Painter Richard Cole was born in Edmonton and did his art training in Alberta before moving to Vancouver in 1995. He continues to sell his work in galleries in Vancouver, Banff, Victoria, Whistler, Edmonton, Seattle, New York, Switzerland, and Hong Kong. In 2013, he published his first children's book, The Boy Who Paints with writer K. Jane Watt.
Richard’s work celebrates the vast spaces of Alberta's prairielands and the natural beauty of BC’s West Coast, sometimes across the expanse of a canola field in bloom or down the long view of a reach of the Fraser River framed by trees and sky. But his work also celebrates small moments that mark the changing of seasons: bright clover against new grass, the colours of wheat, apple blossoms against the bare branches from which they grew.
Change and movement are captured by Richard’s brush in dramatic ways, including the advance of waves on an isolated Pacific shore and their pull on the sand as they retreat, or the shape of the wind in prairie grass. But so too are stillness and hush – the moment of silence that precedes the crash of a storm, the windless pause that settles the pond the corner of a field, the quiet surface of a river channel that hints at the power below.
“I am inspired by the wonders of the changing landscape,” Richard says. “And I try to paint the intangible -- the ever-changing light in the sky, the smell of the weather before a storm, or the movement of the air around you.”
Richard continues to paint landscapes large and small and has been incorporating the luminosity of silver leaf into some of his new work. And recently he has expanded his repertoire by looking homeward and into memory. He has been working on capturing the human figure – especially his young family – in giant portraits that reflect the gestures and glances that make up everyday life, and he has returned wholeheartedly to the changing prairie landscapes of his childhood.