By Dusty Ray
Ian Cochrane is a self-proclaimed stay-at-home dad: A family man whose passion is painting the abstract. His paintings are both vibrant and ambiguous, contrasting striking black lines with bright patches of color, reflecting the personality of their penny farthing-riding, mustachioed creator.
“I have never in my life been so passionate about painting as I am right now,” says Cochrane. “It keeps me sane.”
A whimsical character, Cochrane adds a unique style and diversity to the local art scene.
Cochrane’s work has been showcased at La Luz Mexican Grill, Luscious Nectar Juice Lounge and Cranknstein. As of Scene’s press date, his work can be seen in Fort Collins at CooperSmith’s Pub & Brewery (5 Old Town Square) and Opiate Gallery (237 Linden St.). He is also a resident artist at the Aspen Art Gallery, located at 228 S. Mill St. in Aspen, Colorado.
Cochrane is self-taught, taking some inspiration from Kandinsky and early Jackson Pollock. His work has been compared to the works of Picasso, Mondrian, and Léger.
“I don’t really set out with a composition in mind – I like to paint and then let people connect the dots. It’s fun to see what they come up with, like my son, who always sees birds in my paintings.”
Cochrane’s work features thick brush strokes of acrylic, since he finds the paint more forgiving and less tedious than oils.
Cochrane juggles his time between raising his two young children (Eli, 7, and Lulu, 22 months) and painting in his spare bedroom studio.
“I’m very lucky to have a wife (Emily Krawczuk) who lets me get away with being a painter and stay-at-home-dad. She is the real reason I can do this.”
Cochrane has recently put his creativity into overdrive, producing fifty paintings over the course of last year and stamping his name into the wax of the Fort Collins art community.
“Fort Collins really values the artistic community, with programs like Art in Public Places. Websites like LocalEasel.com help to get patrons out to appreciate the scene and allow local artists to connect with one another,” Cochrane says.
You can check out Cochrane’s work at CooperSmith’s Pub & Brewing until April 4 and The Forge Publick House (232 Walnut St.) throughout the month of March. Find out more at iancochranefinearts.com.