31 Women

Jennifer Cole Face of the Mirror - 31  Women

JENNIFER COLE: Face of the Mirror

26 x 43 in

Growing up, Jennifer Cole had her own room—being the only girl in a four-sibling household had its benefits. Perhaps this was also an advantage for her in the spirit of A Room of One’s Own, because it afforded her a place and the freedom to make art and experiment without interruption. Her parents encouraged her natural creative proclivities and put an old door on sawhorses in her room to use as a worktable. Looking back, she realizes “what a wonderful and supportive situation that was!” Cole pursued art because it was what she found enjoyable. In college she studied art at several schools, discovering printmaking along the way. After graduate school, she felt lucky to meet Kay Bradner, the owner of Katherine Lincoln Press. Cole says working for Kay was “where my real knowledge of printmaking took off. I learned to print all kinds of prints, wipe all kinds of ways, and appreciate printmaking in an entirely new way…I believe Kay was the best teacher and I still call her occasionally for help.” Cole also looks at the work of other artists and is inspired by many kinds of imagery, including those by Paul Klee, Kiki Smith, Kazuko Watanabi, Sean Caulfield and Golbanou Moghaddas, to name a few. Above all she is passionate about the process of printmaking. Cole explains that “it’s hard to verbalize, but the joy that comes when working on printmaking is such a lovely and opening experience; that experience becomes the image. It means I go to work and really just enjoy whatever problem presents itself during the making of a plate.” Physical labor is definitely part of her process – scraping, burnishing, re-etching, re-aquatinting. For monotypes this means many layers and covering up parts of images that don’t work and tearing images down. Cole works with very little premeditated imagery, so her prints evolve and transform a great deal over time. Daily routines for Cole include working at Kala Art Institute three days a week, other days she works at home. But mornings are always devoted to a meditation practice and walking the dog or/and yoga, which prepares her for printmaking in deeper ways. She feels this internal kind of work is most definitely expressed in some way through her art and that the understanding of what she learns through meditation and internal self-exploration is expressed visually.

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