Glimpses of the everyday and human connection are on going threads within my work. Each painting is inspired by everyday life: a dark sink full of dishes with the sun coming in the window, or my son and daughter sitting with their backs to me, watching TV. I take pictures of these moments; make notes on colour and sketch. Using the photo as a starting point I create the composition on panel and eliminate areas from the image in order to intensify the emotion.

My largest works are 14 metres long and smallest 15 x 22 centimetres. My paintings begin with muted tones, using greys tinted with primary colour, ending with an infusion of bright colour that relates closely to these. I spend a lot of time looking at my palette and mixing groups of colour. Brushstrokes vary between smooth, slow, thoughtful marks and fast, thick layers of paint.

I paint and draw with thick oils on wood; smooth, flat gouache; ink and charcoal on paper. When using oils, I paint quickly with a palette knife spreading globs of paint on a smooth hard surface, wet into wet, carving out forms and building up texture.

I have a BFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MA in Fine Art from Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge School of Art where I graduated with a Distinction in 2017. I was one of 25 artists shortlisted in The Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize 2016 and was a semi-finalist in the Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year Award in 2015. I have shown my work internationally in exhibitions and fairs in the UK, the US, and Italy, including the ING Discerning Eye exhibition, Lynn Painter Stainers Prize, and The Other Art Fair London. I have completed work for exhibition, commission, advertising and publication including in 2017-2018; a commission for a British Airways advertisement; a solo exhibition at The Hospital Club in London; an 8 month artist residency at The Stephen Perse Foundation in Cambridge, one of five winners of The Other Art Fair x Habitat, Print Award in 2018; and most recently I have been awarded funding from the Cambridge University Library to create a painting installation as part of a series of events and exhibitions across the University, celebrating women at Cambridge, ‘The Rising Tide’. for more information please visit;


I was born in Dublin Ireland and spent a large part of my life on the east coast of the United States before settling in Cambridge, England. A lot of the inspiration for my paintings comes from my family and the beautiful landscapes we find ourselves in. I am lucky to share my life with 2 lovely children and a wonderful illustrator husband Owen Sherwood (

All artwork and images are copyright © Emma Copley.