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Alex Cooper

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I am a largely self taught artist, taking advantage of evening and weekend classes wherever I've lived over the years.  I did study at The Academy of Fine Art in Hong Kong for a year in the 90s for two hours a week, drawing pots in pencil under the very critical and rarely appraising eye of Mr Chan!   It was invaluable training in observation though.  I also spent a year part time at a college in New Zealand, where we lived for twelve years, learning printmaking and painting which was fabulous and I would have continued had we not returned to live in the UK in 2016.  I worked as a picture framer in NZ, qualified to Guild level and had my own workshop just outside Wellington that incorporated a gallery to show some wonderful local artists.  Sadly I rarely exhibited as I was too busy framing.

We now live on the borders of Leicestershire, Rutland and Northamptonshire in the beautiful Welland Valley and I'm lucky enough to have a lovely little studio in the garden which I retreat to on a regular basis.  I sketch often and enjoy capturing people going about their everyday business, looking at the colours around us and the shadows that are formed. Although I greatly appreciate the surrounding countryside and rurality of the area my main source of inspiration is the human face, form and body language.

I have developed a love first and foremost for portraiture and figurative work and like to see and paint the momentary expressions that pass across people’s faces and look for the effects of light and shadow and the shapes and subtle colours within them.

Amongst my commissions I’ve painted children and adults in oil and occasionally watercolour, dogs and horses and lately I’ve been tackling landscapes - a different kind of challenge for me and one I will continue.

I recently won one of SkyArts Portrait artist of the Week with my portrait of Clare Balding.

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