Artists On Demand ~ Andy Eccleshall ‘Why Do I Paint’

After a brief hiatus, Artists On Demand is back! We are pleased to resume this series with a video of oil painter Andy Eccleshall talking about ‘what drives him as an artist to paint what he does. The film explores his works, inspirations, and passions in a studio conversation with filmmaker Shannon Black’.

Stay tuned for more Artists On Demand videos posted weekly! You can also find our videos (and more!) on these platforms: | | |

Artists On Demand ~ Russian Impressionism w/ Pam Ingalls

Renowned Russian Impressionist Pam Ingalls stuns us again! Her thick, buttery texture and stunning use of color, combined with her simple choice of subject matter, draws the viewer in again and again. Even after watching her technique, the finished painting appears as if it’s magic!

In the video below, Pam “demonstrates her portrait technique at the Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio. Her model is Celina Dill.”

Of course, it’s not magic. But if you want to learn the secrets to her stunning painting techniques, sign up for her next workshop, “Oil Painting in the Russian Impressionist Tradition” this month!

Stay tuned for more Artists On Demand videos posted weekly! You can also find our videos (and more!) on these platforms: | | |

Artists On Demand ~ The Proposal & Angela Bandurka

‘Tis the season for weddings. Just last week we sold six pieces of sculpture to a couple who had six weddings to go to this summer! Angela Bandurka has been commissioned to paint a few wedding proposals, and this is a video of her most recent one. We highly suggest taking the time to watch the entire video – her process is inspiring and eye-opening (and hey, what better way to propose to your love than with a heartfelt, beautiful piece of art!?). If you’re thinking about popping the question to that special someone, check out Angela’s paintings here, or contact the gallery for commission inquiries.

Don’t miss more of her amazing work in her upcoming show Nocturne ~ Night Scenes featuring Angela Bandurka and Ron Stocke his July!

Welcoming Layne Cook to Cole Gallery!

thiscouldbebestartofsomething_30x30_oiloncanvas_2100We are so excited to introduce our newest artist, Layne Cook, to our gallery family! In 2001 Layne decided to pursue her passion of painting, and has been exhibiting her work ever since. Using her life experience to fuel her creative energy, Layne’s favorite subject to paint is the human form; composition, light and shadows, and the use of color are integral in her work. Layne began working with clay in 2007 “and has fallen in love with glazing. The end result has been a merging of the two mediums; her paints have taken on the depth of glazes and her glazing reveals her experience in paint.”

Layne’s thoughts on joining the gallery, her artwork, and her upcoming artistic plans!

I am proud to be joining the superb artists at Cole Gallery. In my view, an appealing gallery presents a variety of professional quality artwork in a cohesive and inviting way, and greets customers with enthmorningstroll_30x24_oilonpanel_1600usiasm but not pressure. Cole Gallery does all of these things.

My artwork is impressionistic and semi-representational. Since I began to work with clay and glazes in 2007, I have paid much more attention to expressing the richness of the paint. This has led to more areas of abstraction within my composition. My favorite subject matter is the figure in either interior or exterior settings, and I am especially drawn to gesture. My clay work is more stylized and generally features women’s faces. It’s tricky to paint with glazes, as most of the ones I use look much different out of the jar than they will look when fired. I make numerous test tiles to reduce the unpredictability, but I don’t want to entirely discourage surprises. I only want to increase the probability of happy surprises.

I have been away from my painting studio for 6 months, as I spend the fall and winter playing with clay in Arizona. I’m buzzing with ideas for new paintings and plan to have a productive and fun summer.

We can’t wait to see what new, beautiful pieces she creates this summer! See her available pieces on our website.


Artists On Demand ~ Finger Painting Vibrant Landscapes

Kimberly Adams, Oil Finger Painter, is a true talent. Her highly textural and colorful landscapes bring joy and light into every room and every person. Disposing of her paintbrushes and using only her fingers to create these gorgeous pieces, “Kimberly’s art represents heart, passion and adventure. Her goal is to share this love with others by inspiring them to pause and embrace the moments around them that can so quickly be lost.” Applying the paint directly with her fingers creates a different kind of relationship between painter and painting – it’s more tactile, more connected. Check out her latest video, in which she “shares the story behind her oil paintings and how her love for adventure finds it’s way into her work.”

From Kimberly: “When you use your heart as a filter, you will never make a mistake.”

Stay tuned for more Artists On Demand videos posted weekly! You can also find our videos (and more!) on these platforms: | | |

Thoughts on Narrative Art ~ Michael Fitzpatrick & Willow Bader

Ballerinas_Blue_30x40_ oil on linen_9000Michael Fitzpatrick is one of the most talented figure painters of our day. Combining stunning realism with beautiful abstraction, he elevates figurative art to the highest level. His paintings are, in the purest form, elegant simplicity.
Bringing his paintings to life with color and vibrancy, he often paints ballerinas “because they are colorful, they tell a story, and using more than one figure works well. Ballerinas usually have attractive bodies, and it is possible to show figures in motion in a believable way. Plus they are romantic.”


Weaving narrative into his art “just seems natural [for me] to try to tell a story with a painting. An idea will pop into my mind and I just go with it, trying to add details that will flesh out the story. For example with the “Bonnie and Clyde” painting, putting stuff in like the flask in the stocking, or the male wearing a t-shirt and suspenders. In the ballerina pieces I bought costumes and had hair dressers at the shoot.”

We are delighted to introduce renowned artist Willow Bader to Cole Gallery – our first ever encaustic artist! On bringing the element of the narrative into her work, Bader said:

“I think a painting with a narrative has an added depth and richness, it becomes more than a painting. The hinged pieces I create are an exceptional good opportunity to create narrative- two to five paintings hinged together tell a larger story. I add to the narrative of my pieces with the titles of my work too. I like to invite and engage the mind of the viewer to enter into the painting, like how the first line of a good story pulls the reader in.”

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Willow’s Jazz & Orchestra paintings bring a unique perspective of the musicians and the music to the viewer, inviting the viewer to pause for a moment and indulge in a personal connection with the painting.

“It all started when one of the members of the board of the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra approached me and asked if I had ever painted jazz musicians. At the time I had not. Very soon I found myself back and side stage at a Seattle Repertory Jazz performance taking photos of the musicians and listing to them play. It really excited my creativity- these paintings are from that evening.
When the paintings were complete I invited the orchestra members to my studio to see what they had inspired.”
Bader_FullCry_ Encaustic28x60_4000           Bader_MutedFlugel_ Encaustic_28x40_2500

“The Art of the Narrative” opens on Thursday, April 21, from 5-8pm with a champagne and dessert reception. To see the entire show online, visit: our website.

Fine Art As Narrative ~ Susan Diehl

I was asked to write a little something about fine art as narrative for the show coming up at the Cole Gallery in Edmonds WA. First, what makes something art? One could say that art is unity…a balance of all the elements between chaos and boring. Another word for art is form. Art with a SDiehl_Mid Day Shade_9x12_oil_900 300 DPInarrative ‘tells a story’. Art without a narrative – in other words, paintings that exist without subject matter (pure abstract art) – relies entirely on form to make its statement.

Form is the ‘stuff’ in art that is not subject matter such as color, texture, value, line, edges etc. Form is the ‘stuff’ that creates beauty. Once an artist puts representational symbols or subject matter into their work one could say the artist has directed the viewer to an easier ‘way’ in to the painting leading the viewer to a conversation within his /her own mind, thus eliciting an emotion. This viewer response is a considerable and perhaps ultimate goal of the artist. Subject matter in a painting is to a painting the same as the lyric is to the music.

Now on to the narrative painting. Sometimes art is hard to talk about as it is visual communication. But let’s imagine a series of paintings. The first one is a large yellow canvas. The second is a landscape. The third is a still life with flowers. Yet another is a city street with cars and pedestrians. Now imagine one that has a little more for the viewer to use to step in to the paintinSDiehl_Warmth_9x12_oil900_300 DPIg, for example a little girl clutching a favorite stuffed animal.  That subject matter is giving a little more direction ‘in’ to the paintings meaning than, say, a pure landscape, although the goal of any painting is to elicit emotion. Now lets imagine a painting that has a little more narrative, or visual story – a man on a boat catching a fish and having a very happy look on his face while his hungry looking wife and kids look on. That is getting more toward a story line with less left up to the viewers own imagination; it is about a man happy to feed his family. Without the family and the happy look on the fisherman’s face, the painting would be less narrative. Imagine a man in a far away boat fishing at sunrise?  There is a lot more the viewer could imagine or make up on their own about how the painting should make them feel.

So when is a painting a narrative painting verses an illustration?  I think a good answer to that is that a painting is an illustration when the narrative is more important than the form of the painting. Norman Rockwell did paintings that were highly narrative, but when seen in person the form is incredible art.
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Narrative is on a sliding scale. One end of the scale is non objective, while the other end tells more of a story or is illustrative. In creating a narrative in painting, the artist is limited in some respects. We do not have ‘time’ as movies and books do. We do not have ‘sequencing’ as a carton strip might have, using many illustrations to tell the story. Our story is an image of one moment in time that has to keep the viewer engaged for the lifetime the patron owns the painting.

This show is themed narrative painting. Each viewer will enter into their own world of emotions reacting to the various paintings on the walls. You, the viewer will come to your own story within each painting. The artist is no longer present or needed. Once the painting is hung the artists work is finished…now it is up to you, the viewer, and your thoughts!


~ Susan Diehl