Website of artist Tuck Contreras /

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FROM ...

news & current projects

AUGUST 2012 — It is with regret that I announce the end of this website’s participation in the Powell’s Books, Inc. Partner Program.

As of 29 August 2012, we will no longer earn a percentage on books purchased through our links to (or Hence, I have decided to drop all such links. There’s no point in pushing one particular out-of-state retailer over another when local, independent bookstores everywhere need our support.

To learn more about what happened, visit the FYI page giving a Powell’s City of Books Partner Program Update at our companion website for Roses.

Moving on ... once again ...

JULY 2011

As of 6 July 2011, we are no longer an Associate website, and are now affiliated with the indie bookstore, Powell’s City of Books. As a Powell’s Partner website, we receive a flat-rate commission of 7.5% whenever you use one of our website links to access Powell’s website and purchase books. This is an easy way to support those of us struggling with the expense of developing original content — such as this website — for new-media platforms, and we hope you’ll make frequent use of our partner links!

This Powell's Partner Program link has been deactivated.

JUNE 2011

Tuck’s on the move again ... this time, relocating her art studio from the second floor of the Historic Sunshine Mill Artisan Plaza in Oregon’s The Dalles, to the newly-remodeled garage below her home in Lyle, Washington.

Her second-floor studio space at The Mill will be taken over by Copa Di Vino, whose owner, James Martin, is reponsible for the rebirth of the historic ten-story icon downtown The Dalles. Restoration of the historic Sunshine mill has always been about creating a showcase home for local wines (Martin’s boutique winery, Quenett, also has a tasting room at The Mill, and holds events there). The rapid expansion of Copa Di Vino (in English: wine by the glass) means that Tuck has been displaced sooner than expected ... although she always knew it would happen, one of these days.

Since The Mill has been “such a great place” for making art, Tuck will keep up her connections with the place and its people.

She will miss the social life & daily back-and-forth with artisan-friends at The Mill, but, on the upside, working from home means that Tuck saves precious time & money not having to commute downtown The Dalles every time she’s inspired to set brush to canvas.

So, as is almost always the case in these matters, parting is such sweet sorrow....

Moving on ...

MAY 2011

The first quarter of 2011 has been pretty hectic for all of us.

Now we’re almost at the end of May … with plenty going on, as always. ;-)

During the week, Tuck and Dancer are back out in the field, setting fruit-fly traps as part of Tuck’s ongoing work on Oregon State’s Spotted-Wing Drosophila research project.

On weekends, Tuck is painting her heart out, in preparation for the upcoming show at the Columbia Center for the Arts (opening on August 4, 2011) — one of several planned festivities celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act.

Some of Tuck’s new oil paintings will be on view — for the first time — and she hopes lots of you will stop by to see them, and say hello to the artist!


Now that she’s more or less settled into her new studio space, Tuck has started painting again, completing a new work in oils, The River, early in October. This month, she’s headed south to California, to visit with friends & family ... introduce Dancer to some Southern California sand & surf ... and just generally relax & recuperate from all the stress of the last couple years.

Tuck plans to be back at work in her studio come December, and looks forward to having lots of visitors and stimulating creative exchanges throughout the holidays and into the new year.


Big changes are underway. Tuck recently sold her IPM-related business, Tuck’s Dwellings, and has moved into an exciting new studio space at the Sunshine Mill Artisan Plaza & Winery, an historic wheat mill located downtown The Dalles. The Mill is currently undergoing extensive renovation, and offers Tuck a unique opportunity to join a working community of local artisans doing all sorts of cool & creative things. She expects to benefit greatly from daily association with other creative professionals, and thinks her new surroundings are just “awesome.”

Tuck's studio (view 1 of 3)

View looking in to Tuck’s new studio, on the 2nd floor of the Sunshine Mill Artisan Plaza & Winery. One of the original grain hoppers used at The Mill is still in place (to the right, behind the ladder).

Tuck's studio (view 2 of 3)

Another view of Tuck’s studio, with plenty of natural light for her to play off of new art-glass creations.

Tuck's studio (view 3 of 3)

View of antique grain silos at the back of Tuck’s studio. The painting on the floor in front, titled Games Men Play, was created in 1992, and bears witness to acts of terrorism associated with the civil war then raging in Guatemala, and the civil war recently ended in El Salvador. Tuck took plenty of heat from critics for her selective portrayal of war’s brutality. The painting, documenting the horrors of revolutionary struggle, was always controversial.

As all the oil paintings laying about on the floor suggest, Tuck is not yet settled into her new studio. That should happen around the end of October, after she finishes working full-time as a scout for Spotted-Wing Drosophila — part of an Oregon State University project designed to help local farmers limit their use of heavy poisons.

Although she likes being outdoors and doing what she’s doing now (an extension of her interest in all things having to do with integrated pest management), Tuck can’t wait to be at home in her new studio and start being a full-time artist.


Tuck has now taken on a young and enthusiastic studio assistant, whose fresh perspective and boundless curiosity about the material world is good for the soul, renewing the creative spirit of even the most stressed and hard-working artist. Tuck expects to benefit from a long & happy collaboration with her new partner in life and work.

Tuck's new puppy (e-copyright 2010)

Dancer (after Wyntercreek
Dancing Moon), in January
2010, aged 9 weeks. Tuck’s
new studio assistant is
still more of a distraction
than a help, but this will
change once Dancer learns
the routine and rhythms
of the artist’s workshop.

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