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Erna Cooper

  • My_book_cover
  • Portrait_of_john_flemming__2_
  • Dsc_0396
  • Dsc_0384__most_accurate_image_of_dad_1947_
  • Emma_cayley_full_portrait
  • Study-of-the-tub_degas___full_image_
  • 20130610230950-airspeed_oxford_cropped_cover
  • 20150720225946-seated_nude__charcoal_on_paper_
  • 20150720230238-nude_in_4_poses__nyu__1986_
  • 20150720230358-nude_in_motion__1986_
  • 20151126181301-joerg_seramimof__pastel_on_black_paper__copy
  • 20151126181527-family_portrait_of_3
  • 20151126181651-dad_s_portrait_framed
  • 20151126181702-study_of_degas__charcoal_on_paper_
  • 20151126190339-study_of_degas__charcoal_on_pink_paper__copy_2
  • 20151126190505-cather_s_unfinished_portrait


Los Angeles, California, USA

Birth year

Beverly Hills High School, grad with Honors
Oxford University, Wadham College, M.St., M.Litt. in Modern Languages (French) and English
UCLA (University of California Los Angeles)
New York University (Fine Art)

performance, landscape, arts-education installation, guild, publication, studio-lofts, government, gallery, cultural-center realism, traditional, photography, digital, figurative, sculpture, exhibition/performance


I am a writer, translator and fine artist, trained at NYU, UCLA and Oxford University. I grew up in Beverly Hills, California and began my higher education with a fine art scholarship to New York University, after placing second in the Beverly Hills Art League's Senior Art Competiton, sponsored by the Beverly Hills Unified School District and the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce.

After college, I left for graduate studies at Wadham College, Oxford, and have lived and travelled extensively over the last twenty years, including: England, France, Austria, Hungary and Italy, drawing inspiration for my art from many places.

At the moment, I am completing a book on aesthetics in women's literature, and will be using my own art for the cover design. The work is entitled Chiaroscuro: Aesthetics, Values and Autobiography in the Works of Willa Cather and Marguerite Duras, and it will be published by Peter Lang's Cultural Identities Series in 2016.

I am, by nature, a portrait artist with permanent installations of my work at Wadham College, Oxford, and elsewhere in Europe. I should note that I provide the cover art for all of my book publications as well, some of which are featured on this profile, including illustration and landscape photography. My private clients (for portrait commissions) are worldwide, including the US, France and Switzerland. I also have a great love of life drawing, and my media of choice are charcoal, pencil, and dry pastel. My greatest inspirations are the Renaissance masters, such as Leonardo Da Vinci and Rembrandt, as well as the impressionists (Renoir, Degas, Monet and Cassatt).

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