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Melissa Cole - Artist

About Melissa Cole

Learn more about Melissa Cole from Spokane, WA - United States.

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I paint because I can lose myself entirely within that present moment. Over the last ten years I’ve been delighted to discover that with the most mundane ingredients: acrylic, canvas, copper, clay and wood, I can create something that seemingly vibrates with its own raw energy. That my creations can make people stop their mad hurtle through life to pause, breathe and enjoy an experience. I relish that!

Because of my past experience as a naturalist guide and my present marriage to a wildlife photographer, I’ve been lucky enough to snorkel with salmon, smooch baby gray whales and swim with tiger sharks. It is from these amazing encounters that I derive much of the inspiration for my vividly colored, heavily textured and patterned acrylic paintings. I am also influenced by a childhood spent in India, extensive travels abroad, and by my background in zoology.

Since I can remember, I have been attracted to unusual color combinations and intricate ethnic patterns. These I have seen in textiles, ceramics, paintings, carvings, stonework and stained glass from Mexico to Africa. I am especially drawn to specific patterns that can be found in the artwork of almost every culture. In each of my pieces you will find dotted designs, a distinct border pattern and plenty of texture. I frequently use mixed media, a fusion of different elements, to add tactile dimensionality and visual interest to my work.

My subject matter often includes flora, fauna and female figures. With animals, I am trying to capture their sense of movement and “personality” rather than a rendering in perfect biological detail. In my figurative paintings I enjoy exploring mythology and the melding of strength and sexuality within the female form. No matter what subject I paint, my style is consistent, although it is almost always nature that draws me in.

Melissa Cole joined Licensing on March 28th, 2010.