Darren Young

Editor's note

Growing up in the country (Union County NC), Darren Young has always been attracted to a more rural landscape. The artist earned an undergraduate degree in painting from East Carolina University in 1995, and in 1996 he was part of a residency at the Vermont Studio Center with Wolf Kahn and Janet Fish. In 1999 he received a M.F.A. in painting from Indiana University.Young’s first teaching job was in Denver Colorado at the University of Colorado. While working there over the course of three years, he did a great amount of traveling throughout the southwest and Yellowstone National Park. The scenery inspired a sense of awe in the artist and led him to create a series of landscape paintings based on the forest fires that affected that region.Today, Young teaches at Wingate University in the Charlotte area (Indian Land SC). Since returning to this specific part of the US, the artist’s landscape paintings have become increasingly imaginative and painterly, with a great focus on textural qualities and with the intent of expressing the beauty of his immediate surroundings.In my work, the process or act of creating should have at its core a contemplative, spiritual understanding of the landscape that harkens back to the writers and artists that were influenced by Transcendentalism such as Emerson, Thoreau, Melville and the Tonalists- artists such as George Inness, John LaFarge and Worthington Whittredge in the mid to late 19th Century . I try to paint the feeling of being in these imaginative locations.With strong, simple compositions, intense colours, and stark contrasts, the artist evokes a sense of light and space. Focusing on the expressive qualities that are imbued by different kinds of brush strokes, Young aims to create a powerful sense of atmosphere on the canvas. Including both figurative imagery as well as abstract elements, his creative process is unpredictable, even for the artist himself.