Venue: The Main Terminal Building
Aviation and aviation art have been a lifelong passion for British born artist Paul Couper. From an early age he was fascinated by the mysteries of flight and after a number of years as an Air Cadet and not having the academic qualifications to be an RAF pilot, Paul decided to combine his fascination with art and aviation into a career. Prompted by the illustrations in ‘Flight’ and ‘Aeroplane’, he studied technical illustration at Portsmouth College of Art, where the aviation theme naturally flowed.
Upon completion of his studies, his dream started to take shape and he was offered his first illustration job at ‘Flight International’. Here he learnt how aircraft are designed and constructed, with this knowledge and the guidance of some of the best illustrators in the world Paul learnt how to draw and paint aircraft with the technical accuracy needed for such a subject.
After a number of years at ‘Flight’ and armed with the skills learnt there he pursued a freelance career working in many fields including aviation, while all the time honing his aviation art skills and improving them with every completed picture. A move into oils and acrylics gave him the flexibility to paint on a grander scale and with more realism.
In 2002, he was invited to join a like-minded group of artists in the ‘Solent Aviation Art Society’ and was prompted by the positive response at their exhibitions to also become a Friend of ‘The Guild of Aviation Artists’ in 2004. His next dream turned into reality in 2005 when he had two paintings accepted for the Guilds annual exhibition in London.
Paul was proud to be awarded the prestigious ‘Arthur Gibson Award’ for the best painting by a first time exhibitor for the painting ‘Chopburg’
Paul has exhibited regularly since both with the ‘Solent Aviation Artists’ and the GAvA and has won several prizes for his painting. In 2007 he was made an Associate of the Guild of Aviation Artists.