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Marc Ellen Hamel

My most recent series of abstract oil paintings, “Reflections of Nature,” was inspired by time spent in rural and wilderness areas of California and in city gardens.  I do not paint “en plein aire” nor from photographs, rather I carry moments with me when I return to the studio, ready to fill a canvas with paint, and let the scenes, shadows, colors return to mind. With brushstrokes, shapes, and interactions of color, I build a composition that manifests that beauty in another form, and provides a place for the eye and mind to wander or rest.

As an artist I have always been motivated by the physical substance that is oil paint and the process of stream of consciousness, recollection, intuition, that surfaces as I work on a painting. My themes surface from a current preoccupation: nature, the urban environment, a vase or other shape I am struck by, an emotion, or a memory. Painting is always an exploratory process and a grounding process at the same time. While using the materials to create a composition, I become aware of what is bubbling beneath my daily consciousness. I don’t start with a particular image or plan, perhaps just a mood or a wish to delve into color. Emotion is always part of the work, so I try to get intellectual thinking out of the way and push myself to break free. I pick up the brushes, select a color, and make a free-form composition on the canvas. Responding to the action of making marks, seeing stokes of colors, takes me down an unfolding visual path. I keep painting until I find the story then I work on refining the surface action until the story comes clear and the composition settles into itself.

Building: 101 - Studio: 2507
Phone: 415-202-4315
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Artist Bio

As an abstract oil painter and monotype printmaker I am primarily motivated by the interaction of color, the physicality of paint and inks, and I search for the story I can find and tell with them.  

Originally from Seattle, I attended the University of Washington, majoring in Art.  I have lived in the Bay Area since 1972 and began to work on my art seriously in 1980.  I have had my studio at the Hunters Point Shipyard art community in San Francisco, since 1993.






2018    Reflections on Nature, Montclair Gallery, Oakland, June-July

2017    City Streets and Rural Paths, Main Street Artists Gallery, Quincy, CA, September

            Installation of 10 paintings and monotypes at Hanson Bridgett Law Offices, San Francisco,

              June - September

            Urban Scenes/Rural Walks, Think Round Fine Arts Gallery, 2140 Bush Street,

              San Francisco, May-June

2015    Paintings and Monotypes, Indian Springs Art Gallery, Calistoga, CA, April-May

            Serenity:  In Harmony, UCSF Women’s Health Center, 12 paintings, 5th floor, Jan-April

2014    Mementos, Hardin Studios, 2140 Bush Street, San Francisco, February

2013    Color in the Abstract, Main Street Artists Gallery, Quincy, CA, July

2012    Abstract Visions, UCSF Faculty Alumni House, San Francisco, CA

2009    Abstract Landscapes, Barton Gallery, Sacramento, CA

            Color on the Wall, Nomad Rugs, San Francisco

2008    Blue=Water, Yellow=Light, San Mateo City Hall Gallery, San Mateo, CA

2007    Recollections in Color, Minna Street Gallery, California Institute of Integral Studies,

              San Francisco

Sixteen Abstract Paintings, San Francisco Perinatal Clinic, San Francisco

New Monotypes, The Body Gallery, San Francisco

2006    Landscape Abstractions, California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute

2004    Paintings from France, Matt’s at the Market Restaurant, Seattle, WA

2003    Abstract Anomalies, Zyt Gallery, Los Altos, CA

Twenty Paintings, Mt Zion/UCSF Women’s Health Research Center

2001    Abstract Paintings, Sharon Park Gallery, Menlo Park, CA





2020      50/50, Sanchez Art Center, Pacifica, September 18-October 11

Expressions 2020, A National Juried Exhibition, Marin Society of Artists, San Rafael, Juror:  Andrea Schwartz. May 14-June 27

SNAP!  Pop-up Juried Show at Arc Gallery, San Francisco, January 18
                BAC Member's Showcase, Berkeley Art Center, January 11 - 16
                42nd Hayward Area Artist' Annual, juried by Diane Zuliani, Hayward, CA, January 25 - March 7

2019    Season of Abundance, , All Media Show at SF Women Artists Gallery, July 9 - August 3,      juried by Saxon Holt, Photography Program Director, SF Botanical Garden

            Sanctuary, Group Art Exhibit at Arc Gallery, juried by Bryan Yedinak, San Francisco,

              May 18 - June 22

            New Currencies, JPG at the Bank, Lafayette, CA, March 23 - April 27, Curated by

              Jennifer Perlmutter

            Spring Exhibit at Adobe Art Gallery, honoring 75 years of the Hayward Area Recreational

              District, March 30 - May 11, Juried by Leah Virsik, Director of Adobe Art Gallery

            Nordic Light, Artwork by members of Nordic 5 Arts, Think Round Fine Arts,

              2140 Bush Street, San Francisco, March 30 -  May 12

2018    Tiny, Studio Gallery, 1641 Pacific Avenue, San Francico, group show of small works

            (7" x 7" or smaller), December

            The Color Red - Four artworks, Jingletown Art Studios, Oakland, March

            Nordic Voyage:  A Sense of Place, group show of artwork by the artists of Nordic 5 Arts,

              Harrington Gallery, Pleasanton, CA.  March

2017    Runes Revealed: Contemporary Artists Respond to an Ancient Alphabet, Adobe Art

              Center, Castro Valley, CA. December 2017 - January 13, 2018

            The Depth of Perception Inaugural reception, Barba Contemporary Art, Palm Springs, CA


2016 House and Garden, paintings by Marc Ellen Hamel and Kit Cameron, Gallery Sanchez,

              Noe Valley Ministry, San Franicsco

            In the Abstract, Studio Gallery, San Francisco

            Runes Revealed, Contemporary Artists Respond to an Ancient Alphabet, Scandinavian

              Cultural Center, Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma WA

2015    Presenting Marc Ellen Hamel and Norma Lewis, two-woman show at Main Street Artists

              Gallery, Quincy, CA, September

            Runes Revealed, A Mixed-Media Exhibition by Nordic 5 Arts, San Pablo Art Gallery,


2014    Runes Revealed, A Mixed-Media Exhibition by Nordic 5 Arts, The Sanchez Art Center,

              Pacifica, CA, July-August

2014    Architecture of the Soul, The Barber Lounge, 854 Folsom St, San Francisco, March-April

2012    All-Member Exhibit, Main Street Artists Gallery, Quincy, CA, September and December

Sin and Redemption, SFMOMA Artists Gallery, San Francisco

2011    Retrospective 4, Inclusions Gallery, San Francisco, December-January

            Three Monotype Printmakers, Pierson 20th Century Design, San Mateo, CA

Voyages of Discovery: Contemporary Work by Nordic 5 Arts, Scandinavian Cultural

            Center, Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA, April – November

            One Off, Monotype Prints by 4 Bay Area Artists, ARC Gallery, San Francisco, July

2010    Voyages of Discovery; Artwork by Nordic 5 Arts, Inclusions Gallery, San Francisco

Bay Area Women Artists, juried by Donna Seager, O’Hanlon Center for the

            Arts, Mill Valley, CA,

THREE:  9 Painters, 3 Paintings Each, Gallery 94124, San Francisco, CA

Angular and Architectural, 901 Market Street Atrium Gallery, San Francisco


2009    Working Artist, Artist Working, Video Installation and Exhibit (an SFAC Commission

 “Art in Storefronts” Project), located 4114 3rd Street, San Francisco

Crossroads, A Group Exhibit of Hunters Point Shipyard Artists, Gallery 94124,

            San Francisco


2007    Summer Fling, Mad River Post, 451 Jackson Street, San Francisco

The Subject is Color The Art Foundry, Sacramento, CA

Eight Paintings, Mad River Post, 451 Jackson Street, San Francisco

2006    The Steel Event at Fort Mason, Conference Center, Fort Mason, San Francisco

            Is Dada Dead? The O'Hanlon Center for the Arts, Mill Valley, CA

Paint Tube Collages, Forbeadin’ Gallery, San Francisco

Primavera, Steel Gallery, San Francisco

2005    Define: Book, Art Books Press, Seattle, WA

2004    Rouge, Steel Gallery, San Francisco

2002    Berkeley Art Center 19th Annual National Juried Competition, Berkeley, CA

2003    The Holiday Show, Steel Gallery Inaugural Group Show, Steel Gallery, San Francisco





1999    Best of Show Award, Gallery Route One Annual Competition, Pt Reyes, CA;

   Juror: Philip Linhares of the Oakland Art Museum 



2006    Ballard Art Works, Seattle, WA; one-week monotype residency


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