Thursday, September 26, 2019

DPW Spotlight Interview: Hong Yang

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings. To enter to win Hong's painting "Peonies" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Hong's DPW Page:

I started my art education at the Art Students League in New York in 2017. I always seek to advance my knowledge by taking numerous workshops across the country. The flower painter Michael Klein has been a significant influence on me. I have also taken workshops with Robert Liberace, Dan Thompson, Katie Whipple, Sean Cheetham, Zoey Frank and Tony Ryder.

My current obsession with flower paintings dates back to my childhood love for gardening. I currently live in Los Angeles with my husband and two tuxedo cats. You can find me on Instagram @hyangpainter. Member of California Art Club.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting and how you taught yourself to paint. 

In 2016, I signed up for a Robert Liberace painting workshop when I had next to no knowledge of oil painting. I was hooked immediately. My picture was horrible then, but I was fascinated by Liberace's teaching, the Latin names of bones and muscles, and the old masters he introduced us to.

In 2017, I went to graduate school (not an art school), and I spent every summer and winter break at the Art Students League in New York. I had read about this place in numerous art history books, so you can imagine how excited I was. I enjoyed the freedom bouncing from studio to studio, and the congenial spirit among students. The most important thing I learned is that you are responsible for choosing your own art education. No one can take the burden off you.

Since then, I have taken many workshops to advance my art education. In other words, I design my own curriculum. Some workshops focus on specific techniques and processes, which are always intriguing. Some don't teach techniques per se but expose me to more possibilities and higher aims of art. The latter include Zoey Frank and Martin Campos.

(click to view)

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

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

I still consider myself a student of classical traditions.

Now I want to learn to use color, rather than chiaroscuro, to describe form, space, and atmosphere. I am also exploring different ways to organize pictorial space. The ideas growing on me don't immediately find their way into my paintings. It takes time to simulate.

Garden Roses 1
(click to view)

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

I don't think I have started my painting career as I am still in the student mindset. I signed up for DPW hoping to sell some works to fund my future workshop tuition. I have to handle many administrative issues selling my works while juggling a full-time job. I am still learning the ropes.

What mediums have you experimented with? 

Oil, watercolor, charcoal, graphite, silverpoint, woodblock printing, and clay sculpture.

Sweat Peas and Roses
(click to view)

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

I love them all, but oil painting suits my temperament better. I hope to return to watercolor someday. Richard Schmidt said watercolor is a master's medium and I totally agree.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring? 

I want to explore collage as a means to design, compose, and to abstract.

Garden Roses
(click to view)

What inspires you most?

Roses are my current obsession. After I moved to LA, I discovered a place that sells freshly cut fragrant garden roses. I feel such a deep connection with these roses, gazing at them all day. They talk back to me with perfumes and scents, sometimes loud and sometimes subdued.

What does procrastination look like for you?

When I have free time but can't get myself to paint, I often read art history books or books written by painters. I even take days to write book reviews on them, as an excuse not to paint. Sooner or later, I get sick of such futile philosophical musing, I can't wait to go back to the physical act of painting.

Last Peaches of the Summer
(click to view)

Thanks, Hong!

© 2019 Sophie Marine

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