November 22, 2008
Meet the correspondents: SEOUL > Byung Hwa Yoo
"I live in Seoul, Korea. I began painting at the age of 45 when my 15-year-old daughter chose painting as her major. Because I had no basic training in art, I practiced studying art books for years. After that period, I studied at the life-long education center and was given a degree of art by the ministry of Education and Development. I feel so proud of it. Simultaneously, I have kept painting as a member of Outdoor Watercolor Group. My daughter is studying fine art in Germany. We might be good friends in art. I thank her for inspiring me to be a painter.
Since 1996 drawing on location has been the most important principle to me. Looking at the scenes through the naked eyes, not using the photos, I could be inspired to translate vivid impressions on paper. What also attracts me is that I could meet people and share the feelings with them while sketching. I was often surprised at their high discerning capability in art. And their feedback helps me to improve my works.
Outdoor painters must be careful to the change of the light, temperature, shade and many other factors. Compared to plein air painting with an easel, sketching with simple gear is easier because you can move readily. Urban sketchers must be alert and speedy to capture the situation like a jaguar in the jungle.
I usually sketch at markets, churches, parks and subways. I keep my sketchbook with drawing materials in my sack at all times. The rough and strong lines drawn at the urgent and hurried moments on the spot give the viewers the same impressions as if they were there. Browsing those drawings helps me remember how and where I drew them. The sketches are precious to me as a record of my life. What's more is to share them with the villagers in the Earth. It's as good as it gets!"
• Byung Hwa Yoo's blog.
• Byung Hwa Yoo's art on Flickr.