Local painter Hank Hays will offer the island a view of his unique work this month at the Bainbridge Bakery, showcasing the distinct Northwest scenes he captures in his oil paintings.
Hays’ work is commonly on display, and sells, at galleries in Alaska, though from time-to-time he shows his work on Bainbridge Island.
Artwork from the islander will be on display at the bakery on Winslow Way throughout April.
It has been nearly three years since he last showed his oil paintings on the island.
Hays’ paintings draw from scenes he has witnessed during his career in the U.S. Forest Service and his travels throughout Alaska and Washington.
His work is reminiscent of Vincent Van Gogh, but Hays said he isn’t trying to work within anyone else’s style.
“I use a lot of color and experimenting, and do mostly landscapes and seascapes,” Hays said.
The bakery is currently displaying a few landscapes of the Palouse area, an area Hays said he enjoys painting. With vibrant yellow hillsides reflecting the golden sunlight and stretching off far in the horizon, the paintings are clearly reminiscent of a drive through the distinct expanse of eastern Washington.
Hays does put the occasional animal onto his canvas, and a few examples of that work are also on display at the bakery. Showing such paintings with animals is not common at his Washington showings, he said. Alaskans are more interested in animal artwork, while Washingtonians are more interested in landscapes.
Hays has put up one painting of a blackbird and another showing a moose with wolves at the bakery.
“(Alaskans) like fairly realistic paintings,” Hays said. “A lot of people off tour boats like something that looks like real Alaska to them. That kind of wolf-and-moose pairing would interest somebody like a hunter.”
“They are not the usual kinds of paintings you see in Roby King or Bainbridge Island Arts and Crafts galleries,” Hays said. “My paintings are strictly mine and, well, they are just different.”