Published 12 April 2018
In Conversation with Kerry Cooper
Adult Learning manager Kate Lund met with artist, writer and Brewery student Kerry Cooper to find out more about her art and what draws her to the Brewery.
Kerry studied sciences and had worked in business for many years but has recently focused her attention on developing her practice as an artist. Over the years, she has attended several classes and workshops at the Brewery and is an avid supporter of the programme and organisation.
Several years ago, she attended a Brewery course led by landscape artist Frances Winder. Kerry remembers how Frances encouraged students to ‘always be humble as an artist’, to think about what the landscape is revealing to you, rather than what you can reveal about the landscape in your work.
More recently, Kerry has developed her figurative painting over the last few years, and now works on her art and writing – she is currently also writing a novel – on a full time basis. Attending portraiture and life drawing classes with Catherine Macdiarmid, she has not only developed technical skills but Catherine has challenged, pushed and supported Kerry in equal measure. This active encouragement has given Kerry the confidence to submit work to the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the year competition.
Kerry commented, ‘Even if I don’t go through to the next stage of the competition, the fact that Catherine has given me the impetus to enter a competition has been a really positive and challenging experience.’
It was while participating in a Brewery sketching day at Allan Bank in Grasmere last year that further influenced her work. Guided by tutor Karen Lester, Kerry has been able to ‘free up’ her thinking and approach to working in the outdoors. On that day, she met two like-minded people who shared her desire to capture a sense of place in their art. The three artists have continued to meet and paint in the landscape, and hope to be able to exhibit as a group in the future.