Marilyn Cochrane’s paintings are amazingly complex works of holistic vision. Though the finished product approaches photorealism, Cochrane describes her actual process as building “abstract constructions.” She begins by composing with a camera, then bases a watercolor painting off that photograph. Cochrane is searching for an aesthetic balance of light, of line, and most vividly, of color. Because the paintings will eventually contain so much miniscule detail, Cochrane works hard to cohesively convey the full image. Once completed, the painting is often finished with an acrylic glaze to seal and deepen the many layers of color. Alternatively, she may choose to frame the image behind plexiglass, allowing the deckled edges of the paper to show.
Cochrane uses this incredible technique to bring nature to life in her paintings. Flowers at the peak of bloom fill the frames in rich yellows and pinks. An oak tree in blazing autumn reds soars into the sky. Cochrane gives us profiles, birds’ eye views, and often just places us among the plants to allow us to celebrate nature and life.
Cochrane was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and today lives in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. In addition to painting, she has had success as both a fashion designer and a jewelry designer.