A look into Sallie Cochran's back yard might explain some of her artwork.

A look into Sallie Cochran's back yard might explain some of her artwork.

The sprawling lawn of the New Albany artist is lined with bed after bed of flower and plant, not unlike some of the artwork that will make its way to Cochran's first German Village show.

The show, "Life! Color! Passion!" will line the walls of Caterina, 571 S. Third St. in German Village, through Sept. 15, with a reception slated for 4 p.m. July 27.

"I'm very happy to have my first opening in historic German Village," Cochran said. "It's a wonderful venue."

Cochran has had numerous shows in central Ohio, from the Short North to Jacobson's in the former Columbus City Center, but this show will hold a few firsts for her.

"This is my first one-man show done in this method -- acrylic and glazing," she said.

Usually, Cochran uses pens and acrylic inks for her art, but the pieces in her newest show utilize a new artistic method for her.

Cochran paints on canvas but uses pigment inks with acrylic paints and glazing for a three-dimensional effect.

"It's a material I can sculpt with in painting," she said. "It was a method used in the 16th century. It took me a year just trying to rediscover what I remember about it."

The show will feature 40 pieces of art, mainly consisting of floral and landscape paintings -- some of which reflect the beauty of her own back yard.

Although she gets some help, Cochran said she laid out the perennial beds that surround her home and does a little weeding in the early morning hours.

"My hobby is gardening," she said. "I'm very close to getting my master-gardener degree."

In fact, her inspiration comes from gardens, her back yard, family and her 10-year-old dog, Ani.

"Ani and I have a big family, and they inspire me," she said. "We learn from each other."

Cochran said she got her first inspiration growing up in Youngstown with her business-minded father. While other factories had strikes, Cochran said, her father's welding company never had problems with unions.

"I watched him in awe that he ran his business so well, the union never wanted to strike," she said. "I learned you need a business plan no matter what you do."

After high school in Washington, D.C., and some time in Boston, managing art galleries, Cochran landed a job with Norcross greeting cards in New York.

Despite horror stories she had heard about her boss at Norcross, Cochran said, she found a mentor in the 82-year-old woman.

"She took me under her wing," she said of her boss. "That's how it all started."

Since then Cochran has been commissioned to do work for the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, the Ameri-Flora show at the Franklin Park Conservatory and Bath & Body Works.

Art isn't all business for Cochran, though. The work she's created in the past three years for the show at Caterina is meant to mean something to people rather than decorate walls, she said.

"I'm trying to create a period in time when things seemed easier. I created this to try to draw people into a different time," Cochran said. "Art shouldn't match every sofa."

Cochran recently launched a Web site and said some of her art can be purchased at salliecochran.com. A portion of proceeds from art purchased on Cochran's Web site goes to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and for funding research and a future central Ohio care facility for neurodegenerative diseases.