Jeff Cohen: Paintings and Squares

By admin in Featured Artists > Oil Paintings

This week’s featured artist is Jeff Cohen, a graphic designer turned fine art painter, who uses oil and encaustic on wood.

As you can see, what makes Cohen unique is that his finished works are made up of many smaller painted squares.

Cloud Tower by Jeff Cohen

Each of the painted wooden tiles is slightly different from its neighbors, both in color and alignment, adding a very interesting effect to Cohen’s compositions. Visually it reminds me of looking through thick privacy glass, or windows that have become distorted with age.

In some of his paintings, Cohen uses different sizes of tiles—and for a number of different reasons, depending on the situation.

For instance, in Six Marbles, some of the marbles seem to really pop off of the canvas, while others are more subdued. It’s directly related to the size of the square around each marble.

Six Marbles by Jeff Cohen

The variations in color and line throughout the painting also add interest to the piece.

Here he arranged a trail of smaller tiles to emphasize the shape and flow of the clouds, while at the same time slowly leading the viewer’s eyes toward the water tower.

American Highway Early Spring, Late Afternoon by Jeff Cohen

The squares tend to add an element of randomness to many of Cohen’s paintings, creating patterns which add visual weight to what would normally be considered negative space and turning even his most naturalistic works (flowers, landscapes, figures) into soft geometric abstractions.

SEE MORE: Unique abstract paintings at NUMA Gallery

It’s amazing that introducing such a “simple” element like squares can add so much, and it makes me think of all the possibilities open to us as artists that we never even consider.

If you’d like to see more of Jeff Cohen’s paintings (including some absolutely beautiful figurative works), make sure to visit his website at


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