A Beloved Artist and Teacher


Mario Cooper was an extraordinary artist and teacher, who shined in countless roles. His foremost role was illustrator. His design and how he went about researching the subject he was working on went beyond boundaries. For example, Mario illustrated for Collier’s Magazine in the thirties one of his illustration he built a staircase out of cardboard with banister and balusters just to see how light and shadow played. He was that precise.

Mario love to tell a story with in his work. Because photography was making serious strides in the world of art he began to have some interest in the fine art of watercolor.

In 1954 Mario became Brigadier General for the United States Air Force and over the years he had visited the Orient, Europe, Africa and Alaska with other artists from the Society of Illustrators where they utilize artist in the field dealing with planes and aeronautics.

Mario was not only a great artist he was a unique teacher. It is very difficult to find an individual who is exceptional at both. Mario taught not only all facets of art but life. His classroom was a very creative environment. Your mind would just excel. I’m not saying he had  a easy disposition, but in fact he was tough. There is a reason for his toughness if he thought you had something to give that was expected of you. I remember once he made me paint blocks of color values for months and I was not too happy. I even went to him asked to do something else. He ignored me! I continue painting blocks. I learned a great deal painting those blocks.


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February 2015
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