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('Shadow Portrait of Asha,' silhouette photo by Ron McMath)
Please also visit ASHARI GALLERIA, Fine Art America, for my abstract paintings with those by Hari E. Thomas.
Born in Chiang Mai, Thailand, I've lived in California since high school. After college and working years in the San Francisco Bay Area, I moved to the northern coast, where open spaces abound. I enjoy painting in a few ways: plein air painting using oil on canvas; playing with mixed media, including ink on rice paper, in my studio; and sanding and painting old wooden doors and window panes.
Some of my oil paintings show nature in country settings; others show urban scenes of Berkeley and San Francisco, with some industrial landscapes of West Oakland.
When I was seven, my father gave me a set of oil paints for my birthday and said, 'Just don't eat anything;' and I began squeezing tubes of luscious paint and working quietly with the big brushes by myself.
Later, after leaving a PhD program in Cultural Anthropology at U.C. Berkeley, I studied oil painting at Laney College in Oakland with great teachers, including Gary Snyder and June Steingardt. Today I still oil paint much as I did when a child -- by myself looking at some amazing bit of nature, and messily enjoying a very good time.
The 'Abstract Brush Paintings,' painted in studio, derive from a year of study with Chinese Brush Painting Master Kan Yi Chen in Vientiane, Laos, and five years of studying Japanese Brush Painting with masterful Kayoko Bird in Berkeley, California.
The 'Abstract Collage Paintings,' are exercises in expressing Spiritual Light and Energy. The 'Painted Doors' -- some painted in mixed media, others in oil -- speak and stand for themselves. The 'Abstract Brush Paintings' are part of my Spiritual Energy Graffiti Series. 'Their Own Categories' show one-of-a-kind paintings and photos. My Abstract paintings owe much to a decades-long friendship and study with Hari E. Thomas of San Francisco, a colorist and abstract painter par excellence. My dear friend and great photographer, Daniel Furon, gave me countless hours of aesthetic lessons, the chance to watch his own art unfold and collaborations in creativity.
My 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, ravishing 3,354 homes and killing 25 people. The fire consumed almost everything in sight, including my paintings, hand-built raw canvases and gear that had been stored in a shed; however, most miraculously, the fire did NOT take our small rental house. That soot-covered house with blown-out windows stood alone -- totally alone -- in a bombed-out-looking zone of charred objects.
Noisy reconstruction began, and we moved. Months later, feeling both sorrow and gratitude, I meditated constantly. Once while meditating, I heard 'Asha' whispered to me. Ever since, I sign paintings with this name, reminding myself that I am merely a vessel, one of many channels for The Great Spirit. I've learned that as vessels, we receive continuously from the Divine Source, which is Eternal and always full. No fire or earthly disaster can ever destroy what is ours in Creative Spirit, for Spirit lives on!
This name, 'Asha,' greatly soothed and comforted me. Later, my close friend Kirin Narayan informed me that it is a Sanskrit name meaning 'wish, desire, hope, expectation, prospect' (Monier Williams, p. 157). Knowing these things, I am devoted to keeping the Light ever lit, to holding fast to Hope, even in a troubled world.
All of Asha's paintings and painted objects are Expressions of Thanks to The Great Spirit. I also heartily thank founders and staff at FineArtAmerica for this opportunity to show and share paintings.
All works shown on http://asha-young.fineartamerica.com and http://asha-young.artistwebsites.com are 'Copyright Asha,' a.k.a. Asha Carolyn Young. Thank you for visiting, and may you be blessed on your journey. -- Asha