Artist Spotlight Series: Gina Cochran

I am so thrilled to share my first Artist Spotlight Series feature of 2021.

 This talent is one to know and her works are sure to delight any art lover.

Enjoy getting to know

Gina Cochran

Northern Virginia

What is your training? 

I had 6 or 7 majors in undergrad, none of which were art –  although I did take a couple drawing classes and a couple design classes but I am otherwise self-taught.  It never felt like something I set out to learn, just something I’ve always done.  

What inspires you and your designs? 

Color.  Simple and everyday things, ordinary and extraordinary, just processing it all.  I am currently working in two separate and distinctive media, acrylic and encaustic. While both are paint, technically speaking, they behave very differently and my focus with each is different. With encaustic I primarily focus on collage; simple shapes, hard edges & lines, and color drive the process. My acrylic (mixed media) work often incorporates elements of collage as well, but in a much looser, more fluid and intuitive way. I find pleasure in each equally and I feel that for my art practice they are both essential as each seems to inform the other.

What is your favorite piece?

 It changes frequently, it’s usually safe to say it’s whatever piece I’ve just finished.  So, today that’s an encaustic collage 9 panel installation titled Where The Time Goes

How has the your area influenced your work? 

About 6 years ago we moved from a more crowded and congested area to a pretty rural area.  There’s room to move, breathe and spread out and the vast swathes of varying greens and the ever changing big blue sky are always inspiring.

What is your favorite restaurant in Northern Virginia? 

I don’t have one.  I love to cook and these days I see food as nutrition.  About a decade or so ago I got really into Paleo, I even wrote and published a paleo cookbook in 2013. (I didn’t know a thing about food photography, and it shows, but the recipes are good and I’m still proud of it). During that time my body became so much healthier and stronger.  While we aren’t currently strict paleo, we skip processed foods and grains and eat primarily plant based and whole foods, at 48 I feel healthier than I ever have.  We still love to cook and entertain, but look at food as just part of that now rather than the focus.  

 What is your favorite cocktail?  

Anything salty, dirty or with a lime.

How do you balance personal life and work? 

I don’t try to separate the two, so for me, there’s nothing to balance, it’s all just life.  My studio is in our home, and when we were building it out, I asked the contractor to take out all the doors and enlarge the doorways.  It’s very open to the rest of the house, everyone is welcome and if I have to work on a weekend I can still feel like I’m hanging out with my guys. Having a studio at home isn’t for everyone but I’ve had open public studios before and this works best for me.  

Dream trip? 

Honestly, I think to set out with no itinerary, no destination at all and just wander for a good long while with my guys.  

Dream commission? 

Well, while we are dreaming… I’d love to do a large sculpture garden based on one of my encaustic collage pieces.  I’d love to see how the large scale colorful forms would play off one another in space and light.  And then maybe a photography series of the sculptures from different perspectives.  

Your favorite host / hostess gift to give?

It depends on the season and how well I know the person.  Usually something from our garden, or something homemade. 

Who is your style icon? 

Hmm, let’s say, I do love fashion, but on and for other people. There is definitely room for improvement in this area. I am in paint clothes six or seven days a week.  My uniform is jeans and a T-shirt.  If I have to dress up then it’s black jeans and a T-shirt, and maybe a scarf. Seriously, anything beyond that and I feel like I’m in a costume. 

Your favorite up and coming artist? 

There are far too many to list, but if you look at who I’m following on IG, most are there.

What is your most treasured possession? 

I don’t think I have anything.   

What are you reading?

In 2019 we became licensed foster parents, we had to hit pause on taking children because of COVID so I am spending this time learning more about trauma informed parenting.  But there are stacks of books all over the place, classics I’ve read a dozen times that I like to pick up and read when I have a quiet minute Salinger, Graham Green, Mary Oliver.

What are you listening to?

Lately, Audible!  Every chance I get. 

What are your favorite blogs / publications?

Well yours, of course!  I’m pretty sure you’re the reason we found Quirkle! 

I sporadically read a few health and nutrition blogs, but I’m really trying to limit screen time.

Here is a look at Gina’s portfolio.  

I am absolutely enamored with her series of encaustic sets of 16.  They are mesmerizing. Also follow her on Instagram


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