Artistic Excellence 2016 | First Place: Hsin-Yao Tseng


Hsin-Yao Tseng, Market Street Reflection, oil, 24 x 24.

Hsin-Yao Tseng, Market Street Reflection, oil, 24 x 24.

What inspired your winning entry? I was walking around San Francisco and saw this great design between the crosswalk and the reflection on Market Street. There were lively, warm, orange lights from the streets and the headlights of rush-hour traffic. In this piece, I played with abstract mark-
making and expressive brush strokes.

How would you describe your style? It’s hard to define, but I would say representational impressionism. My works range from lush evocations of San Francisco and other cities to expressive portraits and lustrous interiors in which figures enact a story.

Where did you study art? I earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in fine-art painting from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

What artists have influenced your work?
I have always been influenced by the old masters, including John Singer Sargent, Anders Zorn, Antonio Mancini, Ramon Casas, and Giacomo Favretto, as well as contemporary artists such as Richard Schmid, Quang Ho, Craig Nelson, Zhaoming Wu, Jeremy Lip-king, Ben Aronson, and many others.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? The artist Alex Kanevsky said, “If you are not excited about what you paint, then your painting won’t excite the viewer either.” I find great truth in this.

What inspires you to paint a scene? Everything in life. Music, photography, and movies have always been major influences for me. Sometimes I think of a song or just one shot from a film to create a mood or idea for my painting. Sometimes, it’s just simple light and shadow, beautiful design, and interesting value patterns. Painting to me is a form of meditation.

What galleries represent your work? Legacy Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ; Waterhouse Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA; InSight Gallery, Fredericksburg, TX; The Garden Gallery, Half Moon Bay, CA; Howard/Mandville Gallery, Kirkland, WA; Abend Gallery, Denver, CO.

This story was featured in the December 2016 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  December 2016 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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