Press Interviews

Yong Chen was on the Boston WBZ TV News!

Yong Chen did portrait painting in MA state house

There was Spring of 1995 when I was a senior of illustration in Massachusetts College of Art. I was selected to participate in the Art to the State House project. Each morning I packed a simple set of watercolor materials and tools, I was scheduled with the Senators and house representatives along with other artists.

I usually have one to two appointments each morning. I did the portraits in their offices. Since the time I have for each painting was from 15 to 40 minutes, so that I basically just did sketch with watercolor. Capturing the likeness was not difficult to me at all with my more than twenty years of painting mostly with people as my subject. I managed to start the portrait from rough pencil drawing just to workout the composition in 1 minute, then start the painting. There was much time to play around, since I have a hard deadline. Because of my skills and techniques in doing things seems impossible to most people - finish a portrait sketch in watercolor in 15 minutes, many people in the room was so impressed.

It was a special event as we will be painting in the senate president, Mr. Boulger's office. The college had arranged many media to the State House, include TV WBZ News 4, Boston Globe, Boston Herald. I stepped into the office (it was very big), set up my simple easel, then started. The painting took me about 30 minutes.

The next morning, when I returned to school, a few students told me that I was on the TV WBZ News many times in yesterday afternoon and the evening. I was so excited, but I missed it. The school however made me a copy on tape, which I still treasure.

Many of the paintings became the private collection. After the project, I realized that I was one of the best watercolor portrait artists, so I accepted the invitation to become the instructor of Watercolor Portraiture in the college. That lasted for 3 years until I changed my job from senior illustrator for PennWell to graphic designer for an advertising company.