Born and raised in Louisiana, Laura Cooper began life surrounded by water. Her childhood home was on the banks of the Vermilion Bayou in Lafayette. She has fond memories of watching in the tugboats push barges from the Gulf of Mexico as she was sitting on her back porch. She often went on fishing trips with her family in Louisiana and Upstate New York, where her father’s family summered for generations. This early exposure to the maritime world led her to capture the beauty of sailing on canvas. Her work combines a unique relationship between atmosphere and light while maintaining a painterly feel. Her art is in collections around the world. She can be contacted for commissions or pieces that are available for sale.
Recent awards include:
2006 Rockport Art Association Contributing Members Show Mary James and Slater-Brown Memorial Award
2008 Duxbury Art Association Winter Juried Show – Second Place; South Shore Art Center Arts Festival – Best in Show; Quincy Art Association Arts Fest – Honorable Mention; and Plymouth Guild Forty First Annual Juried Art Show – Honorable Mention
2015 Rudolph J. Schaefer III Emerging Artist Award in the International Marine Art Exhibition at the Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport, Mystic CT.
2016 Maritime Gallery Yachting Award in the International Marine Art Exhibition at the Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport, Mystic CT.
2017 Thomas M. Hoyne III in the International Marine Art Exhibition at the Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport, Mystic CT.
She is a Signature Member and the Treasurer of the American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA).
Marine Arts Gallery – The Promenade at Bonita Bay, 26841 S. Bay Drive, Unit 152, Bonita Springs, FL
Mariner Gallery – 267 Spring Street, Newport, RI
Pierce Galleries – 5 South Water Street, Nantucket, MA
Pierce Galleries – 721 Main Street, Hingham, MA
Trees Place – Rt 6A @ 28, Orleans, MA
“I’ve always been drawn to water,” says Laura Cooper—a statement that is abundantly evident in her intricate oil paintings of ships battling the strong winds of the open ocean or bobbing across calm harbors. A Louisiana native, Cooper moved to the Northeast for college where she found herself drawn to the artistic community that shapes the region. “It’s so beautiful here,” she says, “and being an artist here is encouraging because people really appreciate it. They realize the amount of time that goes into it. I can’t express how good it feels to paint here and
how much it motivates me.”
A student and friend of maritime artist Richard Loud, Cooper’s passion for the complexities of sailing vessels and the delicate intricacies of light and water is evident in each of her creations. Born along the Bayou in Louisiana, she spent her early years fascinated by the maritime world, letting that intrigue intermingle with her natural creativity. “My grandfather was a surgeon in New York, and then he became a sculptor,” says Cooper. “Art has always been something that’s encouraged in my family.”
After moving to New England for college and later taking up a career in nursing, Cooper often found herself wandering by the Museum of Fine Arts or marveling at the unique way that Boston Harbor sparkles under the midday sun. “After I became a nurse, I needed a stress reliever,” says Cooper. “I went back into the arts and started really focusing on it. I think that’s when everything crystallized for me, and I started just chasing my passion.”
“Most of my paintings are done through observations and my imagination,” says Cooper, noting that she only uses photographs when painting historic nautical scenes. A sailor herself, Cooper finds moments to enjoy the real life embodiment of her paintings aboard a fully restored 1936 Alden Designed Yawl in Buzzards Bay. She also feeds her creative spirit as a Signature Member in the American Society of Marine Artists. “I focus on what strikes me,” says Cooper about her process. A natural observer, she draws inspiration from the remarkable works of maritime artists like Montague Dawson and John Stobart. “And of course, Richard Loud,” she says. “I’m so fortunate to be able to paint with him. He’s showed me so much.” Cooper and Loud have even sailed together from Westport to Cuttyhunk and Martha’s Vineyard. “Oil is what I love,” says Cooper about her chosen medium. “I just love how you can sculpt with it.” The most exciting part for her is the very beginning of a painting. “Coming up with a composition and starting to put it on canvas is a great feeling,” she says. “I even go as far as stretching a canvas while I’m working on another painting to give me inspiration.” “I like drama and a good amount of gesture in my paintings,” she says. “And if a painting isn’t about the drama then for me, it’s about the atmosphere.” Cooper compares painting to putting together a puzzle. In her case, her “puzzles” are arresting, compelling works of art. -Cape Cod Art 2019 -Allyson Plessner