When Anderson Artists Guild member Yvonne Park was a senior in high school, the art teacher allowed her to paint as an alternative to study hall, and a lifelong love for oils began. She says she prefers the slow-drying oils because “you can go back and change, smooth, and blend.”
An oil painting class at Tri-County Technical College in 2002 totally renewed her love of painting. Park has also traveled to study with experts. For instance, over the past few years, she has taken two three-day workshops on florals using transparent oils in Tennessee with Nancy Medina, an artist whom Park admires for her loose approach. “She lays out her palette and just starts flinging paint around, and all of a sudden there’s a flower,” Park said. “My painting style is very tight, and I don’t like to be that way.” This month, she is attending a three-day plein air workshop at Edisto Beach. And in October, she’ll travel to Raleigh, N.C., for a workshop with Irish artist Roisin O’Farrell. She also takes occasional classes at the Blue Ridge Art Center and the Greenville Center for Creative Arts.
Working mainly from her own photographs, Park paints landscapes and florals but has also been trying her hand at seascapes and horses lately. Her work has been in juried shows in Anderson, Clemson, Belton, and Seneca and at Art MoB Studios in Hendersonville, N.C. Her painting Vintage Lace recently won a merit award in the Anderson Arts Center Juried Show, and Camelia just won first place at the Garden Party show at The Blue Ridge Arts Center in Seneca. Park is a member of four artist guilds and belongs to a weekly painting group in Seneca, as well as a monthly critique group.
She also briefly operated an art studio in Six Mile, where she sold her own work and those of other artists using the space on a commission basis. However, she closed the shop after only seven months when her husband retired as a contractor at Duke Energy. “I had always wanted a place to paint,” she said. “But I couldn’t justify the rent after retiring.”
A native of Chest Springs, Pennsylvania (population last census: 142), Park and her husband enjoy the leisurely pace in Six Mile, where they’ve lived for 38 years. They moved there for his job as a nuclear engineer at the Oconee Nuclear Station in 1980. She stayed home with their three children until the youngest started school. Then she returned to school at Tri-County Tech for an associate’s degree in business and worked at Clemson University in the Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department, the band office, and later as a medical transcriptionist for a doctor in Anderson, then an administrative specialist at Oconee Nuclear Station before retiring four years ago. The Parks have three children and eight grandchildren living in Charlotte, N.C, Summerville and Pickens.