Emerging Artists | Marcie Cohen

An enduring passion

Marcie Cohen, Morning Light Two, pastel, 18 x 24.

Marcie Cohen, Morning Light Two, pastel, 18 x 24.

This story was featured in the June 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art June 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

Landscape artist Marcie Cohen clearly recalls a moment while coloring, at age 4, alongside her mother, who impressed her by shading areas of a picture with crayons. “I thought, ‘Wow, you can do that?’ It got me on this path of exploration in art,” says Cohen, who went on to take art classes throughout her childhood. Lured by her love for nature, she also spent countless hours drawing, painting, and exploring the wooded areas around her family’s home near Chicago. And so, when the artist-at-heart earned degrees in accounting and education in college, her sidelined passion for art began beckoning her repeatedly.

After moving to Colorado in 1995, where Cohen pursued business ventures in project management and IT consulting, that persistent inner calling only grew stronger. And finally, after taking an inspiring life-drawing class in 2008, she began to listen. Over the next several years, Cohen attended a slew of immersive art workshops and studied intensively with landscape painters Jay Moore, Kevin Weckbach, and Doug Dawson.

Today, still lured by her love for nature, the award-winning pastelist and oil painter frequently works en plein air in the foothills and mountains near her home in Denver—areas she also explores as an avid hiker and cyclist. She also steals away from her studio to capture pensive scenes along the South Platte River like QUIET RIVER STUDY, a tranquil examination of light and shadow along the riverbank in winter. The artist recently snapped up second place in the bimonthly PleinAir Salon for the pastel painting. “I love areas where the land and water meet,” says Cohen. “I love the contrasts that show up there—the colors, the light, the patterns, and of course, the emotions. When I stop to examine a scene, I ask myself, ‘How does it feel there, and what am I connecting to?’ And then I try to put that emotion into the painting.”

Cohen’s sensitive, probing observations of the natural world have turned out to be some of her greatest teachers, no matter where she is painting. “Learning to see and learning to paint are really related,” she explains. “How I see the relationships between everything—color, light, edges, shapes, values—is key for me. Observing where I am, feeling where I am—that all matters, because in nature, I keep seeing more deeply in a different way.” —Kim Agricola

representation
www.marciecohen.com

This story was featured in the June 2018 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art June 2018 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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