Thursday, October 31, 2013

DPW Spotlight Interview: Celine Yong

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings.

To enter to win Celine's painting, "Peace at Noon" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing her interview.

From Celine's DPW Gallery page:

I have a life long passion in drawing and painting. Painting is a joy. I am self taught in art. Since 2004, I have been painting as a partial commitment on every weekend. It's about time for me to go on to next level of painting. I am mostly inspired by beautiful nature for landscape painting with my favorite medium, pastel. But I do enjoy working with watercolor and oil as well.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

Making art was always in my heart. I admired artists who create a world with their art. I have been inspired by many creative artists in history. I wished art come would into my life. But starting art was not an easy option for me. I did not have any courage to break out from the intimidation of practicality. While working in odd jobs for many years (more than 10 years actually) and being under stressful conditions, I began thinking what I really wanted to accomplish under my name. After that, I decided to make friends with art because I thought painting was the only thing I liked. So, in 2004, I started to paint on the weekends.

Peace at Noon
(click to see original image)

Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the home page announcing Celine's interview.

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

Lack of courage and insufficient personal economy were some of the obstacles I faced in making art. When I look back at what I did in the past, time spent running around in the mundane seems so meaningless to me. Thinking of this, as a human being I feel I have a responsibility to make my life meaningful. That is what gets me started again when I face stops and obstacles in my art.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

At an early age, watercolor was the only medium available to me. Around 2004, I started looking for other materials to use. I found pastel which had such luminous and spontaneous color, and were easy to handle compared to other mediums such as oil paint. I love all aspects of pastel: the lightness and sparkling effect. I believe pastel is perfect for landscape and helps to create any kind of mood. I also want to work in watercolor and oil.

Forest of Summer
(click to see original image)

Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

At first, I stuck to portraits in photo realism. You need an actual person for modeling except for painting self portrait. I could not afford to secure as many models as I needed and soon discovered that kind of system did not work for me. Sometime later, I found myself inclined to impressionist painting and I moved to landscape. Even though my main subject is landscape, I could see myself someday approaching portraits again, this time with a more impressive manner. I used pastel more than 10 years, for now I alternate oil and pastel.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

Usually, I am into landscape, but I wish I could explore a mystical mood so that the viewer can expand their imagination through my art.

Passing By
(click to see original image)

Who or what inspires you most?

Beautiful nature inspires me always. There are so many places to be explored still. As for contemporary artists, I admire pastelists like Elizabeth Mawry and Susan Ogilvie.

What does procrastination look like for you?

When I find myself procrastinating, I feel guilty. I can not tolerate time being wasted. However, I need to take some time out to be inspired.

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

I admire expressionist style and am always trying to develop it into my own individual style.

Eastern Fall
(click to see original image)

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings?

To get a painting idea, I refer to photos I took myself while walking, or hiking, etc. But I don't paint every mountain and valley literally. I call upon my artistic license so that some imaginative variation may be reflected into my work. I really love to paint outside as long as time allows.

How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

To keep my art fresh, I change some of my painting manners and techniques. For example, I might change from a soft image to a vibrant subject or from landscape to still life or garden flowers. In that way, I think I will escape from some of the boring repetitiveness that one can fall into. Some times, I browse other artists' works in different genres from my own. Looking at old masters' works and reading about their lives and passion helps me regain my energy to paint.

Dream of Forest 2
(click to see original image)

What do you feel you are learning about right now as an artist?

As an artist, I think the art world has some mysteriousness to it. Generally, what you expect would be successful turns out be mediocre or a failure. Failure, to me, means that my art is not satisfying. Reaching for the viewer's heart, moving someone's thoughts, is like learning conversational skills. I communicate with the world with my voice, what I use is visual method. When I pour out spirit and soul into it, the skill will be valuable. The more I paint, the more I learn about life.

What makes you happiest about your art?

Looking at my work, if my hands have not failed me. That makes me smile and happy.

Thanks, Celine!

© 2013 Sophie Marine

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