Cole has described portraiture as “the genre I most enjoy.” She continues, “I find people the most fascinating subject matter. My goal is to capture, through subtle nuance, the humanity, the dignity, and the best qualities of my subjects.”

Trained in the classical tradition, Cole’s portraits echo Rembrandt, Vermeer, Velazquez, and other artists whose works have inspired Cole throughout her career. Most of her portraits have been commissioned by corporations, religious and academic institutions, and individuals; the majority of these works have involved living subjects, though she has completed several posthumous portraits as well.

In addition to the pieces Cole has created for others, she has created portraits on her own, experimenting with different techniques and exploring one of the subject matters she finds most interesting: the figure. Working in oils, charcoal, graphite, and mixed media, Cole has depicted the figure in various ways. In addition to head studies, she has painted half-, three-quarter-, and full-figure pieces focusing on individuals and multiple figures. The resulting pieces have generated praise for Cole’s draftsmanship and smooth surface quality, as well as for her ability to capture the inner spirit of her subjects.

To view samples of Cole’s portraits, you can click on the links below, or use the Portfolio pull down at the top of the page.

Portraiture, paintings     •     Portraiture, drawings