Website of artist Tuck Contreras /

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


& RELATED Mixed-Media Mosaic Projects:

& RELATED Mixed-Media Furniture Art Projects:

mixed media

Tuck’s work with mixed media, incorporating art glass and metal, is relatively recent, and dates from her move in 2003 to Oregon’s The Dalles. Here, her artist’s senses are saturated by the geology & history of the Columbia River Gorge, with its primal landscapes, magnificent rock formations, sculpted hillsides, turbulent skies, and the seasonal splendor of wild river banks in full flower.

Nature’s psychological pull is deeply rooted in our genetic history, as is our aesthetic experience of nature.

Like many artists, Tuck is drawn to organic shapes and motifs, her imagination ignited by her love of nature and the wealth of symbols, textures and colors she finds in the natural world around her. Tuck’s art has always depended upon the richness of her connections with nature.

Using natural and hand-crafted mixed media, Tuck reinterprets nature’s beauty, giving renewed aesthetic meaning to the physical, material, intellectual, emotional and spiritual landscape of The Dalles.

Her mixed-media canvases encourage wide-ranging expressive play with dimension & texture & opacity.

The art glass and metal together build up layers of light and color, allowing for the mystery of endless discovery. With every change in light, the artist in each of us discovers a fresh, breathtaking nuance in the mutable depths of each work.


Good introductions to the growing body of research on humans’ biologically-based attraction to nature and innate affinity for life and lifelike processes, known as biophilia, include:

  Kellert, Stephen H. Kinship to Mastery: Biophilia in Human Evolution and Development. Washington, D.C. and Covelo, CA: Island Press, 1997. (ISBN-10: 1559633735 and ISBN-13: 978-1559633734.)

  Kellert, Stephen H., Judith Heerwagen, and Martin Mador, eds. Biophilic Design: The Theory, Science and Practice of Bringing Buildings to Life. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2008. (ISBN-10: 0470163348 and ISBN-13: 978-0470163344.)

  Louv, Richard. Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2005. (ISBN-10: 156512605X and ISBN-13: 978-1565126053.)

  Louv, Richard. The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder. Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books, 2011. (ISBN-10: 9781565125810 and ISBN-13: 978-1565125810.)

There is accumulating evidence that our quality of life — our physical, material, intellectual, emotional and spiritual well-being — is to a great extent dependent upon our relationships with the natural world that surrounds us. And as Richard Louv amply documents, this holds for children, as well as for adults.

In Kinship to Mastery, Kellert argues that because the full expression of biophilia is integral to our overall health, the ongoing degradation of the environment could have far more serious consequences than many people realize.


Head-piece from a book printed at London in 1599, featuring arabesque design.

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