thing about floral that inspires me is the intricacy and detail, and unique quality in each specific bloom. It’s easy to be inspired by the grand + great that God has created in this world, but to literally STOP and SMELL and SEE the roses, to focus on the specific and tiny beauty of a dahlia or a peony is extraordinarily inspiring for me. Even the way a specific petal holds and bleeds it’s specific color is mind blowing to me. 

As an artist who is both a full-time floral designer and business owner, how do you balance creativity with practicality and functionality?

Honestly, it can be really tricky. I think over time, I’m learning the power of “no” in so many instances. Passing up the “good” so I can be a part of the “great”. There are only so many hours in a day, and only so many things my hands can create, so I’m trying to allow myself to rest, and to give space to make a mess, to be a mess and ultimately, to create something worthwhile. Being the business owner, is the best part. It's such a challenging and fulfilling element of being a creative person. It’s trying to find the balance between messy and colorful and controlled but organized. Thank goodness I have a business partner who is, actually, organized and steadfast.

Would you describe how vocation and the rhythm of your everyday life gives room for creativity? What other sources of inspiration do you regularly pull from? 

I think the main thing about the rhythm of my everyday life is that it is ever changing. And for me, specifically, that allows me to feel different, always changing and growing, and that ultimately inspires me. Having consistency and too much “normalcy” is what gets me in a rut creatively. The main source of inspiration for me is travelling and seeing the world. Also, when I’m really needing to see and feel something new, I love to check out new artists – there’s something really valuable about studying and appreciating the art + artists that draw you.

What's it like having a physical artist community around you, and a virtual one waiting just a few clicks away? Please describe the importance and how they differ. 

Having a physical community allows me to be free from comparison, and to see the deep reality of art and artists. People who create beautiful things are much more raw than they seem on social media outlets. It’s great to know and appreciate the struggle of life and work in someone who is also making incredible things.

What are you working on this fall, and where can we go to see, purchase, and commission your work?

I’m working on a few commissions for some great people but other than that, taking a DEEP breath to focus on my business. I just got home from a great trip to Italy, and have a few trips lined up for the fall/winter that will help me get refreshed and ready to paint. I’d really like to buckle down and work on a cohesive group of paintings that can be shown together. Since graduating, my work has been changing and growing a lot, and I want to spend this season creating one cohesive body. You can check out my work at, my instagram is a great place to see what I’m making as it’s happening, and at the Rachel Nash Gallery.