Chris Cole


Once upon a time, in a land far, far away (or more precisely, the west coast of British Columbia, Canada) a small child of peculiar interests and sweet and sugary fancies, picked up a Crayola crayon (most likely a blue one as that was always her favourite colour) and from her small hands and imaginative mind burst forth a masterpiece ... or at least that’s probably what she believed it to be and was perhaps encouraged in this belief by kindly parents going about their chores, greatly relieved she wasn’t using said crayon on the kitchen wall, feeding it to the dog, or eating it herself while claiming her elder siblings made her do it - and as all youngest children know, they most certainly would have!!! This masterpiece in waxy sky blue, or perhaps conservative navy, icy blizzard blue or moody midnight blue, may even have graced a prestigious gallery wall (also known as the family refrigerator) for a matter of days or even weeks before it disappeared into the mists of time.

Years later, the box of 108 Crayolas would give way to pans of watercolour cakes, thick oils, and velvety pastels ... and then to the moody monochrome graphite of teenage years ... and later still to vivid acrylic inks and Prismacolor pencils. And then one day, all of those delicious art supplies that could be lovingly brushed and dragged and swooshed across illustration board and sheets of stiff watercolour paper, clogged under fingernails and spilled on the rug (oops! Waterproof too dammit!) and splattered on the walls, became dusty decorations piled in a taboret next to the drafting board that was now collecting dust itself. But across the room, under a glowing lamp, from a Wacom tablet and stylus hooked up to a computer, something miraculous was happening ... pixels were being smeared and dragged and swooshed across a computer screen just like the brushes of old, but without the mess on the carpet. New things were tried and tested. Experiments were done, new creations began to emerge, and out of this dark, digital alchemy, Mystic Beetle Studio was born.

The images which come out of that studio - which, incidentally, has eight butterflies in it but surprisingly, no actual beetles - reflect my love for ancient and mythical cultures: the Celts; the Mayans, Toltecs, and Aztecs; ancient Egyptians; and Norse. They reflect the colours of the damp mossy forests and the rocky ocean shores of my home. They reflect times that once existed or may never have existed at all, except in my imagination; reality stretched and twisted; things that happen in lamplit rooms behind locked doors or in sacred groves under the autumn moon; the magical, the mystical, the enchanted. They say that authors write the same story over and over again, just in different packages ... I believe that’s true for artists as well, at least when they are making art for their own sakes and not to strict art direction. Things pop up like dandelions in image after image ... I will not say what they are. You can unearth them for yourself. It’s much more fun that way.

My only desire is that you get as much pleasure from viewing my paintings as I get from creating them ... just with fewer muttered profanities and not nearly as much caffeine.




All content copyright  Chris Cole


Photo by Anna Hall Photography 

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