Friday, April 15, 2011

Featured Artist

Gretchen Hancock
Gretchen Hancock has been painting in oils and acrylics and watercolors for over thirty years. She taught watercolor and drawing at the college level and has exhibited in and won awards in local and national juried shows. She has been selling her work in galleries in Washington and Alaska. Gretchen paints still lifes, landscapes and sometimes portraits.
Fluffy White Things, oil on Panel, 6" x 6", Gretchen Hancock 2011
What inspires you in painting everyday objects like salt shakers and egg shells?
I look for interesting lighting effects- I like shiny, transparent, or translucent items. Metal and glass give lots of sparkly highlights and reflections when lit with a bright light. And eggshells are translucent; you get a pink glow where the light comes through.
As for why I paint what I paint --I like painting from life. In comparison to painting out of doors or painting a model, you can control a still life - the lighting is fixed, the items don't move. I want subjects that would fit naturally within the size of a 6" x 6" rectangle and usually try to paint a still life "life size" or smaller. So I wind up looking around the house for subject material. I choose fruits and vegetables because they give lots of color to my painting, and glossy cups and glass jars and shiny metal bowls because they add drama.
Red Cherries on Gray, oil on Panel, 6" x 6", Gretchen Hancock, 2010
Is there particular subject matter or mediums you hope to explore through future work?
I have been painting lots of still life lately and hope to do more plein air paintings locally (Puget Sound area) this summer, weather permitting.
Single Eglantine Rose, oil on Panel, 6" x 6", Gretchen Hancock, 2010
It seems as though a number of your landscapes have been inspired by travel. Do you have any particular destinations to which you hope to travel for future artistic inspiration?
Actually, just the opposite. I plan to paint more local landscapes. I have been looking at the view from my house at night and would like to figure out a way to paint nighttime scenes! You have to have enough light to see the palette and canvas, but not so much light that you can't see the subject. 
Artichoke, oil on Panel 6" x 6", Gretchen Hancock, 2009
Sincere thanks to Gretchen for sharing her delightful oil paintings.  I'm looking forward to continuing to follow her work and hope that she has lots of warm, sunny days for plein air painting this summer!  

What do you think of these landscape and still life paintings?

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