Asha Carolyn Young – Oil on Canvas - Oil on Wooden Doors - Mixed Media Collage




Born in Chiang Mai, Thailand, I've lived in California since high school. After college and many years in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I attended university and worked as a teacher, I moved to the northern coast to enjoy open spaces and nature.

I enjoy painting in several modes: plein air painting in oil on canvas; mixed media abstracts on paper and canvas; and painting old wooden doors and window panes. Lanscapes, seascapes, garden-scapes, urban-scapes, industrial landscapes, portraits -- these are some of my representational, plein air subjects. Surreal images appear now and again in these pieces.

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 -- are for me often symbolic of entrances for spiritual and emotional transformation, as well as mysterious entranceways to the Unknown. The 'Abstract Brush Paintings' are part of my aim to express spiritual and emotional energy. 'Their Own Categories' include surreal paintings. My Abstract paintings owe much to a decades-long friendship and study with Hari E. Thomas, 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, as well as 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, a batch of hand-built raw canvases and gear, all 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 in a zone otherwise appearing bombed out, with only charred objects, chimneys and earth. 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 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 it is a Sanskrit name meaning 'wish, desire, hope, expectation, prospect' (she quoted from 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 my paintings and painted objects are expressions of thanks to The Great Spirit.

Contact Information:
Asha Carolyn Young
PO Box 353
Gualala, CA 95445

Phone: 707-884-9056


Point Reyes Country Road