Coastal Arts Guild (CAG) will present extraordinary silk painter, Chinh Le at the Newport Visual Arts Center February 7th.
Chinh Le, a local silk painter will be the speaker at February’s luncheon for Coastal Arts Guild on February 7th. CAG holds this luncheon on the first Thursday of each month at the Newport Visual Arts Center’s 2nd floor classroom. The doors open at 11:00 and the program begins at 11:30 followed by lunch. CAG invites those interested in the arts to attend.
There is a wistful beauty in Le’s silk paintings-a balance of melancholy and joy in the scenes of people and water. But despite their seeming delicacy, the paintings are as sturdy as a scarf made for practical use. Their tactile and textile nature are important to Le.
The technique Le uses is called Serti. It is a French technique where dye resistant resin lines (gutta ) are drawn on silk before being filled in with dyes.
Chinh Le says “One weekend in Bodega Bay, CA, in 1995, a good friend showed me the technique of silk painting. Like bright kites flying across the foggy coastal sky, the gutta lines swirled and the colorful dyes flowed to my delight, bringing out joy to the fine but otherwise lifeless white silk.
Since then, painting on silk has provided me with reflective moments when my art world is like a coloring book.
While working in my native country, Viêt Nam, I sketched scenes of people in their daily life as they work the hard earth for a grain of rice, ride the waves of unruly seas, or walk the city streets like tumbling leaves blown by a harsh winter wind. Many hang on the margins of life, but they keep their balance with resilience and grace. And me, I fill in the pages of their stories with bright colors as to shade away the darkness of their poverty and endless struggle to survive.
The lighter side of my world is right here, in the Pacific Northwest. This corner of the earth is truly a paradise for artists. Here again, I paint people in their daily life as they work, play, or simply exist. I squiggle over my silk the twisted lines of fate, and fill in the colors of life, as each painting takes on its own short tale of fantasy, joy or melancholy.
My subjects are faceless, for their stories are universal. The people of Viêt Nam will always provide me with my deepest inspiration. The larger world of my travels, reading and music returns me to scenes and stories of our common humanity, all strung together along my own silk road.”
Le was born in Viet Nam and has no formal art education. He is a retired physician who moved to Corvallis with his artist wife, Jeri in 2004.
His silk paintings can be seen in Corvallis and Newport at various venues and online at le-mail.org.
For additional information and an invitation to attend CAG’s luncheon call Mary Holt at 541-765-4599. She can also provide information about the Coastal Arts Guild, which is a great avenue to appreciate the many art forms and a fun way to meet likeminded people. CAG is a volunteer program which staffs the Visual Arts Center and serves the arts community of Lincoln County. CAG welcomes new members and there is no membership fee.