Thursday, March 1, 2018

Melissa Cole takes a blowtorch to her latest artwork, showcased at Marmot in March

Posted By on Thu, Mar 1, 2018 at 12:19 PM

Melissa Cole, shown here with some of her older work, will showcase her new encaustic works in March at Marmot Art Space.
  • Melissa Cole, shown here with some of her older work, will showcase her new encaustic works in March at Marmot Art Space.

Melissa Cole
’s art bears much semblance to her personality. It’s colorful, joyful and bursting with life.

Cole says she likes to break common norms in the art world, mixing materials and utilizing her own unique process, a byproduct, she claims, of not attending art school but being self-taught.

Most exhibits have an austere “do not touch” policy, but Cole encouraged me to touch her pieces throughout her new exhibit at the Marmot Art Space. It makes sense to feel her art, because Cole plays with various textures in her work. Her newest technique, encaustics, involves moving around pigmented wax with a blowtorch, a process that requires a steady hand and some patience. This results in a web-like, marbled look on the paintings. Although she is incorporating her own style with encaustics, she was first inspired by Seattle-based artist Alicia Tormey. After a workshop with Tormey last fall, Cole began using encaustics in her own art.

“You have to let go a lot more and just see what happens with your pattern. I’m learning more and more about it each time I do it. It’s very different, which is kind of nice, because it pushes me out of my normal boundaries,” Cole says.

Cole’s vibrant work with encaustics is displayed beginning Friday, March 2, at the Marmot — a gallery special to her as she was the first artist whose work was featured there.

Join her this First Friday as the gallery at 1202 W. Summit Parkway in Kendall Yards celebrates its third birthday from 5-8 pm.

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