September 21, 2018
Four Dogs on White Background I, Gaylen Hansen, 2017. Acrylic on Canvas, 36×43 inches. Linda Hodges Gallery, Seattle, WA
Today is the 97th birthday of painter Gaylen Hansen. Hansen is still painting as he has done for the last half dozen decades in the Palouse region of Eastern Washington. He’s a great inspiration as a painter and as an old painter. I hope to be painting 90 inch canvases when I’m 97.
Hansen was an abstract painter earlier in his career. But he moved to the Palouse, 4,000 square miles of rolling wheat fields and windswept hills, and started painting regional subjects. He employed rough, scumbled brushwork leftover from his abstract days, a kind of naive whimsy which was entirely new. (It doesn’t take long to discover more than a little menace in the paintings as well.) Gayle Hansen worked big on huge canvas. And he still does.
Here’s a photo of Hansen back in 1990.
Photo by Gordon Brown
Buffalo and Trout, 1988.