Artist and Author
Welcome to my portfolio. Original art pieces are for sale. I do commissions and also follow my muse in creating works which I'm passionate about. Please visit my blog to view upcoming shows, published books, and links to art merchandise and clothing.
Please drop me a note if you have a question or comment, would like to purchase or commission work or if you'd like to join my newsletter list for upcoming shows.
Vancouver, BC Canada
A Lifetime of Creativity
Sandra Yuen's focus is acrylic painting and writing. Illuminated by fresh colours, her paintings are inspiring. She lives and works in Vancouver, BC, Canada. She became interested in art at a young age influenced by her father who was an architect. She received a Fine Arts Diploma from Langara College and Bachelor of Arts in art history from the University of British Columbia.
Sandra is the author of a memoir My Schizophrenic Life: The Road to Recovery from Mental Illness, a hilarious novel Chop Shtick, and a collection of novellas From New York to Vancouver: Stories on the Fly with New York writer, James D. Young. Her pen name is Sandra Yuen MacKay.
She is the recipient of the Courage to Come Back Award and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. She is an active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists. Her artwork is in public and private collections in North America.
Sandra's artwork has been exhibited at the Federation Gallery, Vancouver Fine Art Gallery, Art in the Garden, Fragrant Wood Gallery, Silk Purse (West Vancouver), Port Moody Arts Centre, CityScape Community Art Space (North Vancouver), Place Des Arts (Coquitlam), Eastside Culture Crawl, Federal Courts, Sheraton Wall Centre, Havana Gallery, University Women's Club of Vancouver (Hycroft), Vancouver Outsider Arts Festival, Gallery Gachet, Vancouver General Hospital, The Gathering Place, the Jewish Community Centre, and other venues.
Painting is a way of life. Art is my passion and part of my healing and journey of recovery from illness. I want to spread hope and optimism through these pieces, drawing from the depths of suffering transformed into a new entity, a rebirth.
In my paintings of flowers, I respond to their curvaceous forms and the vibrant colours of the blossoms which are a delight to paint. I work from photographs I’ve taken in my neighbourhood. I like open compositions, tight to the edge. In recent work, I blend colours on the canvas, using complementary, analogous and triad colour combinations. I mix colours and experiment, pushing the colour then pulling back to attain the intensity I desire. The paintings have areas of activity and rest to guide the viewer’s eye over the canvas.
In my florals, I like to depict the imperfect, the subtle variations of tone, and the cycle of life of the blooms, capturing their essence before they fade away. I'm influenced by Georgia O'Keeffe, Claude Monet and many others.
My cityscapes are about anonymity and memory, depicting figures isolated in urban settings. My father was an architect who taught me aspects of design and perspective. In a city full of people, there is still alienation and separation. In my house portraits, I paint homes in my neighbourhood. Homes provide us with comfort, security, familiarity, and belonging but may also separate us from engagement. We build silos between our private selves and our public identities. I am drawn to older homes built in the 1950-60s which are slowly being replaced by newer types of residences. They are part of the fabric of East Vancouver. I use the phrase 'disappearing city' as Vancouver goes through changes toward higher density and more contemporary architecture.
The Raw Edge refers to my abstract series based on dreams from my subconscious, memories that appear in my mind then melt away. Anger, angst, the eccentric and the peculiar filter into the art. Through intuitive drawing I develop compositions as a springboard to painting. Parts are polished; corners are left unfinished. These works are influenced by Abstract Expressionism, Marcel Duchamp, Pablo Picasso and others.