||Cole Johnson has lived in upstate New York
his entire life and now resides in Deposit, New York, a small
town in the Catskill Mountain region. Hunting, fishing, and spending
time in "the woods" have been the preferred activities
most of his life. Favorite subjects include the species he is
intimately acquainted with in the field - the white-tailed deer,
trout, turkeys, hunting dogs and waterfowl.
Although Cole did not study art in high school, he discovered
he had a knack for sketching. By graduation, he was featured
in a local student art exhibit. The encouragement led to a junior
college program in Fine Art at the Munson-Williams-Procter Institute
of Art in Utica, New York, an art curriculum associated with
the Mohawk Valley Community College. Cole
completed his BFA
with a concentration in Painting at the State University of New
York at Buffalo in 1991.
Although he has worked in oils, Cole prefers to work in graphite
powder. "The contrast of black and white appeals to me,"
says Cole. "I enjoy the challenge of making a drawing come
to life based solely on tonal value." Incorporating
the powdered graphite into his work creates a softness otherwise
unobtainable, and gives a distinct "mood" to many pieces.
Use of the eraser as a tool in later stages of the drawing allows
reintroduction of light and depth. Close-up, detailed portraits
of deer, dogs, waterfowl and birds of prey are favorite pieces.
Cole generally produces works in his Smithville Flats studio
after close observation in the field and taking of numerous photographs
In addition to numerous
local and regional shows, Cole continues to broaden his exposure
nationally by attending shows such as the Southeastern Wildlife
Exposition in Charleston, South Carolina and the Waterfowl Festival
in Easton, Maryland. In 1998, Cole was inducted into
of Animal Artists, a prestigious group of animal artists
devoted to "promoting excellence in the portrayal of creatures
sharing our planet."
In addition, Cole has been juried into such prestigious exhibits
as Birds in Art, Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum and the National
Arts for the Parks Competition where he was chosen Region
1 winner and received a Judges Award of Merit. To read more about
Cole's numerous awards, go to the Awards