Website of artist Tuck Contreras /

Thumbnail of website emblem, showing a sawblade morphing into a chrysanthemum.

biographical sketch

Over the years, I have watched Tuck create many beautiful things in a wide range of media, including wood, glass, metal, tile, stone, oils & acrylics.

Formerly a firefighter, a construction worker, and an independent contractor specializing in custom homes & remodels crafted with an artist’s sensibilities, Tuck now lives in The Dalles, Oregon, where she is exploring new artistic paths.

Tuck’s work has always been rooted in place, and continues to be so rooted now.

Born and raised in coastal southern California, Tuck has also lived in New Mexico and Arizona, and is as much at home in the “back country” and desert of the southwest as she is in cities like Portland and the thriving beach communities of the rugged Pacific coastline, from Oregon to the southernmost tip of Baja California.

As an artist, she favors local landscapes and nature scenes, and whether she is carving an oak tree in the wooden front door of a San Diego canyon home, or crafting custom cabinets so that the “flames” of the hardwood create a visual pattern & flow suitable to the small kitchen space they embellish, Tuck has a talent for infusing our built environments with a renewed sense of place & time.

As she turns her attention now to the unique play of light & shadow in the Oregon landscape, I know we can look forward to further inspired visual explorations of everyday surroundings, and to more of those extraordinary colors she is known for — a hallmark of her oil paintings and art glass mosaics.

Deborah, principal of
Communicating By Design

artist’s statement

I was born in San Diego, California, in 1944. San Diego at that time was rural, with much open space and, of course, the Pacific Ocean. As a child I was always drawing, painting, or building something, constantly being influenced by that environment. I am convinced that my creativity was shaped in those early years.



I am still
Dancer is
so much my heart
I want
to show him
go with him
to the
swim with him
in the salt
I was so
the ocean with
the salt smell
the green blue
the waves
the fog
so tall
above me
so very lucky

so much I’ve seen
thought about
deeply thought about
the fractals of the
always taking me deeper
yet higher
I’ve never known
where I was going
I always seemed
never much thought
where it would lead
always felt like
a great journey
a good journey
true path
I believed
in the study of life
being in life
no reservations
no fear

age has come
my age
bones and difficulties
so I lay in bed in the evening
with my dog
I feel

Tuck's signature


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