Brien Cole's paintings have been described as vibrant, detailed and alluring, with the ability to draw the viewer into the painting. Many viewers often initially mistake his paintings for photographs and are amazed at the level of detail and realism; often saying they look 3-D. He is well recognized for his still life compositions focusing on wine themes.
As a young boy, he displayed a natural gift for art, a skill that was nurtured by his mother, who is also a naturally creative person. While his skills were encouraged, he sometimes got into a bit of trouble for pilfering her art supplies without her knowledge just so he could draw and paint as often as possible. Throughout his teen years, he would continue to develop his skills by taking art classes in high school, even having the distinct honor of having one of his paintings selected to be displayed at the State Capital building in Annapolis, Maryland.
After high school, Brien joined the military and earned an Associate’s degree in computer programming. After leaving the military, he began working as a software engineer for the Department of the Defense; still maintaining a love and appreciation for art but not actively pursuing it.
In 2010 (at the insistence of his wife to do a painting for their home) he began painting again. It was then that he realized just how much he missed art. He began using oils and taking lessons from Flemish oil painter Scott Royston, which proved to be the springboard to his art career. Since then, Brien's paintings have been acquired by collectors both nationally and internationally.
Wineries such as Barboursville, King Family, Perigeaux and Elk Run Vineyards collect his work to hang in their tasting rooms. In addition to oils, he is also accomplished in other mediums, including watercolor, charcoal and pencil and is a member of Oil Painters of America and the International Guild of Realism. His work has been commissioned by wineries, winemakers and private collectors alike who want to celebrate memorable moments over their special vintages. He has been a repeated invited guest to many wine festivals and wine events. His work celebrates remembering the most precious moments of life.
My work is about the enjoyment of life and celebrating memories shared with family and friends. Painting in a photorealistic style and using wine and dinner themes as my subject matter, I want the viewer to experience the painting and not just view it; to create the feeling that they could actually reach into the canvas to touch, smell, and taste the objects.
The subject matter of wine and dinner themes allows me to be challenged as an artist because of the many different elements that can be used to make up a composition. I work primarily in oils but also use watercolor and charcoal. The placement of objects in the composition must combine to make sense and represent a scene found in real life: one that would be found at the dinner table among family and friends or an evening dining out with that special someone. Attention to detail, high quality, and fine craftsmanship are the hallmarks I strive to attain in every piece. For me art is not just a gift that I have been blessed with, but a responsibility I have to share with others.