Wk14 – Artist Interview – Yireh Elaine Kwak

20150430_1141561For this week’s art class artist interview, I walked into the Gatov-West Art Gallery and saw a familiar face. That person is none other than the artist Yireh Elaine Kwak, who has presented her works and whom I have interviewed before in these galleries back in week three of this class. Elaine has been painting for around nine or ten years already. She is studying here at Cal State Long Beach for her Bachelors degree (BFA) in painting and this current exhibit serves as her senior show. Elaine plans to aim for even bigger as she shared about her plans to attend grad school at UC Berkeley.

Elaine’s art works are rich and lively because they are all bursting with a vibrant array of colors. She stated that she takes around a month and a half of time per painting. I can totally see why she needs that much time with all the detail that goes into her art pieces. Elaine noted her preference of consistent usage of bright colors in her oil paintings. She primarily uses oil paints when it comes to painting landscapes because it gives the best range of saturated and neutral colors. Elaine’s focus on beautiful and natural landscapes have become the setting of most of her paintings. She states that this is because of the fact that it has always been very important to her family that the houses they chose to live in must have a beautiful view. Because of this strong influence, Elaine has always placed special emphasis on the beautiful landscapes exhibited in her works. She goes outside to watch the view then goes to a studio where she begins to sketch and paint the view from memory. Elaine has further stated that she draws inspiration from famous artists such as Van Gogh.

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