St Albans artists selected for the Times Watercolour competition

Julie Cooper in her St Albans studio

Julie Cooper in her St Albans studio - Credit: Archant

An artist from St Albans says she is “thrilled” to have been selected for the Sunday Times Watercolour competition.

Julie Cooper’s ‘Autumn’, an abstract interpretation of the Cornish landscape, is among 90 works – whittled down from 1,200 – selected for the prestigious award.

She said: “It’s fantastic to be selected. It gives me an opportunity to exhibit work and boost my profile.”

Julie began her career in art as a hobby 11 years ago and after starting out using simple acrylic, she now uses gouache - a form of watercolour which appears opaque.

She said: “Long gone are the days before I called myself an artist. When I meet people now, I tell tham that I am a practising artist.

“My husband and my two boys are very proud - they think it’s just wonderful.”

Julie said she would describe her work as an “intensity of colour”, owing to the gouache paint she uses.

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“All my work is as study of the Cornish countryside,” she added. “I have to build a relationship with the subjects, get out and about as much as possible.”

Julie and her husband, Nick, bought a house in St Ives a few years ago where Julie now spends one week a month.

“St Ives is just a few miles from Lands End so it’s particularly remote; it’s just so vast. You can always see the horizon and you can really see the weather. The light down there is so magical.”

Not only is Julie starting to be recongised in the competative watercolour arena (she was selected last year, too), but in the watercolour community, having recently become an associate member of the Royal Watercolour Society.

An exhibition of all the selected artists’ work will take place at the Mall Galleries, London, from September 14 - 19. To view more of Julie’s work, visit