After growing up in Illinois, Cook attended Mississippi University for Women, receiving a BS in biology and a BFA in drawing and painting. After graduating with an MFA from the California College of the Arts (drawing, with a specialization in scientific illustration), she became the staff Artist/Photographer for the Morrison Planetarium, California Academy of Sciences, a position she held for sixteen years.
Via freelance work and subsequent self-employment Cook worked with researchers at the forefront of scientific discoveries; most notably, discoverers of planets outside our solar system. This resulted in worldwide publication of Cook’s astronomical images in books, periodicals, documentaries, and press releases by Astronomy, BBC Television, CNN, The Discovery Channel, Japan Public Television, NASA, Newsweek, Scientific American, Time, and US News & World Report (a partial list). Cook also has been featured on ABC7 News (KGO) and in USA Today.
In 2010 Cook shifted direction toward painting, her first love. She now focuses on the urban environment of the San Francisco Bay Area, from historical landmarks to more common "everyday" scenes. She is a 2016 grant recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation.