New Encaustic Collage Work for 2020

So, I am my usual delinquent self in posting on pretty much all social media, sending out my newsletter etc, but you’ve come to expect that by now, right?  Just wanted to take a minute and say Happy New Year! (I know, we are half way through Feb…) really I just wanted to share some new work, and it seemed rude not to also address the elephant in the room.  Be well friends! Be happy and well 🙂  Shoot me an email/text, let me know how you are and what’s new with you!  xo, gina

Ivory Towers OPP

Ivory Towers – Encaustic Collage – Nine 12″x9″ panels.

Notes to my younger self OPPNotes To My Younger Self – Encaustic Collage – Nine 12″x9″ panels.

This is not a test detail 1

This Is Not A Test – Encaustic & Mixed Media on Wood – 36″x80″ (Above and Below)

This is not a test OPP

New Larger Pieces

Somehow we are already half way through October, and, if I spend any time at all thinking about it, it’s shocking to me that 2017 will soon be coming to an end.   How does that happen?  It’s my goal to update this blog more than once a year, it’s lofty, I know.

If I had my way OPP

If I Had My Way – 36×48 – mixed media on gallery wrapped canvas.

Slitz I don't play

I Don’t Play Favorites, I Just Like You Best – 30×60 – mixed media on gallery wrapped canvas.

Cavalcade Medium

Cavalcade – 32×54 – Mixed media on gallery wrapped canvas.


New Work & Exciting News

First things first… I’m super stoked to share that my work will be included in the June International Issue 13 of Fresh Paint Magazine!

Also, summer is fast approaching… around here when summer rolls around and my little guy is out of school, naturally my studio time is somewhat altered, thats ok because less work means more play. With that in mind I have been a busy, busy girl over the past several months and there is a lot of new work on my website as a result!  Sneak peek below, be sure to pop over to check out the rest!  xo, gc

Win This Painting!

Win this piece and help a really great cause at the same time!

All the details are in the link….


New Work

Finished these last week amidst all the snow and gray skies…(don’t get me wrong, not complaining, the snow was fabulous and I may have discovered that our home needs more than one sled…this Southern girl learned that sledding is really fun! Wheeee!)

Wish I Didn't, But I do“Wish I Didn’t, But I Do” 24×24 mixed media on cradled wood panel


Pick the Place, I'll Meet You There“Pick the Place, I’ll Meet You There” 24×24 mixed media on cradled wood panel


The Intuitive Painting Process

2016 has started with a steady flow of creative energy, for that I am profoundly grateful! I struggled a little in 2015 which was, on a personal level, a very bittersweet year and one which I’m not sad to see end.  On a positive note, we moved  to a lovely & serene area in the country and I finally have room to comfortably have my studio in my home again.  I loved having a public studio, and I do miss it at times, but I’ve come to realize that I’m most content when I can “live” with my work.

So we are almost a month into the new year…and while I don’t usually make New Years resolutions,  I do have one New Year’s tradition that has served me well over the past several years.  Each new year I start the year with a brand new empty journal.  Those crisp blank pages, are like tiny canvases waiting to be filled with the wonders, heartache, joy and chaos of every day life.  Our reaction to daily life, and the results of that reaction, etc, etc… It’s a process, the dialogue of life, you get the idea.

Coincidentally, this is also how I approach my artwork.  All that “every day” stuff inevitably  informs my work, things I see in nature, in the produce aisle, toys, (oh Nelly the toys! ) conversations with my husband or working with our son, all of it is a part of it.  I am in the studio almost daily, whether I’m feeling particularly creative or not, I will spend some time in there.   Because I am an intuitive painter and am currently focusing on non-representational work I have no reference point, nothing physical or “real” to look to for guidance.  My work is in large part mood driven.  Lately I’ve been starting each canvas with written words.  This can sometimes be incredibly cathartic. Song lyrics, or a lengthy diatribe aimed at a careless driver, doesn’t really matter, I’m just after the graphic pattern of black charcoal on white.  You may or may not see any of this in the finished piece, but that becomes my starting point, and I respond to what I see from there.  This back and forth dialogue is affected by the zeitgeist of my day, and again, my mood at the moment. Brush strokes, palette, the overall energy, all of it depends on how I’m feeling at that moment.
This series of photos below are nearing the end of this “process,” showing the subtle and not so subtle transformations my most recently completed piece went through.

MJ 1This is where the “living with my art” part starts.  When it feels like it’s alllllmost completed it comes upstairs to hang out with me in the in family room for a day or two.  You can still see some of written text at the top right.

MJ 2After a couple days in the family room it’s back to the studio.  The negative space on the right gets some attention and the yellow is toned down, more blue is invited to the party.

MJ 3Yellow is invited back, just given a different assignment. And blue may have come on a little too strong.

MJ 4What about a green circle?! I love a green circle!

MJ 5Ok, maybe not, so much…. green circle.

mental jinxAnd, the final piece!
“Mental Jinx”
Acrylic, hand-stained paper, ink and charcoal on gallery wrapped canvas.


Happy 2016!

Finally, new work to share! I have been MOST delinquent with posting my work lately, well, at all.  I am vowing today to do a little better with that… I have even started an instagram account (seriously, I’m that cool now…)  check it out, see?!  That’s me.  And stay tuned for fresh new work, random thoughts and mind blowing news! 😉

HGTV Smart Home 2014 Guest Room & Bath with Artwork by Gina Cochran

A couple of months ago I got some really exciting news from my pal Ron York at York & Friends Fine Art, my gallery in Nashville.  The HGTV Smart Home 2014 design team had been in the gallery shopping and had selected 4 of my pieces for the project!  I saw the video & photos this morning and wanted to share!


And, the absolute cherry on top of this experience… Jack Thomasson from HGTV stopped by the gallery on his way out of town and purchased 4 pieces of my work for his personal collection, kinda exciting business for lil ole me 😀

Apple Carrot Cake with Lemon Maple Frosting

apple carrot cake YUM

I’m not much of a baker, certainly not in the “traditional sense”.  It’s just not a skill I have acquired.  It’s my belief that there is a lot of restraint required to be a good baker.   There are rules and they must be adhered to… There is a lot of measuring required, Oh, and precision… which doesn’t allow for that last minute handful of WHATEVER that I just can’t help but throw in!  Baking…Just, not me.  Then there’s Paleo baking… strange as it may seem, Paleo baking is a bit more forgiving.  I’ve experimented quite a bit and while some things are better than others, everything has been good.  I still don’t bake very often, but I do like to make treats for Hubs now and then.  As with everything I make this cake is not super sweet, if you are looking for something sweeter, increase the honey and/or maple syrup, or substitute a really ripe banana for part of the grated carrots.  There is a LOT of protein in this cake, so it’s easy to justify having cake for breakfast once in awhile!

Apple Carrot Cake

1 cup almond flour

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup arrowroot flour

1/2 cup tapioca flour

1 teaspoon sea salt

1.5 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground clove

1/4 teaspoon allspice

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

10 eggs, room temperature

1 Tablespoon honey

1/2 cup maple syrup

3/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1 Tablespoon vanilla

2 cups finely grated carrots (5-6 carrots)

zest of one orange

1 cup grated apples (about 2 apples, peeled)

1 cup pecan or walnut pieces

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium mixing bowl combine the first 12 ingredients and stir to combine.

In a large mixing bowl combing the eggs, honey, maple syrup, oil and vanilla and stir to combine.  Add the dry ingredients into the wet and stir.  Add the carrots, zest, apples and pecans and mix well.

Oil a bundt pan with a little melted coconut oil, pour in the batter and bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.

While your cake is baking and your kitchen is starting to smell like magic… mix up the frosting.

Lemon Maple Frosting

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

1/3 cup coconut mana, melted

zest and juice of 1 lemon (plus more zest to garnish)

2 Tablespoons of maple syrup

Mix everything together and set aside, allow to come to room temperature before icing the cake.

You can check this cake with the “toothpick” method after 40 minutes, it should come out clean when the cake is ready.   Allow the cake to cool completely before icing.

Paleo Bacon Date Jam, That’s Right…

While I truly enjoy most things Paleo, and Hubs seems to as well (with the exception of Brussels Sprouts, the man protests like a 2 year old when presented with them… really, it’s remarkable) what I do sometimes find myself missing is the variety of handy “condiments and dressings” from my pre-paleo days.   So, over the past few weeks I’ve been putting several of these through a Paleo transformation, so stay tuned for some of those.  During this process I discovered something that  I didn’t even realize was missing from my life… bacon jam…Oh, bacon jam, where have you been all of my life?


bacon jam 1bacon jam 2bacon jam 3bacon jam 4

Now, this recipe does use coffee, which, some might argue is un-paleo.  If you don’t want to use coffee, don’t use coffee, use herbal tea, or water instead, there’s plenty of flavor in this recipe without the coffee. In this case I chose to use coffee considering this is just a condiment and we will only be consuming small amounts at a time.

8 ingredients + maybe an hour total, prep and cook time = amazing flavor

2, 12 ounce packages of center cut bacon, cut in 1/2 inch strips

1 large yellow onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, smashed and minced

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup molasses

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup dried dates, chopped

3/4 cup brewed coffee, or tea if you prefer

In a large skillet cook the bacon over medium heat.  After about 5 minutes the bacon will release a lot of liquid, push the bacon aside and use a paper towel to remove the liquid, we don’t want to “boil” the bacon in this liquid.  Continue to cook, stirring as needed, until the bacon is just starting to get crispy around the edges, about 20 minutes total.

Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside.  Add the onion and garlic to the bacon grease (be prepared, this is going to smell amazing) and cook for a few minutes then add the rest of the ingredients.  Bring to a simmer and cook until the onions and dates are soft and the sauce has reduced to about half.  Add the bacon back to the pan, stir it all together and allow to bubble for a few minutes, it should be dark and rich and amazing.  This last step is optional, to make it more “jam-like” allow to cool then add it to a good processor and pulse a few times.  We actually enjoy it both ways, really, what’s not to love?