Asha Carolyn Young presents her colorful painted doors as standing sculptural pieces. The rustic wooden doors, complete with nicks and scars acquired over many years, are each unique, found objects. Some of them are over 100 years old, she says.
“Doors and gates are, to me, beautiful, mystical symbols of transition and transformation,” Young said. “Standing before them, they can evoke warmth and familiarity, anticipation and curiosity, excitement and trepidation—many emotions and imaginings. Old found doors carry a mystery regarding the history they hold with people who used them. They’re quite lovable.”
About the Artist
For my seventh birthday, my father gave me a set of oil paints and said, “Just don’t eat anything;” and I began squeezing tubes of luscious paint and enjoying my big brushes. I still paint, now with a variety of mediums, approaches and surfaces. Each approach offers unique experiences and outcomes. Painting on old wooden doors is sheer fun.
Born in Thailand, I turned to art as a bored, restless teenager when my mother suggested I take a course in Chinese brush painting. This led to a lifetime of enjoyment painting on a variety of surfaces with ink, acrylic, chalk pastel and oil.
In the 1980s, I studied Art at Laney College, after finishing studies in Cultural Anthropology at UC Berkeley. I also took private lessons with a Japanese brush painting master for about seven years. Since t then, I’ve painted on my own, focusing mostly on plein air landscape and seascape painting, as well as mixed media abstracts.
I started painting on old found doors in 1995 when I first moved to San Francisco and didn’t have a job yet, meaning I lacked canvas or paper. I found this marvelous old gate outside the studio I was sharing on Natoma Street. I knew the deep grooves in the weathered wood would take oil paint nicely. Soon I was painting on large, stately doors along with rustic gates.