Lenard Yen: Circling

August 14th – August 29th

These color abstractions have been painted during the unsettling times of March through June of 2020. The gradients that I have employed in past work continues to develop in an organic and atmospheric approach. Color provides the harmony while brushstrokes and palette knife supply the rhythm. Using tape to create sharp boundaries, the discontinuity between layers emphasizes the spatial dimension. I paint in oil because of its viscous qualities and vividness. I hope the works convey a sense of place and centeredness as I navigate the ever present moment.

Life often takes unexpected turns. Contemplation gives me an opportunity to suspend judgement and surround it with a sense of becoming that helps clarify my response. Can I allow myself to learn ways to face change with compassion and spaciousness, to find peace in myself, to recognize how I treat others, to help those in need? As a painter I process my feelings and experiences through the exploration of balance between the shifting forces of motion and stillness, foreground and background, focus and dispersion. This most recent series of paintings reflect the emotions that have surfaced during the global pandemic. “within + without” is a meditation on the tragedy that is George Floyd and countless others who face indignity, inequity, and injustice in our complex world that has yet failed to reconcile the spectrum of differences that exist in humanity despite the fact that we are all living together on a gracious and miraculous planet teeming with life from bioluminescent bacteria to quaking aspens.

Lenard Yen arrived on Vashon by ferry and has called the island home for twelve years. His explorations into color abstractions have been exhibited in Seattle art walks and in Vashon Island shows. A former owner of cafes in Seattle, he has also taught 3D computer animation at SCCC and the Art Institute of Seattle and holds a masters in music composition from UC Berkeley. The vibrant island community and its idyllic surroundings have been instrumental in his continuing path to understand and communicate the intrinsic beauty of artistic expression and imagination in all its forms.