From Smartphone to the Canvas: Californian Skies by Bradley Hankey

“In my work I see memories of places I have been to,” writes Bradley Hankey. “However, my work isn’t about me – it is about California, which belongs to none of us and all of us. This Golden State has captivated the imagination of generations of artists, and maintains a mysterious allure around the world. This place where I live continues to provide me with unlimited inspiration.”

Bradley moved to Los Angeles in 2009, after earning a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. The luminous sky at dusk is the dominant element of his art but he always includes parts of the surrounding landscape, its natural and urban features.

He explains his process of painting: “My paintings begin as photographs taken with my smartphone – my way of quickly referencing the beautiful moments I see every day. I review my many images to determine which ones will become paintings. The images that become paintings are often places I see regularly – the silhouette of palm trees from the freeway; the downtown skyline; the mountains and the ocean. Sometimes I see something so intensely gorgeous that I immediately know I have to paint it – the sunrise reflecting on the wing of a plane; the city lights from a downtown bar; a piece of plastic shining in the sun. My work references themes of nature and man.”

“While the subject matter is important to me,” he continues, “my work, for me, is really all about color. Color is one of my great passions in life and fuels much of my practice. Much time is spent mixing paint, and every color I choose is deliberate. I often contrast flat planes of color with more complicated, mixed colors, and frequently employ glazing – thin, transparent layers of paint that optically blend to form a unique color with light and depth.”

Bradley Hankey’s art has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout Southern California, as well as Boston, Italy, Tanzania and Costa Rica. He is represented by Skidmore Contemporary Art. He is influenced by Edward Hopper, the surrealists, and historical and contemporary color field painters.

Links: Website ( | Facebook ( | Twitter (@bradleyhankey) | Instagram ( | LinkedIn (

Images used with permission.


If You Were Here


The Last Light


The Beginning


On the Other Side


California Light


Thoughts Interrupted


I Should Have Called


The Space Between


Red Flood


On Life and Death


Freeway Blur


Los Angeles to San Francisco


Drinks at the Rooftop


A Street in Hollywood