Beryl Cook, 81, who enjoyed popular success with her jolly portraits of hefty and sometimes naked people at their leisure, died Wednesday in Plymouth, England, after a recurrence of cancer.
Ms. Cook's paintings sold for $60,000 and up. Jess Wilder, co-owner of London's Portal Gallery, said her record price was $80,000 for Strip Poker, a study of two women and two men in varied stages of undress. In an interview with the International Herald Tribune in 1980, Ms. Cook said she learned to draw from cartoons and was influenced by James Thurber's haphazard style. She also admitted adoring Yogi Bear and The Flintstones.
Ms. Cook's work was spotted at a local exhibition in Plymouth in 1975, and her reputation boomed when one of her images appeared in the Sunday Times the following year. She was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1995.