“Drawing and painting is like magic, to create the illusion of life, light and space out of simple materials continues to fill me with a sense of wonder!”
I’m Ed Cooper and I am an Artist and Art Tutor living in Ipswich, Suffolk.
I love to paint and draw. I run several art classes for adults in Ipswich and around Suffolk, helping them to discover the pleasure that comes out of developing their artistic skills. As my own practice as an artist develops, I like to share my recent discoveries or ideas with my students and friends.
In my life perusing art has been about freedom. The freedom to follow my inspiration and let my creativity unfold organically. I now sell my work directly through this website, this releases me from the constraints of gallery restrictions and allows me to make my work accessible to wider audience.
How did I get here?
Making a living from Painting and teaching Art Classes is my dream job. It is both rewarding and challenging. I have periods in the holidays where I can work alone, out in the fields, under the vast Suffolk skies. I have times where I can have a cup of coffee and chat to a student about their painting or give them a hand with a few tweaks to help them go home with a painting they are really pleased with.
I feel very fortunate, especially when I look back. It was quite a difficult journey getting where I am now and often it wasn’t very clear how it would turn out.
In 2000 I returned to Ipswich, with a pretty average degree in Fine Art and a lot of debt. I found myself working in call centers and customer service departments. I enjoyed talking to people on the phone, but was less keen in sitting behind a desk all day whilst the months and years of my life slipped by. Painting and creativity represented a more meaningful engagement with life but for at least six years it remained like an itch I couldn’t scratch.
In 2006 things came to a head and I left my last full time job as a customer service adviser. It was both exhilarating to find myself able to focus on my painting but also worrying to leave the security of a regular income and a fairly consistent CV. For two years I didn’t work, lived a very frugal lifestyle and went out and painted as much as possible. In that period I also studied the theory of drawing and painting as much as possible. I read and looked at blogs and forums with the aim of becoming a better artist. I didnt realise at the time that this period of study would become a great resource when I started to teach.
In 2008 I got my big break. I was just about to return to an office job, when through some good luck and prompting from a friend was able to secure a place to study a PGCE at the new University Campus Suffolk.
I graduated with my PGCE in 2009. That summer I had some more good luck. A local tutor was giving up some of her leisure learning classes and I was able to secure my first teaching jobs, teaching evenings classes and morning classes for adults. From my first class onward I have found it a great pleasure to help people who have a genuine desire to develop their art. It has been a preoccupation of mine for such a long time its easy to relate to both their desire to improve, frustration when it doesn’t work and excitement when it does. There is a quality of magic about it and its great fun to be part of!
A journey in art isn’t linear, it involves a few steps forward and a few steps back, wrong turns and periods when you just don’t feel like doing anything. However I feel that over the years things change in ways that would have been hard to anticipate. This is what makes it interesting.
My hope with my blog and website is that I can share some of that journey with you. Being an artist might seem at times like a solitary pursuit but in my own experience it is much more of a joint effort. On my own journey I have been very fortunate and received a a great deal of support from my parents, my family and friends, artists I have asked for help from either locally or online, teachers that gave me encouragement, all my students who keep coming back and of course anyone who has ever bought one of my paintings.
I hope this page will help me continue to meet people who share an interest in art, life and the joy of learning! – Please sign up to the newsletter if you would like the occasional update of how things are unfolding, to hear about upcoming classes and see my recent paintings!