Iridescent and glowing – Jessica Cooper’s colours make an impact

PUBLISHED: 07:00 20 July 2019 | UPDATED: 14:55 22 July 2019

Sue Holman's favourite work of art is a painting by Jessica Cooper RWA �What would we do without the bathroom sink�.

Sue Holman's favourite work of art is a painting by Jessica Cooper RWA �What would we do without the bathroom sink�.


Sue Holman makes bespoke lampshades from her studio near Honiton. Her favourite work of art is a painting by Jessica Cooper RWA ‘What would we do without the bathroom sink’.

Sue purchased the painting at 'Beyond The Sea Gallery Padstow'.

"It was the simple bold lines that made a huge impact," she says. Indeed, Sue was so struck by Jessica's paintings that she enrolled on an art course at the Newlyn School of Art and met the artist who lives in Cornwall and whose work is in numerous collections worldwide.

There was an element of surprise when Sue told me that it was the simplicity of Jessica's paintings that she loved, as the Lino-cuts that Sue creates and hand rolls to make a shade are more about 'voluptuousness and abundance'.

"The beauty of the natural world through the eyes of a child is the perspective I want to evoke in my work. Giant ladybirds and huge rosebuds, these are the sparks to set me working." She explains.

Sue grew up on a Devon dairy farm, which she describes as full of secret wild places, old apple orchards, clay-bottomed streams, giant elm, sycamore, honeysuckle, hazel hedges and primrose banks all of which inspire her work today.

In Jessica's words, it is the idea of 'creating the essence of form' and 'the importance of a single line' that both Sue and Jessica share.

"I love the way Jessica takes the sink and only presents half the image, and how the simple Orla Kiely cup design is extended leading the pattern of the cup into the space beyond the shape, creating shadow, while her muted palette gives an overall sense of order."

Jessica tells me that the cup was a gift from her son and goes on to say that the 'domestic objects and family rituals of cleaning teeth gives a meaning of home.'

Sue's use of colour is crucial to the heart of each of her shades, either a bright 'pop' or perhaps white or gold to create a softer, moonlit feel. Switching on the light in one of Sue's lampshade adds extra dynamism.

The colours come alive, iridescent and glowing, revealing texture and background brush marks and other layered painting.

"The painting's pure line gives me a sense of comfort in my cluttered world. I need to live more like this picture." Sue concludes.

Don't we all Sue!

Sue Holman: 079031 14725 email;



Dear Reader, if you are in Cornwall this July, please visit Market House Gallery, in Marazion, where you can see an exhibition of my paintings together with those of renowned artist Simeon Stafford. Tel: 01736 710252.

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