Art can be found at every turn in the Pacific Northwest. In fact, many people flock to the South Sound to see art at its finest. That’s one reason why Jake Hose moved to Washington, and brought his unique whimsical art with him.
Originally from Virginia, Jake has called Washington home for the last 16 years and is creating art out of his Puyallup home in hopes of bringing his unique style to the people of Washington.
“What we provide to the community is whimsical art that has a lot of cultural Northwest themes to it,” Jake said.
It was at a local festival that I met Jake and his wife, Kimberly. Art lined the walls of their booth, but the characters in the paintings seemed to jump off the canvas. One theme seemed to resonate with many of the works—cats. “What you’ll see with Seattle Cats,” Jake explained, “is cats of the Northwest.” According to Jake, the cat series evolved into cats representing people around the Puget Sound. “So what’s neat about the Seattle Cats is that it has different colored cats representing different cultures, so there’s a lot of deeper meaning to it,” he said.
Art was always in Jake’s life, but it wasn’t until his early twenties that he started getting serious about it. “I started to create art and I’ve just been really passionate about art and creating and loving doing that.” He started out selling artwork in galleries in Virginia, but just couldn’t find a community to cultivate his love of art. “I just felt like Washington was where I wanted to go, a place that was more open minded to unique styles of artwork. I just wanted to get into more of a progressive cultural environment.”
The simplest way to describe his art, as he puts it, is “whimsical art.”
“There are influences from Impressionism, the Renaissance period in northern Europe and experimental glazing techniques where paint is layered to create textures and depths.” Jake incorporates techniques influenced from the Bauhaus movement in Europe during WWII, as well as Aboriginal art. “There’s also a comical element to it, which people really like a lot, including comics from the ‘60s and ‘70s. It’s a hybrid so it gets pretty sophisticated,” he said.
His influences are from all over the world, with different styles, different artists and different time periods. “What’s fun about art,” he said, “is pulling together different influences and making something your own. I thought if I got a formal education it might hinder my development and kind of box me into a format. So for me, I had that insight when I was in my twenties to just independently study at an extension and then pull together different elements that really excited me. I did that for about 10 years.”
Most of Jake’s art is acrylic paint on canvas, but he also combines hybrid art, where part is painted traditionally and part is done in a computer. He works out of his home studio and completes about 12 pieces a year.
Of all of his pieces, his favorite is “If Seattle was Venice.”
“That is just one of my favorites,” he said. “That painting took me about 200 hours to paint, over four months and it represents the culture of Seattle.” The idea came to him when he wondered what Seattle would look like if it flooded. “I merged the two cultures together,” he said. “I just love different niche ideas. I try to juxtapose different ideas together and bring someone through an adventure in art and be able to explore it.”
Jake Hose not only has paintings, but also a whole line of greeting cards and 11×14 prints. They can be found in 60+ stores throughout Washington, including stores in Seattle, Tacoma, the Olympic Peninsula and more. Locally in Pierce County, you can find his art at the Puyallup Custom Frame and Art Company, Clover Park Technical College Bookstore in Lakewood, University of Washington Bookstore in Tacoma, and University of Puget Sound Bookstore also in Tacoma, just to name a few.
Now at 43, Jake and his wife show his art at various community fairs. Of their partnership, Jake explains, “She plays a vital supportive element in what I do.”
To view Jake Hose’s Whimsical Art and for a full list of where to see his art locally, head to his website at jakehose.net.