Ed Cooper began drawing and painting at an early age—and it became his lifetime passion. As a youth, he lived on a farm, worked in the fields, hiked in the woods, wandered the hills, and developed a great love for nature and landscape. During this time, he collected and studied illustrations in outdoor and sporting magazines. He was also greatly influenced by plein air painters of Cape Anne such as Emile Gruppe, by Pennsylvania impressionists like Edward Redfield, and by the artistry of John Carlson.
After high school, he attended the Rochester Institute of Technology and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting and Illustration. He worked for many years as a graphic artist and illustrator before devoting himself full time to landscape painting. During his career, he used a progression of media, from oil to watercolor to pastel to acrylics, but finally settled again on his first love, oil paint.
He won first prize in the landscape category in a national contest sponsored by American Artist Magazine and won the Landscape Art Award at the highly competitive Arts for the Parks competition. Ed is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Plein Air Painters and has also been an award winner in a number of plein air painting competitions, including Paint Annapolis and Plein Air Easton.
I am a wanderer. I like to wander through the countryside or in the city—by car, by bicycle, or on foot. My constant companions are a pochade box—which allows me to do quick plein-air oil color sketches—and a digital camera. I also have several other easels that I use when making larger and more elaborate outdoor paintings.
While wandering, I am constantly looking for scenes or objects that evoke an emotional response in me—something I just have to paint. This may be a majestic scene, an interesting object, a wonderful color, a special atmosphere, or a ray of sunlight striking a distant object. I am particularly interested in painting the effect of light on the landscape in the early morning and late afternoon or evening. These are the times for which I live—the time that has the most interesting light and the greatest emotional appeal to me. When I find something that interests me, I try to capture it in paint.