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Elaine Cooper

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Contemporary landscape fine artist, Elaine Cooper admits to having been engulfed by vivid colours and textures all of her working life, yet surprisingly was never employed as fellow artist and TV presenter, Timmy Mallett’s wardrobe assistant. Originally embarking on a career in textile design, Cooper later turned to fine art as her means of employment and answering an alternative vocational calling, and her work is characterised by a heady mixture of both classical and naïve styles. Yet at the same time, the subject matter remains a pleasing constant, to herself and her loyal followers, and one of mixed landscapes. Be they rolling hills or remarkable high streets, Cooper has historically tackled either with vigour and panache, and as a result of her growing popularity was snapped up by Solomon & Whitehead, then usurped by Buckingham Fine Arts; the respected UK art publishers who represent her and have ensured that she became a listed artist with a strong and successful gallery client base.

Art runs in the family though we soon discover, as it materialises that both of Cooper’s parents were successful artists in their own right, whilst elsewhere in the family there’s a few very accomplished architects to boot. So, accordingly, Cooper and her sister were always actively encouraged to express and nurture our creative talents throughout their childhood. Born in Blackburn in England’s glorious North West, it wasn’t her parental unit who ignited her love of painting; rather her primary school art class exploits which first kindled her passion for it. But as we hinted at the top, on leaving education she instead chose to study textile design and pursue her career within that particular creative discipline for the first chapter of her working life. Working with some of the UK and America’s most well-known textile companies, Cooper quickly built a reputation for creating compelling and exclusive original designs.

However Cooper clearly felt something was amiss in terms of her dormant fine art, and therefore made a career change, briefly teaching art. But this in itself wasn’t enough, and she craved the opportunity to follow her heart and return to her first love of painting, which she duly did. Now an established artist, Cooper’s brushes and palettes are the source of bold, vivacious images that positively bounce with rich colours and tangible texture, and thanks to her grounding in textile design she benefits from what can only be described as an exceptional command of composition and colour. Cooper’s default illustrative setting is habitually hot air balloons soaring above either crooked houses or rolling hills and meadows below, and speaking on this very topic Cooper says; “I have always loved these coloured houses and ever since I was a child I have had a fascination with hot air balloons and the mystery they create as they head to pastures new. The colour and appeal of bright flowers such as poppy’s and sunflowers have always been one of my favourite subjects, in these, my most recent paintings I feel I have combined them to great effect” going on to add; “Inspired as they are by the rolling hills of the English countryside where I have spent many happy hours painting and sketching”.

Cooper admits that whilst her style may have evolved or changed to a certain extent over the years since she changed career tack to fine art; she insists that her evocatively coloured and pictorially presented landscapes have continued to provide the visual platform on which to build her familiar pieces. The warm and glowing reds and golds, indicative of the Tuscan hills – incidentally where Cooper opts to relocate to for part of each year to sketch and take photographs – complete with this terrain’s rich vines and burgeoning olive groves provide a welcome contrast and departure from her terribly English street scenes; all higgledy piggledy houses, shops and erstwhile characters enjoying the homeliness of the canvas.

Championing acrylics and oils primarily, Cooper stresses that she tries to paint what she observes around her, albeit with a healthy dose of both artistic license and additional humour on many a compositional occasion, on account of there being such an awful lot of inspiration all around her at any one time. Working out of her home studio, Cooper finds a large part of her transient influences when she accompanies her husband on his work-related travels for up to 6 months at a time, in his capacity as a tour guide across the hills and mountains of Europe. To date, Cooper’s main body of work has been reproduced as limited edition prints for nearly a decade now, with her original pieces being housed in private collections throughout the UK, Europe and North America.