Karen Cooper is a figurative painter, who paint with oil or acrylic paints on canvas. She do not make reproductions of any of my paintings, so each one that you look at is a unique rendering of her point of view.
Looked Out The Bus Window And There You Were. Growing Up.
just received it's traveling orders! Yes indeedy.
The Old Courthouse Arts Center, Woodstock, Illinois, annually produces the juried gallery show Real People. "Real People is a national juried fine art exhibition celebrating the arts through faces and figures."
I am happy to report that the above painting will be showing amidst the esteemed collection of paintings that comprise the exhibit.
The painting is from my series that I fondly refer to as "the bus window series", built on my adventures of riding the city buses in Lipetsk, Russia. For more info of the painting, plus a handy zoom view, click this (link) to visit my website portfolio.
The exhibit will be held at the Old Court House Arts Center in Woodstock, IL, (northwest of Chicago). (art center link)
The exhibit will run from Thursday August 16 through Saturday September 29 and include a gala Artists' Reception.
-Thursday August 16: Real People opens.
-Saturday August 25, 7p -9p CDT Gala Reception
-Saturday, September 29: Exhibition Closes.
I have the reception penciled in on my schedule, I will update as the event gets closer.
Welcome to the Cooper studio, and your newest painting of the week.
Yes, it's been in the website portfolio for several days, but you want to know MORE, don't you??!!
High Noon Al Fresco, Mertsen.
My goal/plan was to absolutely totally completely wash the painting with light. Sunlight. Big sunlight.
After all, it was high noon. A great time of the day, especially in summertime!
Yes, Mertsen is a Lipetsk cafe, and about this time last summer, I did a plein air study that pushed the goal/plan of big light somewhat. I suppose that's the beauty of taking a plein air study back to the studio - you can push the light LOTS. All those woulda/coulda/shouldas can be realized.
I shared a while ago, that at a workshop, the instructor said, "write your focus or central thought right on the back of the stretcher. It will help you stay on course."
I have been pretty consistent with following through on that advice.
Do I still wander a little now and then? Yup. Do I think the practice helps sometimes? Yes.
Anyway, on the back of the stretcher of your painting of the week, it reads "Cavtat walkabout". It conjures up memories of a dropdeadgorgeous day, when we took the water taxi down the coast of Croatia from Dubrovnik to Cavtat.
This painting was a treat to have on the easel. Sparkle and light and good memories, and most every brush full of paint seemed to know where it was supposed to go. Yup, that Cavtat cafe scene had it all.
Let me explain.
Here's the deal: it made a lot of sense to me that the painting should be named after the cafe that we so enjoyed. But in every photo reference I have, the sign was just a little inconclusive, couldn't quite make out what the name of the place was.
Enter google maps, of course. Google knows all. And can point out names of places on the map as well.
Except it wasn't there. I zoomed in on every cafe in Cavtat. Zip. Nada. Нет.
Finally, I zoomed in on one of my photos. I could just barely make out Mlini. On a chance, I googled "cafe Mlini, Croatia".
Did you know there is a town named Mlini in Croatia??!! And it's right on the coast between Dubrovnik and Cavtat!!
The whole time I've been thinking about the adventure, the whole time I've been mentally scheming about the painting, the whole time I was writing on the back of the stretcher with my super red marker "Cavtat walkabout", the whole time I spent putting paint on canvas - I was in the wrong town!
We didn't go to Cavtat, we went to Mlini!!
So, if/when you see this painting in person, you should have somebody help you look at the back of the canvas, and then you can tell them this story :)
There you have it. Caffe Bar Hogar, MLINI, Croatia.
And hey! It's a for REAL studio now! But please, let's take these updates one at a time.
First, let's talk about a gallery!
Yes, I am ever so happy to announce that there are now sixteen (16!) Cooper studio paintings hanging out in a new (to me) gallery located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, ready and waiting for you to experience.
Your pertinent info:
3318 1st Ave NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
We open with a reception on May 10th, 2018.
Pretty exciting, right?? Hope you can come!
ps. stay tuned, I will be taking photos of the new studio space one of these days soon, and you will be the first to see them :)
Yay! Finally the thing photographed sort of well! Everyone always moans about having to photograph something with a lot of greens. Yes, I moaned about this one. But now, for your viewing pleasure, it's Gorky Park Bucolic. (your zoom link: click here)
A lovely bit-o-summer on a canvas. 24 by 30 inches in measurement, and entered in a juried event already. I'll give you updates as available.
And considering we are totally off format this week, I'll polish off the off-format-ness with an exhibit announcement (sort of) The location will be Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I am hoping to have the full set of details to share with you, by next week. Stay tuned.
We have doors. We have windows. We have insulation. We have drywall, sealed and sanded.
Paint (the wall kind) is ready and waiting.
This new studio is just about a done deal.
And in the midst of it, comes one of those happy emails:
"Dear Karen, Congratulations! Your painting, "Looked Out The Bus Window And There You Were. Yes You.", was selected as part of the FAV15% (jury's favorite 15% of the entries) in the February 2018 BoldBrush Painting competition. This honor means that you might be featured in http://informedcollector.com in the coming months. Please login to your account and make sure your bio info is current if you want any additional info to run in that article. Thanks again and congrats again! Sincerely, Clint Watson Software Craftsman and Art Fanatic "
The doors for the new studio came today. I have not even been outside to see them yet, and for a darned good reason. I was pushing the paint on the most recent easel dweller. I couldn't decide which one I was more excited about, the painting or the doors.
The deciding factor was, it snowed here in Grinnell again, and while the doors have arrived, the heater has NOT. I rest my case.
Did you see that title line up there? Not Quite Done Yet is NOT the name of a painting.
What it IS is your clue that we are doing things a little differently today. As in, your Painting of the Week is not quite done yet. As in, not complete. As in, не закончен.
All you get is a progress report. But I am so happy with this painting, I felt no sense in waiting.
The scene: Gorky Park, Moscow. A drop dead gorgeous summer day, when the sun was making lots of things in the park shimmer with light. (An excellent antidote for the weather du jour, definitely.)
And now, on to your visual aids for this entry:
- the original photo that inspired it all.
- focusing on what I decided is important to the story
- seeing it in black and white
- plotting for value structure.....
- artist aids & understanding the tricky parts
- can you feel it??!!
Hopefully by this time next week, I'll have the grand finale for you!