Cooper Hart is a self-taught watercolor artist. His subjects are almost exclusively in the genre of marine art. He is one of a group of painters in the Puget Sound region in the 1970’s and early 1980’s that sought to revive the style of traditional marine painting.
As a young man he worked in the busy shipyards of Seattle, home of the Alaska and North Pacific fishing fleet. Working among fishing and work boats of every description, he observed every facet of the waterfront scene with a careful eye. He was a witness to the end of the wooden boat era in which generations of Northwesterners sailed their sturdy wooden boats north to seek their fortunes on the fishing grounds of Alaska. The epoch of the wooden boat building was drawing to a close by the 1970’s but the boats had served their crews well over decades of rugged use, a testimony to their builder’s skill and craftsmanship.
He began going north with the fishing fleet in order to capture firsthand the story he wanted to bring to his painting. Over the years he has sailed thousands of miles on fishing vessels of various types in Alaskan and Pacific waters to bring realism and authenticity to his paintings.
Cooper Hart began exhibiting his work regularly in Seattle area art galleries by 1985. Before long he was showing his work in galleries outside the Northwest. In 1989 he was given the Award of Excellence at the International Marine Art Exhibition held at the Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT. The museum annually hosts the event featuring the world’s leading marine artists. He won the Award of Excellence again in 1995 and in 2011 his entry to the exhibition received the David Thimgan Award for the best depiction of Pacific maritime history. His work has since been shown regularly at the Mystic Seaport Museum for the last 25 years. His artwork has also been featured in such publications as Sea History, the Journal of the National Maritime Historical Society, and the Marine Art Quarterly
Currently Exhibiting Galleries: Kirsten Gallery, Seattle, Washington; J. Russell Jinishian Gallery, Fairfield, CT; The Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT.