"Being an artist isn’t just a “right brain” activity---you must use ALL of your brain, body and spirit to create. When the creation is done, the whole is much more than the sum of its parts… and so is the creator." - Lyrae Perry

William T. Cooper

When I got here, my friends shared a wonderful video interview of artist and naturalist, William T. Cooper, by Sir David Attenborough.  Cooper was painting in his studio and talking about how he creates his works.  Cooper lived in the Atherton Tablelands, an agricultural area of Queensland near Cairnes.

William T Cooper





From his website:

His first book was Portfolio of Australian Birds, written by Keith Hindwood. After which, he illustrated Parrots of the World, Birds of Paradise and Bowerbirds, Australian Parrots, Kingfishers and Related Birds, The Cockatoos (a Portfolio of all Species), Turacos (a Portfolio of all Species) all authored by Joseph M Forshaw.

In 1992 the Academy of Natural Sciences Philadelphia USA, presented Cooper with their gold medal for distinction in natural history art. He is the first and only Australian recipient in its 190 year history. Then in 1994, Cooper was awarded the Order of Australia (AO) for his contribution to art and natural history.



William T Cooper’s work is held in many collections around the world including The Australian National Library and the New Guinea government who purchased entire collections of his published works. His paintings have illustrated some of the finest books published. He has also illustrated Visions of a Rainforest by Stanley Breeden & Fruits of the Australian Tropical Rainforest by Wendy Cooper. In 2011 he wrote and illustrated Capturing the Essence, a book that illustrates and describes techniques for artists.

Bill Cooper is a naturalist and has drawn for as long as he can remember. His knowledge of his subjects is evident in his paintings and he prefers to draw from life rather than needing to depend on photographs as the main source of material for his work. He lives with his wife in north Queensland where his studio is surrounded by tropical rainforest.

Painting by William T. Cooper

Painting by William T. Cooper










Cooper’s painting of Princess Stephanie’s Astrapia

Here’s a link to Cooper’s website: http://www.williamtcooper.com.au/

We woke up this morning to the news that William Cooper has passed at the age of 81.  Cooper was well known by bird enthusiasts the world over for his gorgeous illustrations of birds.  He is best known in the avicultural community for his illustrations in Forshaw’s “Parrots of the World”, as well as his illustrations of Doves and Touracos.

Australia ABC News: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-12/queensland-bird-illustrator-william-cooper-dies-at-home/6462116?section=qld

In the video, Cooper talks about trashing the pieces he wasn’t happy with—-I sure would love to have had a shot at his trash!  He will be missed!

Speak Your Mind