international painting annual 1 exhibition-in-print
online resource

Cole Carothers
Milford, Ohio


pages 34-37


In many ways, I think painting is like a diary or journal. It's a measure of my interests, aspirations, and community––physical, professional and spiritual. I've always been interested in making pictures that suggest presence and reality. Initially, my subjects were often invented because I wanted to see if I could make-believe a place, with space, structure and the light of day. I spent a lot of time looking at things to inform my imagination about color as light and shadow in order to create this "reality." Now, I'm working more from direct observation because I want to be truthful about the subject and there are things I might miss or never know without really seeing it.

I think that beyond a believable likeness, painting from life ought to reveal something about the essence of its making, another kind of life. I am fascinated by what other artists paint and, especially, how they do it. The subject draws me in, but it's the surface where a painting lives. For me, those who are most enduring work from life with expressive individuality, integrity and virtuosity. They reveal insight about a process of vision and aesthetic emotion that says as much about their journey as the destination.

Like them, I let revision play a visible and organic role in the ways my paintings evolve. I think this enhances the way a painting might engage its viewer and encourage multiple levels of enjoyment or meaning. I prefer subjects that might easily be dismissed as commonplace yet are difficult to paint. The viaduct and the sink are worlds apart in scale, location, and function. As subjects, they seem so ordinary, almost simple. Yet, each speaks of its singular elegance about mass, motion, time, and space. For me, they are sublime, rewarding subjects to paint.



born: 1949, Ohio


American University, MFA, 1978
Colorado College, BA, 1971

selected awards/honors

Summerfair Inc. Individual Artist Grant, 2008,1987,1983
Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Grant, 1988, 1985
Arts Midwest/NEA Regional Fellowship, 1986
American Academy in Rome, Rome Prize Finalist, 1985

selected publications

The Artist's Magazine: Vol. 23 No.11, "By Way of a Window," November 2006, pp. 44-49.
Manifest Press: Tranquil Dream/The Silent Object, Manifest Gallery, Cincinnati, OH, 2006
Open Studio Press: New American Paintings, Wellesley, MA, 2000

selected solo or two-person exhibits

Manifest Gallery: Tranquil Dream Cincinnati, OH, 2006
Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery: Monumental Miniature, Cincinnati, OH, 2003
University of Kentucky Art Museum, 2002
Miami University Art Museum, 1996

selected group shows

Ohio Art Council Riffe Gallery: Celebration of Creativity: OAC Fellowships 1980-2005, Columbus, OH, 2007
Southern Ohio Museum: Rooms with a View, Portsmouth, OH, 2005
Columbus College of Art:The Object Considered: Contemporary Still Life in Ohio, Illinois and Indiana, Columbus, OH - Portsmouth,OH- South Bend, IN, 2000
Minneapolis College of Art: Choices, Twenty Painters from the Midwest, Minneapolis, MN/ Wustum Arts Center-Racine , WI/ Evanston Arts Center- Evanston, Ill. 1988

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