Off The Wall Magazine Q&A with Cooper Dragonette



Maine.  While attending college in Arizona, I became very homesick for my New England roots. I learned about the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School's sailing program in Rockland. Though I wasn't much of a sailor, I thought I might teach courses for a season or two, but I ended up working with Outward Bound for more than a decade. 


Inspiration.  My parents were creatives: my mother was an artist and my father was a writer. Making art is just something I have always done.


Medium.  George Burk made painting accessible, fun, and—when I was a starving art student—affordable! We painted on mat board and plywood scraps that were gessoed with acrylic house paint from the discount section at the hardware store. What really got me hooked is that we painted en plein air. 


Artist Hero.  Artists Connie Hayes and Colin Page opened my eyes to plein air painting. The work of Edward Hopper and Rockwell Kent continually inspires me. The work of the Wyeths still influences a lot of my decisions and compositions. 


Studio.  On a subzero winter night several years ago, the pipes burst in an unused portion of our basement. Although this was not the plan, that space became my studio after we renovated. When I can, I like to paint en plein air. 


Where in Maine.  I live in the coastal town of Cape Elizabeth. My wife, Jill, and I moved here from Portland about ten years ago, and though it was hard to leave that great little city, we love the local charm and access to the shore. 


Fun Fact.  My full-time career as an artist allows me to be a stay-at-home dad for my two sons. I get them on and off the bus and work my painting around their schedules.


Education.  I was first introduced to painting in college with professor George Burk. Since then, most of my experience in painting has been self-taught. I've taken a few plein air workshops over the years, most notably with Marc Delessio and Timothy Horn.





Learn more about this artist:


Available artwork


Radio Maine podcast interview #88


Radio Maine podcast interview #30


Art Matters blog article 


Off The Wall magazine Q&A


Micro-documentary film