Melissa Cole

Melissa Cole

I create because I can lose myself entirely within that present moment.  
Over the last fifteen years I've been delighted to discover that with the most mundane ingredients: acrylic, canvas, concrete, glass, copper, clay and wood, I can form something that seemingly vibrates with its own raw energy.  I relish the moments when my artwork makes people stop their mad hurtle through life to pause, breathe and enjoy an experience.

Because of my past adventures as a naturalist guide and my marriage to a marine photographer, I've been lucky enough to snorkel with salmon, stroke 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, textured and patterned acrylic paintings and sculptures.  I am also influenced by a childhood spent in India, extensive travels abroad, and by my background in zoology.  I feel it is important to remind people of the natural realm within an urban context.  While I savor my creative time alone, I am equally passionate about involving the public in the art process through my community-built public works of art.

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, 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 an abundance of texture.  I frequently use mixed media, a fusion of different elements, to add tactile dimensionality and visual interest to my work.