For my seventh birthday, my father gave me a set of oil paints and said, "Just don't eat anything;" and I began squeezing tubes of luscious paint and enjoying my big brushes.
I’m still painting, now with a variety of mediums, approaches and surfaces. Each approach offers unique experiences and outcomes. Abstracts express my inner vision; plein air landscape painting is a deep meditation on nature; and painting on old wooden doors is sheer fun. (For me, the doors symbolize mystical entranceways, mysterious portals to the Unknown, transformational thresholds.)
Many things inspire me, especially the fall of light on land, water and human structures; music and dance; love and friendships; spiritual philosophy and meditation; and, of course, colors, paint and paintbrushes themselves. Tubes of juicy paint pull me in like a delicious meal. Textured surfaces magnetize me, too.
After much art study in Western and Asian painting techniques, I relish creating with spontaneity, incorporating elements of surprise. Born in Thailand, my first focused art study as a bored teenager was with a Chinese sumi ink master when my family lived in Vientiane, Laos. Years later, I also studied for about eight years with a Japanese sumi master in Berkeley. As a result, Asian approaches strongly influence me.
My college education with the University of California in Los Angeles, Santa Cruz, Davis and Berkeley focused on literature, history and cultural anthropology; but painting eventually coaxed me away from an academic career. I then studied art at Laney College in Oakland, where I found great teachers.
My painting name, “Asha,” was whispered to me while meditating months after the infamous Oakland Hills Firestorm of 1991 took the north-side of Montclair in Oakland. Though my little rented home miraculously survived, I lost many paintings in my burned out studio. “Asha,” I later learned, means “hope” in Hindi, and it includes the word “ash.”
The fire moved me to West Oakland overlooking train tracks and the Port of Oakland shipping dock, enabling me to paint industrial landscapes from my studio windows. Many of these hang today in the Emeryville Business Center. Then the open spaces of Northern California lured me away from the city. Now my plein air works include garden-, land- and seascapes.
In 2014 I wrote and self-published a biography and retrospective art book about my bosom buddy and gifted abstract painter, the late Hari E. Thomas, a San Francisco artist who profoundly influenced me in art philosophy and abstract painting.
Creative expression brings me energy and joy, and I delight in sharing this with others through my finished paintings.
My website is: http://Asha-Young.fineartamerica.com
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