Carolyn Cole finds her voice within the rich traditions of abstraction and creates a cohesive body of work that translates into a language of intense colour, sumptuous textures, and organic compositions. Colour plays an important role in describing the value and mood of each work. Cole’s textured surfaces and abstract artworks are instinctively achieved through the process of applying multiple layers of pigment and collage to the canvas.
An honours graduate of Portland State University in 1977, Cole’s work has been exhibited all over the United States, including the Seattle Art Museum and Portland Art Museum. She spent ten years as an artist in New York City, where she exhibited extensively before settling back into the Northwest in 1991. She is represented by art galleries in Chicago, Carmel, Portland, and Englewood, NJ. Her paintings are included in numerous private and public collections including former Vice President Al Gore, Gordon Seigel, president of Crate & Barrel, former Presidential Chief of Staff John Podesta, Disney Productions, Zale Corporation, IBM Corporation, Kaiser Permanente, RNM Properties, Salton, Inc., TRW Corporation, American Express, Campbell Soup Company, and the Heinz Corporation.
“Painting is a revelatory process that explores the artist’s intuitive relationship to his or her artwork. My work hovers between consciousness and intuition, combining emotional content, observation, technical skill, exploration, and reinvention. My goal is to create surfaces that are visually intriguing with expressive colours and shapes.
Each painting has several layers of paint and collage. I begin each one on canvas, painting on collaged recycled envelopes, continuing until a rich texture emerges. I use acrylic paints, pencil, and charcoal. I paint over areas and scrape the surface with a palette knife to reveal the layers underneath.
This series of paintings reveals the introspective part of my personality. Each one is inspired by its collaged elements and the layers from my past and present. I hope that they reflect my intense desire to paint”. Carolyn Cole.
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