Lisa Vargas Vaughn

May 27, 2016 in Downtown Fullerton Art Walk

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Who would ever guess that an American of Mexican descent would feel whole with a Chinese paintbrush in hand? To artist Lisa Vargas Vaughn,

“It just feels right.”

Lisa first discovered the art of Chinese Brush Painting while caring for her newborn and watching a painting show on PBS. Featured was Ning Yeh, a world renowned Chinese Brush Painter and he beguiled her with his artistry and mastery.

Two decades passed and with her three boys grown, she had the time and energy to seek out Ning Yeh and this exceptional Zen-like form of art.

“I found Ning Yeh, thanks to Google, and have been an awestruck student ever since.   He represents the best of this art form. Born in China to a family already famous for many generations for their artistry, Ning came to the U.S. bringing Brush Painting to all of us. To have him as my guide and teacher is remarkable.”

Chinese Brush Painting is more than a representation of an object; it’s a symbolic expression. Rather than just painting a subject, the artist finds the subject within, its essence, its soul and attempts to release its true nature.

Unlike conventional painting where mistakes can be corrected, gone over, covered up, in Chinese Brush Painting, the artist must get it right the first time. The right amount of moisture, color, blending and finally the proper pressure on the brush is expressed on the tissue-thin Chinese paper. For Lisa, the key is the confidence to just “let go”. But that takes practice.

“What I love about Chinese Brush Painting is within the precise techniques that have governed the medium for centuries, the art is in the joy, spontaneity, individuality and even the unintended which give life to each painting.   My formal education and career were in the world of finance, yet this art form lets me use both sides of my brain by blending its rules of precision with the creativity of the soul. For me, Chinese Brush Painting has been a journey of discovery.”


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