The original paintings by Alfred & William Heaton Cooper are the foundation of the Studio, both as a source of images for the prints and books and as a living showcase of their lives' work in the gallery. Alfred & William Heaton Cooper both painted extensively in the Lake District as well as other mountainous areas around the world in all seasons and weather conditions.
Alfred Heaton Cooper, one of six children was born in 1863, to parents of modest means, in Halliwell, Bolton, on the fringes of the West Pennine Moors.
As the children grew up, the family made many sacrifices to educate them. None was more proud than Alfred’s father, especially when he left school to become a clerk in Bolton Town Hall, His mother, however, knew of his passion for drawing and painting and encouraged him to submit some of his work to see if he could obtain an art scholarship.
Alfred was successful; in 1884 he gave up his career as a clerk and went to London, where he studied under George Clausen. It is here that Alfred explored the influences of Turner, Constable and the Barbizon school.
Alfred cut short his studies to travel and embark on a quest to capture the very essence of the landscapes he would later surrounded himself with. Alfred returned briefly to the north of England, where he retraced Turner’s journey through the Yorkshire Dales, before traveling in Morocco, and then onto northern Europe.
Travelling extensively in Denmark, Sweden and then Norway, Cooper finally established a studio in the small village of Balestrand in 1891, beside the iconic Sognefjord (nicknamed the King of the Fjords), a place popular with tourists, where he hoped to make a living.
William Heaton Cooper, born on 06th October 1903, in Coniston, in the heart of the English Lake District, was the third child of the renowned landscape artist Alfred Heaton Cooper and his wife Mathilde.
William just like his father loved to paint, and soon followed in his footsteps, gaining a scholarship to the Royal Academy School, London. He all too quickly eclipsed his father’s reputation as an artist, exhibiting at both the Royal Academy, with the Royal Society of British Artists and the Royal Institute.
William’s style of painting is considerably more impressionistic than that of his father; he was fascinated by the ever changing light to be found in the Lake District fells, as a result he would walk for miles in the fells just to glimpse a specific view often camping out to be able to see the first or last light, often resulting in his most spectacular paintings.
William also became an authority on the Lake District’s fells and their geology, spending considerable periods of time walking and rock climbing with many of the pioneering climbers of the 1920’s. This knowledge is vividly apparent in the many illustrations he undertook for the numerous rock climbing guides published by the Fell & Rock Climbing Club.
Through his painting he suggests the deep spirituality he perceived in Lakeland, a spirituality which ran through every facet of his life, and is most keenly seen in his sparse and deceptively simple renderings of those very landscapes. Image, which reflect both the simplicity of his beliefs and the sheer depth of his knowledge of the place he loved so much.
We have a number of original paintings for sale by the different generations of the Heaton Cooper family.