Inspired to pursue the study of art from an initial watercolor class with Nelson Sandgren at Oregon State University in 1974, Cohen went on to study art at the University of Oregon and California College of the Arts, eventually earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pacific Northwest College of Art in 1985. She has created both pen and ink block print illustrations for publication, created and marketed silkscreened garments and hand painted scarves, worked as a print and web designer, and has shown paintings at William Temple House in Portland, Oregon, and Orcas Center in Eastsound, Washington. In 1999, Cohen earned a Master of Art in Interdisciplinary Studies from Marylhurst University.
Cohen has recently turned her creative focus back to watercolor painting. Painted in a realistic style, her watercolors glow as if in natural sunlight. The lush color and large scale create an emotional impact that offsets her detailed observations. About painting she says, “I paint to encourage and provoke my own experience of the world. A painting is like a song; it can tell a story and be a window into a new way of seeing or thinking about the world. It can be a salve for the spirit or an impetus for change. I hope my work inspires a deeper look.”