though he works also in oil and acrylic, Coles ays his personal favorite is watercolor, which e mastered during a postgraduate year abroad.
Creating timeless landscapes with a clear connection to place.
267 WASHINGTON STREET SUITE 6 WELLESLEY, MA 02481
BOSTON SOCIETY OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS
2011 DESIGN AWARD RECIPIENT
Residential and Garden Design
WELLESLEY, MA 02481 781.237.5751 WWW.DANGORDONASSOCIATES.COM
DAN K. GORDON
Then came the 1980s, a life-altering
decade for Coles. After a long friendship
with architect Nina Baldwin ripened into
romance, they married in 1986, bought
a house in Arlington, Massachusetts, in
1988, and had two daughters, who at 19
and 21 are both college students today. All
the while, he built a remarkable freelance
career doing decorative painting, murals,
dog and house portraits, trompe l’oeil projects, anything that would pay the bills.
For longtime fund-raiser and events
planner Anita MacKinnon of Brookline,
Massachusetts, who has produced The
Junior League of Boston Show Houses
since 2001, meeting Coles was an eye-opener. He had been hired to do all the
room renderings for the catalog, and she
soon discovered his versatility. “He’s one of
the most talented artists I’ve ever met,” she
says, “and he’s so unassuming, gracious,
and helpful. He’s just magic with that box
of paints.” For the league’s Newton, Massachusetts, show house last fall, in addition
to his commissions for several designers, he
created whimsical silhouette figures seemingly climbing the steps against the stenciled painted walls of the back staircase.
The work proved to be a showstopper.
Now, 30 plus years into
his career, those early quixotic assignments have proved
to be a harbinger of good
things. His work is diverse —
from privately commissioned paintings to
large and small residential and commercial murals to choice conservation projects.
Last spring, he worked with acclaimed
stone conservator Ivan Myjer of Arlington at Mission San Juan in San Antonio,