M I C H E L E     C O O P E R





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Michele Cooper has been teaching watercolor for over 25 years in the Pacific Northwest. Her work is featured in "The Ultimate Guide to Painting from Photographs" and Gary Greene's "Artists' Photo Reference: Buildings and Barns",  both published by North Light Books.

Michele Cooper is a signature member of the Northwest Watercolor Society, Women Painters of Washington and National Collage Society. Her work is in collections throughout the United States, Canada, Japan and Europe.


michele portrait

Her workshops have been sponsored by The Pacific NW Art School (formerly Coupeville Art Center), La Conner Art Workshops, Kirkland Arts Center, the NW Studio and many art groups and societies.

Her diversity of work includes marine subjects, still life, figures and landscape. She has been making art and learning to see with an artist's eye all her life. "Sargent, Homer, Renoir and most of the Impressionists are my chosen mentors. I am awed by their vision and work to reach even an approximation of their ability." Watercolor and gouache followed her original work in oil and acrylic. "My oils beckon from a corner of the studio, and I do paint with them en plein air in good weather, but I never seem to get past the open palette of watercolors on my painting table."

Michele is represented by Gallery By the Bay in Stanwood, WA,
The Blue Horse Gallery in Bellingham and
New Dimensions Gallery in Bellevue, WA.

Artist's Statement and Teaching Philosophy

“The artist sees differently” --- a common statement.
     "I will agree if that means that seeing for the artist involves an investigative thinking process rather than a cursory glance used to bring up a collection of assumptions.

I paint so as to better understand my world. I have learned that variations of color and patterns of light and shadow can be infinite. This is true even of the most  mundane subject.  I teach to share the wonder of my discoveries and to exchange with my students the wonder of theirs.”

Michele encourages you to see shapes instead of things. She begins with contour drawing and value studies as a way of exploring the characteristics and possibilities of the subject.  Michele Cooper offers her students thrilling color work. "I do a lot of my mixing on the paper and let the luminosity of watercolor take over. That translucence is an effect unique to the medium of watercolor and the lure that beckons me into the studio for yet another creative adventure."

Here are a few words to students:

“Art is where curiosity meets imagination. It transforms the ordinary into the sublime. Painting is the record of that experience.”

Your subject is skittish. Beginners, sneak up on the subject before it gets away from you! Advanced painters, grasp it immediately and hold on from beginning to end!

Trust your eye. Paint what you “see”, not what you think you already know.

Be eager to learn. Enjoy the journey.

Have intentions.

Do your best ---- always.

Michele Cooper teaches weekly watercolor classes for Skagit Valley College and through the NW Studio from September through May and during the summer has led painting workshops in Washington, Alaska, Canada, France and Italy. She has a new series of weekend workshops scheduled for the year. Her workshops have been sponsored by Coupeville Art Center, La Conner Art Workshops, Kirkland Arts Center, the NW Studio and many art groups and societies.

"Working with other artists in the workshop atmosphere has made me realize how productive we can really be when we build up our skills on a day-to-day basis."

Gallery By the Bay
8700 271st NW
Stanwood, WA 98292

Phone: 360.629.4297

Email: gayle@gallerybythebay.com

The Blue Horse Gallery
301 W Holly St
Bellingham, WA 98225
New Dimensions Frame & Gallery
206 105th Ave NE
Bellevue, WA 98004

Copyright © 2007 Michele's NW Studio