Heli Hofmann: Finding Expression in Simplicity

So I?ve developed a painting approach built around shape and color. My approach is simple?I reduce subjects to their basic shapes, then limit myself to just a few colors that best express the mood I?m after. The results are both representational and expressionistic.

My first consideration is the shapes of the individual elements and the larger shapes these create. I reduce these major shapes to their most basic form. For example, I like squares, cylinders and triangles. They work well because the eye is accustomed to recognizing them. With this in mind, I may represent a tree as a circle or as a triangle on top of a cylinder. A path or road may be a serpentine line, while a house and it?s roof may be made up of geometric shapes such as squares, rectangles and trapezoids. I alter these shapes a little bit, twisting and distorting them to make them even more engaging.

Eichendorf (oil, 36×36)

My colors aren?t literal?I choose them based on the feeling I?m trying to create. To ensure unity throughout a painting, I use only four or five colors, plus black and white. Once I?ve decided in the colors I?ll use, I put the rest of my paint tubes away so I?m not tempted to add any others.

Romantic Garden (oil, 26×36)

Born in Korea, Young Hi Lee teaches the ancient arts of Chinese and Korean painting in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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