Cannon Beach, OR
People say you can hear the ocean in Jeffrey Hull’s paintings. The artist began painting 40 years ago as a resident of the coastal community of Cannon Beach, OR, and his ability to communicate the dramatic beauty of the Oregon coastline is a direct reflection of the love he has for that part of the world.
Taking on the difficult medium of watercolor, Hull depicts the ever-changing moods of the coast, revealing layers of rugged beauty that are often unveiled in the foggy distance beyond the shoreline. Living in a place of such tranquility, Hull says, “It’s so easy to be inspired.” Hull will often stop in his truck to admire the view as a storm begins rolling in over the ocean waves. “You realize how incredibly small you are in this universe when you see the majesty of the storms crashing against the coast,” he says.
But beyond the splendor and calmness of the scenes he paints, what consistently grabs people about Hull’s work is the size of the paintings. Many are quite large—up to 53 inches wide for some pieces. Because of the inherent difficulty of watercolor, working on such a large scale poses many unique challenges. “The biggest ones I do are well-planned, because they’re hard on you physically,” says Hull, adding, “I’ve never been one to take the easy way on things.”
Hull’s latest paintings are a continuation of this challenging work. In recent years, the artist has begun to paint in oil as well as watercolor. His subjects remain the seascapes and coastal scenes he’s known for, because Hull never gets tired of painting the coast. “It’s different every time,” he says.
Hull reveals new paintings at his gallery this month as part of the Cannon Beach Gallery Group’s 12th annual Spring Unveiling event, held May 4-6. Thirteen galleries are participating in the event, spotlighting the latest works from 25 artists. Unveilings, demonstrations, and receptions take place all weekend. Hull says he is thrilled to be a part of the Cannon Beach Gallery Group because it feels like a family for the art community. “It’s so exciting to be able to come together with our ‘competitors’ and put on this great event for art lovers,” he says. The group has recently added another annual event, Plein Air and More, which takes place June 22-24 this year. —Lindsay Mitchell
Featured in May 2012.