Nicola Cochran

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Medium: Painting

Artwalk 2017 Location: Gallery Lofts, 2412 2nd Avenue N

Artist Statement

What does it mean to know? Other languages express variations of this verb. Using pain and ink, I seek to unravel mysteries about the complexities of relationships. A perception of anyone or anything shifts and expands in time. How can I visually express such complexities? Can I grasp some facet of a personality? Can I explore some fraction of their history? Can I illuminate some essence of their being? Will my two-dimensional media be transformed to express an unseen depth?

In this endeavor I found myself illumination introspectively: Aren’t you seeing me rather than my subject?


I became a mom in 2016 and it’s been the biggest blessing of my life. Yet, this experience has brought with it so many feelings of chaos and anxiety, constantly feeling like I am racing to keep up with all I need to know and be doing to be a good mother. In the midst of this experience, I’ve found short moments, sometimes during my baby’s naps to run downstairs and quickly use my palette knives to spread and mix acrylic paint directly on to wood panels or stretched canvas; whatever is conveniently within reach, or fits my vision for the project. I may use some old wall pain to give a neutral tone or use vibrantly pigmented tubes of Amsterdam and mix it directly into the gesso to build up texture quickly. I listen to audio, usually my dad’s recordings of his Sunday School lessons, and it becomes a time for me to refocus my mind on the bigger picture and what is important. It helps me remember the great gift of Peace in Christ despite all the craziness in life.

When my little one wakes up, I wipe off my palette knives and get back to the constant responsibility of being a mom with a feeling of being refreshed. My hope is that when someone else puts up one of my paintings in their home it will add a serene quality to the room, and that my art will remind them of the deeper peace in life that they can find no matter what else is going on. Pretty much everything I paint has a symbolic significance to me, and I’ve recently discovered that my favorite part of doing an Art Show is getting to talk to people about my work and hear valuable feedback from various different perspectives. It brings a lot of joy to me and is usually very affirming and motivates me to continue pursuing this passion for painting.

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