Friday, November 27, 2015

Night Ferry on the Vashon Run SOLD

Another version of a night ferry painting  (the other was Night Ferry near the dock).  One of the double-decker boats on the run between Vashon Fauntleroy and Southworth.  This is a twilight moment when the sun has set, but there is still light in the sky and the water is still lighter than the distant shore.  I like the multiple sources of light and the reflections in the water broken by ripples.  This one will be in the Vashon Island Artist Studio Tour at Plum Lodge Painters,  14210 SW Reddings Beach Rd, Vashon WA 98070, during the first two weekends of December.  You're invited.  

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Red Ferry SOLD


 This painting is from a long distance view from Victor Steinbrueck Park near the Pike Place market in Seattle.  The view is looking across Elliott Bay as the ferries travel from Coleman Dock in Seattle to Bainbridge and Bremerton.  The sky was clear and the sun was setting, turning everything on the horizon yellow and red and then dark red.  I especially like the little bits of light that shine through windows on the top deck of the ferry.   I just took this picture to the Bainbridge Arts and Crafts Gallery in Winslow, WA on Bainbridge Island. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Shallots and Stems on Dark Green

Bounty from the Garden.  These shallots grew from individual cloves that we planted early last spring.  The final plants were bursting with bulbs crowding each other.  I liked the stiff straight lines of the dried stems. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Silver Bowl with Limes

Limes are tropical and summery even in the midst of power outages and wet fall storms.  These are painted from a still life I set up in my studio.  I used a piece of cardboard to cast a shadow over part of the bowl and put the background in deep shadow.  This painting has a very limited color palette mostly shades of green, blue green, and yellow green, with just touches of orange and brown for contrast. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

White Camellia Bouquet

The camelllia sasanqua is still blooming though we have snow and rain in the forecast for tomorrow.  It has a lovely tropical fragrance at odds with the cold weather.  I like the stiff leathery leaves against the soft white flowers. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Limes and Pewter Teapot SOLD

The soft glow of the pewter occupied most my time on this painting.  It was actually fun to try to represent the dull shine.  It opens up a whole new window for painting subjects.  Painted from a still life I set up in my studio.  This one will be at Plum Lodge Painters on the Vashon Art Studio Tour on December 5th and 6th  and December 12th and 13th. Plum Lodge is located at 14210 SW Reddings Beach Rd. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Camellias in a Pewter Pot

The camellia sasanqua is blooming just outside the front door and cries to be painted.  It has large white single flowers with stunning yellow centers and a tropical fragrance.  I like the stiff dark green leaves against the soft white flowers.  In our garden,  the most fragrant flowers are from this time of year.  Sort of a bonus to offset the short days and rain.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Night Ferry near the Dock SOLD

A view of a ferry near the Vashon ferry dock late at night.   Night scenes will have multiple sources of illumination and can be confusing but exciting and sparkly.  I simplified the multiple lights by reducing the intensity of distant lights and by leaving out some of the reflections from distant sources.   I like how the darks simplify everything in shadow.  This one is going to Bainbridge Arts and Crafts in Winslow, Washington.  

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Ferry Brown Hill Lavender Water

The long summer twilight paints the ferry with warm yellow light and turns the hills behind a warm brown color.  Another painting of the ferry on the run between Vashon, Fauntleroy, and Southworth.  Painted from photos I took on location.  On my ETSY store:  http://gretchenhancock.etsy.com

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Lighthouse from the Beach

The Point Robinson Lighthouse on Vashon as seen from the beach at low tide.  Strong light from a hazy day casts a shadow on the roof of the lighthouse, leaving just small patches of bright sunlight on the roof and on the driftwood.  This one will be at Plum Lodge Painters in the Vashon Island Studio Tour the first two weekends of December. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Purple Sunset Ferry SOLD

I've been doing lots of ferry paintings lately and I get bored with painting them all blue sky and green hills, so I I go out of my way to find different colors.  What can I say? it's purple and gold.  This one is in my Etsy store: http://gretchenhancock.etsy.com

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Pale Ferry Hazy Sun


A ferry on the Vashon Fauntleroy Southworth run.  Haze and late afternoon sun reduce the contrast in this view and make a substantial ferry seem soft and ephemeral. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Boouquet of Dahlias SOLD

Summer is ending but the dahlias continue to bloom.  These luscious flowers are from a friend's garden.    Most of the flowers were in shadow in this set up; the light was in a small arc in the upper left hand corner of the painting.  To make this painting work I actually painted just a few petals; mostly I massed the values and suggest the colors. The very dark red flowers were like a black hole in the painting and I wound up lightening those flowers and limiting the amount of really dark paint.The fun was trying to make the whole bouquet read together as one thing with light and dark and volume.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Sun and Smoke Ferry Vashon

The Ferry Tillikum leaves the north end Vashon ferry dock.  Sunlight streams through smoke as the boat slowly pulls away from the dock.  Painted from photos I took from another ferry on the same run.  I just put this painting in the Heron's Nest Gallery on Vashon. 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Pink Ferry at Vashon



Late in the afternoon. the Issaquah pauses at the north end ferry dock on Vashon,  Evening sun peeks out from under clouds and casts a reddish glow on the ferry.  I just put this one in the Heron's Nest on Vashon.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Trees Overhanging the Shore

Painted from a view of a quiet bay on Bainbridge Island.  This is a painting that is less about subject and more about mood.  The water is glass smooth and the deep shadow and sunlight suggests a tranquil warm summer day.  This one will be in a show in Artique Ltd. gallery in Anchorage Alaska  opening September 2. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Red Sunset North End Ferries SOLD

This is a view familiar to commuters who are waiting at the Fauntleroy ferry dock late on a sunny afternoon. Two ferries are 3 miles away at the north end of Vashon; the sun has gone behind the hills leaving the ferries in shadow and turning the hillside red. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Burn and Fireweed

A familiar site in the interior in Alaska.  An area burned by fire, but showing new growth with pink blossoms of fireweed.  I like the pink patches and the dark area of spruce trunks in the distance.  This one will be in a show in Anchorage at the ArtiqueLtd Gallery in September

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Hillside Fireweed

A painting of a hillside covered with fireweed in bloom.  Fireweed thrives in disturbed soil and burned areas and is one of the first plants to reestablish after a forest fire.  I like the mix of saturated and less saturated colors.  This one will be in a show at Artique Ltd Gallery in Anchorage in September. 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Rainy Day Sea Stacks SOLD

Painted from a photo I took on a trip to the Washington coast several years ago. It was a cool rainy day, and the headlands and sea stacks were obscured by rain and mist.   A very low tide exposed lots of large rocks along the seashore.  A friend and I explored the tidepools and saw lots of rocks that looked like swiss cheese.  Some sort of mollusc, or possibly a sea urchin, bored these holes into the solid rock for protection. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Mill Bay Cliff and Trees

A view of Mill Bay on Spruce Cape on Kodiak Island.  This one will be in a show in Anchorage Alaska at Artique Ltd in September. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Headlands in Late Sun SOLD

From photos I took on a trip along the coast a couple of years ago.  Lots of moisture in the air makes the distant headlands almost disappear, and the evening sun adds a warm cast.  This one will be in a show in Artique Ltd. Gallery in Anchorage Alaska in September. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Beach Ripples Ninilchik

Cook Inlet has large razor clams, wide sandy beaches and extreme tides. I spent one summer at a set-net site not far from here.  I liked the ripples on the beach and wanted to convey the idea but still keep it loose.  I was very interested in the feel of the gray beach and the distant bit of blue sky.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Pasagshak Purple

The weather on Kodiak can be gray and dark, but when the sun shines, it is magical.  This is a view from Pasagshak on Kodiak Island.  The river parallels the shore and has created a high sand berm.  The distant hill turns purple in the late light.   This painting will be in a group show in Anchorage at the Artique Ltd Gallery in September. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Group Show in Bainbridge opens Friday

These three paintings are in a group show at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts Gallery in Winslow.  The show is entitled The Garden Bench and runs from July 2 to August 2nd.  The opening is Friday July10.  The "Ferns and Foxglove" were painted from a neighbor's yard, and the "White Alliums" and "Purple Chives" were painted from my flowerbeds this spring. 

Friday, June 19, 2015

Roses, Short Glass Jar SOLD

Another painting of my favorite roses.  The glass jar is almost as wide as it is tall, but it makes a nice shaped container for these short-stemmed roses.  When I set up a still life, I position the light to get the maximum drama; that means light from the side or from the back, and not from the front which flattens things out.  The side light filters through the petals and leaves, and there is just a bit of highlight on the rim of the petals.   Painted from a still life I set up in my studio. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Pink Rose, Square Jar, Light and Dark Green SOLD

This rose is a favorite to paint; it has single roses of a beautiful pale pink color.  It is actually the rootstock of a grafted rose; the grafted rose is on the wane but the vigorous rootstock is sending out lots of canes.  I've posed the flower against a green background and enjoy how the cool dark blue green background and lighter yellow green leaves complement the pinks.   Painted from a still life I set up in my studio. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Sweet Cherries and Gold Background

I like this simple compositions, it presents plenty of challenges for me.  I especially like the color of the reflections in the cherries.  I mixed white into the dark cherry color to get a lovely purple tone which my brain interprets as a white reflection.  I like the poses of the stems, they seem conversational.  Painted from a still life I set up in my studio. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Three Cherries on Gray with Reflections SOLD

Three cherries lined up in a row, but with a little bit of variation; a wider space on the right, a taller stem on the left.  I like the soft edges where the reflections on the cherries are close to the values in the background.  I deliberately lost and painted out parts of the stems so that they would disappear into the background.  It makes the stems look like they are curved toward the viewer.  The cherries cast a shadow to the right, but reflected vertically.  Where the reflection and the shadow intersect is the darkest area beneath the cherries. 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

White Cup Stack and Five Cherries

Sweet dark cherries are in the store now and I have to paint them while they are in season.  I really enjoy their shiny surfaces. The color of the reflection in the cherries is actually rather dark; a mix of the local color of the cherry (dark red), the additional darkness from the shadow, and a bit cool white from the tabletop.  

Saturday, June 6, 2015

White Cup and Three Dark Cherries

It's cherry season again.  These are early sweet cherries - so dark they're almost black, so I paired them with white and gray for strong color harmony and threw in just a touch of red and gold in the lightest areas of the stems and fruit.  Although the cup is white and is sitting on a clear piece of glass that is on a white tabletop, the painting is mostly gray, so that only the few highlights are actually white.  I like the little bits of red in the cherries, they seem to glow. 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Purple Chives

Two tall white globe allium are towering over a patch of purple chives in my flower garden.  Since these are perennial, they are among the first flowers of spring.  Painted from photos I took in my garden.  This one is large-ish -  24" x 30".

Sunday, May 24, 2015

White Allium

The flower garden around the house is wide.  This allows me to scrunch up next to the house and get views of the sunlight coming through the tall white flowering alliums.  These early summer flowers have thick stems and stand three to four feet tall, towering over the chives and mountain bluet growing beneath.  I picked several of the alliums for an indoor bouquet and they have a pungent smell, a hint of onions and garlic.  This is a larger painting 24" x 30."

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Mini Daffodils, Glass Vase, Blue Jar on Blue SOLD

Something about this says spring.  This is a mix of all-yellow mini daffodils (which are about the size of a quarter in diameter) and a small white yellow cupped jonquil.  Both kinds of daffodils have multiple flowers on a single stem so the bouquet is light and airy and full.  On my ETSY store

Friday, April 17, 2015

Mini Daffodils and Two Vases SOLD

Both miniature daffodils and regular daffodils fill these two square glass jars.  We planted hundreds of bulbs last fall and surprises are popping up all over the yard.  I like the combination of yellow and gray and even put some yellow into the gray background  to make it all warm and harmonious.  I also like how the big piece of gray in the background follows through the foreground shadows and unifies the whole piece.  There are lots of light speckles but enough solid gray to keep it from being totally jumpy. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Opening Daffodils

Spring has been early and this is the last of the field daffodils from the supermarket, though we still have many other varieties in our yard.  I can't resist these, they are so inexpensive and such a glorious riot of yellow.  I painted this with a cool dark gray background, but when it was done I added yellow ochre to the still wet gray to warm it up and make it all more harmonious. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Two Ferries at Sunset

Another ferry painting.  This time two ferries are tied up at the north end ferry dock on Vashon.  It's late afternoon and the hillside is mostly in shadow; just a bit of orange sunlight hits the top of the hill and lights up the side of the ferry.  The pinkness of the light is reflected in the water below.  15" x 12" oil on panel. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Gold Ferry

A painting of the Vashon-Fauntleroy ferry near sunset when the distant hills dissolve in yellow light​, The sky is light enough to put sparkles on the water and the far side of the ferry is hit with light.15" x 12" oil on panel.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Blue Green Smoke Ferry SOLD

Another Vashon ferry painting.  The ferry is such an iconic image of Puget Sound.  I spend a lot of time muddling through what would be both a good painting and a clear representation.  I enjoyed the lost and found edges, the softness of the smoke and the way the ferry is sharply contrasted on one side and softly disappearing on the other. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Ferry on Sparkles

A view of the Vashon Fauntleroy Southworth ferry just leaving the Kitsap Peninsula on Puget Sound.  The sun sparkles on the water and leaves most of the ferry in shadow.  This is one of several ferryboat paintings I've been doing for an upcoming project.  15 x 12 oil on panel

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Silver Bowl, Lemons, Lavender -giveaway!

This week I'm the Daily Paintworks featured artist!  I'll be giving away this lovely painting of "Silver Bowl, Lemons, Lavender" to a person who has been a Daily Paintworks buyer during the last 30 days.  Daily Paintworks is a website for artists who paint and blog on a daily basis (or nearly daily basis).  There is a gallery of each day's work and links to individual artists and their stores.  Here's the link

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Jonquil Bouquet on Blue and Blue SOLD


This spring I painted many gray backgrounds; but this one is a little more lively.  I put this bouquet of white jonquils on blue and blue and blue.  These are early jonquils, some of the many bulbs that my daughter planted last fall.  The orange centered ones are small and have multiple flowers on each stem.  I really like the large area of blue and the strong contrasting whites and oranges.
On my ETSY Store


Sunday, March 29, 2015

White Jonquils, Square Glass Jar on Gold

More spring flowers.   These jonquils have small clusters of flowers on single stems.  Picked from my garden.  I like the brushwork in the vase. On my ETSY store.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Red Camellia, Round Jar SOLD


This camellia is just fabulous and flamboyant.  The leaves are stiff and shiny and the flowers have such strong contrast between the red petals and the yellow stamens.  Red is a difficult color to paint because it is so intense; to paint a dark red in shadow, the shadow has to be almost black and the light struck areas aren't really pink, they're still red.  It's as though the colors are vibrating in a spectrum that can't be captured by mere paint. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Yellow Daffodil, Square Glass Jar, on Blue

These were tiny yellow daffodils, multiple flowers on a single stem.  I'm really enjoying seeing all the varieties bloom; we planted so many last fall that we lost track of what was what, and now we've got surprises in white and yellow and orange.  I like the spring colors. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Six White Jonquil on Blue

The bulbs that were planted last fall have started to bloom and I have to paint them while the opportunity is here.  This jonquil has a small flower with multiple flowers on a single stem.  I like the blue against the white. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Sunset Creek




I enjoy painting late afternoon and twilight.  The colors are harmonious and the whole scene is shifted to warm oranges and reds.  This is a view of a creek near the Nisqually Wildlife refuge. Painted from photos I took on location. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Pink Camellia on Gray


Another pink camellia painting.  The flowers are so dense and soft and the leaves are so stiff; there's a lot of textural contrast.   I like the lights in the glass jar.  These flowers last only a day or two in a bouquet, but will stay on the bush for a week.  They are among the first flowers of spring.