Julia Cooper creates uniquely engaging, semi-abstract paintings using oils and mixed media in her studio-home, which is located high above Fowey harbour. Julia's work is available directly from the studio & by commission, via Art Eye
WALKING up the steep steps to Julia's home, through a carefully designed garden, then inside via a 'chessboard-tiled' hallway — a framed painting captures the eye. Within it's quirky perspectives and characterful brushstrokes, there's an interesting visual reference to the black & white tiles which lie below. Journey onwards to the kitchen for a cuppa; you'll recognise the painting's earthy colours, pottery and bottles there too. And so the scene is set: everything has meaning here — this is an artist who excels in making the ordinary extraordinary.
Speaking with Julia, she explains that her experimental approach to painting is fuelled by observations of the everyday moments and objects around her; a simple 'essence of things', which she finds and captures joyously within her art. Her canvas or board surfaces are loaded with colour and form, then scored or scraped back, and from this point the image is tentatively rediscovered.
Looking around at more examples of her work, hung throughout her beautifully restored home — Julia is constantly developing a wonderful visual language; forged by her experiences sailing the Cornish Coastline, and encompassing a passion for earthy colour, weathered texture and creative interior design.
Carrying on up to Julia’s studio — a Rapunzel room three stories above, with it's window high above Fowey harbour — there's a fortunate vista, which clearly inspires. The air and the sounds you get from the river, especially the infiltration of colour and atmosphere — it's like a stage set out there. Chatting some more with Julia, she explains how it plays a huge role in her work;
The energy and undercurrent/surge of tides I look down on through the studio window are mesmerising. Pinning-down colour ripples or flashes of light as clouds cross the water or the myriad reflection of different greens where the trees overhang the harbour edges. Changing every moment, never constant. These are the ideas or thoughts I want to express.
Her art is also influenced by observing seasonal changes of natural colours in the geometric fields opposite at Polruan, and of course shoreline walks; enjoying the rocks, seashells, and the peeling paint on fishing boat’s hulls, changing over time. The weathered shards of wooden wrecks are another interest, plus the layered, decaying surfaces of discarded materials around the harbour. Compelling assemblages are often made out of the pieces of wood which she collects there — and her artistic creations adorn the walls of her carefully curated studio-home.
Julia's passion for style and substance can further be seen in her background as both trained Interior Designer and Fine Artist. She has worked with the National Trust in Cornwall, specifying holiday cottage interiors, whilst also creating beautiful art for their Farrow & Ball-painted walls. When away from Cornwall, she sails the coastlines of the British Isles with her husband — always observing the ever-changing ‘music’, colour and character of the sea.
Art Eye was privileged to begin working with Julia in 2014. Julia’s art features in many stunning art schemes, including the St Aubyn Estate collection, curated by Art Eye, as part of the Sail Loft Restaurant art scheme on St Michael's Mount (see our portfolio for further details).
Julia’s paintings are available to puchase or commission via Art Eye, please contact us to enquire.
Enjoy updates from her studio by joining our Collector’s Club, including access to specially released works — directly from the artist.
Julia's original paintings are also occasionally available in special exhibitions via our Online Store
Enjoy a glimpse into Julia's work & studio-home, here in these wonderful photographs, commissioned by Art Eye. Our registered members can read an interview with the artist and see the whole series, by logging in to our Members Area:-