Nocturne ~ Night Scenes with Angela Bandurka & Ron Stocke

July brings us longer days and beautiful summer nights. We wanted to celebrate and explore the beauty of the evening – the alluring city lights and  and the bewitching night skies – in our upcoming exhibit ‘Nocturne ~ Night Scenes featuring Angela Bandurka & Ron Stocke’.

From Angela Bandurka:

 “I’ve been drawing to painting night scenes for a couple of years, beginning in my studio painting candles. The light is so unique when you paint in the dark – and the challenge of painting with a small lamp on my canvas and palette are exhilarating. This upcoming series of nocturnal images deal with a city at night, and looking into store windows and the peaceful solitude of the city in the evening after the shops have closed. I used resource photography for most of the paintings I’m working on this time around, which presents its own challenges. Getting to my settings before it’s fully dark, but allowing the contrast to be heightened after the sun sets. Playing with cool and warm light sources. I limited my palette, using no black but instead a mix of browns and blues for my darks which allowed me to switch between warm and cool darks easily without making my painting look heavy or muddy. I have really enjoyed painting these pieces and look forward to continuing the series.”

From Ron Stocke:

“Night scenes can be a challenge for watercolorist. Most of the time the sky is our lightest value in a painting, but when painting a nocturnal piece, your darkest values are usually in the sky. This presents a challenge of where to begin your piece. For me, it’s all about the light. Daylight can be more harsh with a single, bright light source coming from above. Night scenes can be lit by multiple sources of light in any direction, in different color temperatures, and with varied shadows. This gives me the freedom to play with lost and found edges, to create interesting and dramatic reflections, and silhouetted figures – all of which can really impact the mood of the painting. This series was exhilarating to create as it was technically challenging and at the same time allowed for some exciting artistic expression.”

Join us for a special evening of wine and hors d’oeuvres, celebrating these artists at the Nocturne Show on Saturday July 9th, 6:30-9:00pm.


Pure Devotion

Thirteen years ago, after having been a watercolorist for several years I (Denise) decided I wanted to try my hand at oil painting. I had heard about this great instructor and artist, Pam Ingalls and signed up for a workshop.

Pam began her workshop with a one hour demo. I was mesmerized. Her buttery, creamy brush strokes, full of color, sweeping across the canvas (actually board), playing cool against warm, light against dark…It was simply breathtaking. From that moment on I was Pam Ingalls’s biggest fan.

ingalls_Tables for two_oil_8x20_2500

I was captivated with how Pam could take the simplest of subjects and make them into great art! From the humble cast iron skillet with two fried eggs, to a claw foot bath tub, a parquet kitchen floor against a kitchen sink, she took plain, old and boring and created paintings that practically made me weep! As a student, I followed her with pure devotion and knew that she would be a huge part of my own artistic inspiration.

Over the years I have watched her international reputation build as her widely collected work has been exhibited not only in the US but in Europe and Africa, (Pam is in New Zealand as I am writing this). When I opened Cole Gallery, I hoped one day that she would consider joining our ranks as we expanded our reach both in collectors and artists from local to national and I am delighted to announce that Pam Ingalls is now a member of the Cole Gallery line up!

Carly's Tub

Pam currently has three paintings in the gallery, with more on the way. She will be a feature artist in October. What can I say, I am so proud and happy to have her be a part of the Cole Gallery vision. Here are a few words from Pam:

I paint simple things – the things I see, am attached to and love. Every subject contains an essence that belongs to just that moment. I get to be with that feeling while I translate it into the poetry of paint. As I become more aware, I keep learning that truth is everywhere. Painting is my way to see and tell the truth. I hope that I’ll inspire others to look twice at the beauty of their everyday lives…and to find their own way of expressing that.”

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While painting with a friend, Cole Gallery artist Angela Bandurka, noticed some really cool, iridescent yellowy glass bowls on her counter. The friend told Angela that the glass bowls were called “Carnival Glass”.


Carnival glass was first produced in 1907 by the Fenton Glass Company in West Virginia. It is inexpensively made glassware treated with an application of metallic salts while the glass is still hot from the pressing. The final firing of the glass brings out the iridescent properties of the salts, giving carnival glass the distinct shine it is known for.

Carnival glass items were sometimes given as prizes at carnivals and fairgrounds in the 1950s. However, the vast majority of the glass was purchased by housewives to adorn their homes with affordable fancy vases and decorative bowls.

Angela borrowed two of the Carnival glasses from her friend and went home to paint. She set up the glass with a rose and some greenery in her studio and began the painting process. Angela believes that painting from life allows an artist to capture all the richness and variety of value and color—it is just not possible to get all that from a photo.

The painting was name Thesmophoria via a Facebook naming request where Angela asked her fans to help her name the painting. Thesmophoria is the name of an ancient Greek Harvest Celebration.

Angela will be one of the feature artists for our upcoming November–December “The Lively Still Life” show. Thesmophoria will be on display for the show.

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Let There Be Light!

Barbara Benedetti Newton creates stunning landscapes scenes in oil. You can see her paintings at Cole Gallery this month during her feature show titled “Northwest Light.” Barbara shares the following in regard to some changes she is making in her studio to improve her paintings.


I love to move furniture around in our house…everything old seems new again. However, with the purchase of a five-ton sleeper sofa, installation of hanging lights over the dining table, and the addition last summer of a super heavy Sleep Number bed, the furniture I can move is dwindling, and I don’t like that. I have a deep desire to recreate and renew living and working spaces.

Over the years, I have repainted, arranged, and rearranged by painting studio. Through it all, my office area has stayed in the same corner for more than 20 years. That is, until just last week.

Cole Gallery has asked me to paint some larger oils. I couldn’t imagine how I would paint larger in my current studio set up. So, I began to ponder switching my office corner with my painting corner. Once I measured, and was willing to give up my old Boeing Surplus metal desk because it just wouldn’t fit, I got excited to make the change. There was just one problem. The lighting in my current painting corner was not that great. It would be even worse in the opposite corner.

Fortunately, my husband came to the rescue. He offered to replace the overhead fluorescent light with track lighting. Hooray!

I won’t go into the details of what a big mess it made to make the switch or what three days of lifting, shoving, sorting, and organizing felt like, I’ll just show you the before and after photos.

studio 1

This photo is what my painting area looked like before I switched it with my office area.

studio 2

This photo shows my new painting area with the track lighting. My new painting area has the pastels on the drafting table to the left of the easel and the glass area for oil painting on the right. And, because of the track lighting, I can actually SEE. I look forward to creating those larger oil paintings for Cole Gallery!

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Northwest Lights

Northwest Lights is our next show that will run from February 21 through March 18, 2013. This show features two Cole Gallery artists known for their stunning pastels and oils: Sandy Byers and Barbara Benedetti Newton.

Love is Love

Sandy Byers showed a strong and earnest interest in drawing at a young age. Her parents enrolled her in private oil painting lessons. With the first stroke of her brush, Sandy’s passion for painting began. Her natural style was of a realistic nature and that is what she is still known for today.

The soft and luscious pastel and oil paintings created by Sandy seep into your soul and captivate you to the core. She brings a beautiful show of cherished furry friends and awe-inspiring Northwest landscapes. Of her paintings, Sandy says, “I want to paint those things which cause a sudden and constant lump in my throat, a thought that won’t go away or an image that swirls around in my mind’s eye until it can finally come to life on the easel.”

Golden Gardens Pond

Barbara Benedetti Newton has mastered many mediums: colored pencils, oils, and pastels. She is the co-author of the Colored Pencil Solution Book, which provides step-by-step demonstrations working with colored pencils.

With a way of rendering a landscape so that you feel you can just walk right into the picture, Barbara’s paintings have the capability of moving the viewer deeply. Of her painting, Barbara says, “For me, painting is a journey of discovery from challenges of mastering the medium to contemplation about my message.”

Light Show II

Our Northwest Lights show opens on Thursday, February 21, with a special artist reception from 5:00 to 8:00pm. You are invited to come on in to Cole Gallery to meet the artists, view the art, and enjoy some Champagne and desserts.

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Cheryl King’s Paintings with a Heartbeat

This week we are interviewing Cheryl King in our continuing series on Cole Gallery’s artists. If you enjoy animal portraits, you will delight in Cheryl King’s works.

Q: When did you start painting?

A: I first began oil painting in 1989…but it was more of a hobby until the late 1990’s when I first had the world of art collecting opened to my eyes. I was so naïve!

Q: What are your favorite mediums to work with?

A: Oil is the only medium I work in.

Q: What do you want people to get from viewing your work.

A: Depending upon the content of the composition there are many emotions that I want to inspire in viewers but much of the time it is excitement I aim for. I would like the pulse rate of the viewer to raise a notch! This is the secondary reason I refer to my creations as “Paintings with a Heartbeat.” The first reason is that I always have something present in the painting that has a heartbeat, a person or animal.

Q: Where do you get your inspiration?

A: A better question would be…”Where do I not get my inspiration?” I think as artists we are inspired almost constantly not just by extraordinary things but by everyday things most people take for granted. The problem for me comes with distilling the focus down to one or two ideas because there is never enough time to pursue all the images that percolate in my mind.

Q: What artists are you inspired by?

A: Among the past masters I admire Sergei Bongart, Cecelia Beaux, John Singer-Sargent, Nicholai Fechin, Norman Rockwell, Ilya Repin, and Carl Rungius.

Q: What is a recent work that you have produced?

A: The one that is still wet on my easel called Lab Values and also a recent commission of a kitten that I privately refer to as Kitten Eyes since kittens seem to be unable to view the world in any manor except through wide open eyes! Many of my favorites tend to be pet portrait commissions that the main public rarely gets to see.
Q: What else do you do besides create art?

A: I am a life long athlete and enjoy physical activities and I love to read, travel, meet people, and laugh a lot.

Q: How do you think Cole Gallery differs from other galleries?

A: My first experience with galleries is with Cole Gallery, so I do not have a vast comparison, but it seems to me that the “stuffiness” that so many people experience in galleries is not present at Cole Gallery.

You can view more of Cheryl King’s work on Cole Gallery’s website.

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Exploring the Ordinary with Beth Flor

This week we are interviewing Beth Flor in our continuing series on Cole Gallery’s artists. As you get to know our artists, we hope that entering our Gallery will start to feel like you are entering a good friend’s home.

Q: When did you start painting?

A: I began painting forty years ago when I changed my major in my junior year of college.

Q: What are your favorite mediums to work with?

A: My favorite medium has always been oil paint. I tried acrylics once, but my professor immediately told me to switch to oils when he saw “what I was trying to do.”

Q: What do you want people to get from viewing your work.

A: I hope people find beauty in the light and a sense of peace or tranquility from the simple arrangements and forms, maybe a revelation of the beauty that can sometimes be found in the ordinary.

Q: Where do you get your inspiration?

A: I usually get my inspiration from fleeting effects of light. This is why I particularly like spending winters in Mexico. I especially enjoy surprise moments when I see something unexpected that will often begin a series of paintings.

Q: What artists are you inspired by?

A: When I first began studying I was mostly inspired by Vermeer and Rembrandt, later Sargent and Sorolla, and within the last decade more contemporary painters such as Burton Silverman, Jacob Collins and Jeremy Lipking.

Q: What is a recent work that you have produced?

A: A few recent favorite works are Morning Solitude (I & II), Lemons in Crab Bowl, and Missing Father.

Q: What else do you do besides create art?

A: I am also learning Spanish so that I may communicate better with my neighbors in Mexico, and enjoy talking with them. I spend the other seven months of the year in Southeast Alaska.  My husband and I like to listen to Mariners baseball games on the radio, listen to music, and read.

Q: How do you think Cole Gallery differs from other galleries?

A: I think Cole Gallery is different than other galleries in the Seattle area because it specializes in Realism and Impressionism and is not “eclectic modernism” like most galleries in the area. Denise also seems to be an exuberant art advocate and actively promotes her artists as well as their art.

You can view more of Beth Flor’s work on Cole Gallery’s website.

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