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Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2019 9:00 am

Two Local Artists Taught by Chinese Masters

Kelly Lingel

Kelly Lingel is a representational oil painter that was born and raised in southern California. She said from an early age she loved color and knew she wanted to be an artist.

Representational painting is a technique of portraying the subject in a recognizable fashion without necessarily painting it true to life.

Lingel said her mother “encouraged her creativity” from a young age and she was “fortunate to be exposed to great artwork” because both her mom and godmother took her to “art museums and galleries throughout the United States and Europe.”

As a child, Lingel said she would “spend hours alone painting and drawing” and that she studied art at the Asian Pacific Art Museum in Pasadena.

Upon reaching adulthood, Lingel said she became an elementary and secondary art teacher in the United States, Spain and Japan, where she was “exposed to different artists and styles of aesthetics.” She has also “written art curriculum for school districts in Los Angeles County and worked... with the Los Angeles Music Center to provide migrant students... throughout Los Angeles County a week of working in the arts-visual, dance and theater.”

Throughout her career, Lingel said she studied with a master artist and has been to numerous exhibitions and show.

The master artist Lingel referred to, is Jove Wang, a Chinese painter living in California. According to his website, Wang graduated as an honor student from “the most prestigious art institute of China, Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts (now  named the China Academy of Art).”

In terms of exhibitions and shows, Lingel said she has exhibited at the Long Beach Museum of Art, Sherman’s Gardens, the Palos Verdes Art Center and the California Art Club’s Long Beach Bicycle Race Art Show, where her painting was used for the Long Beach City Bicycle Race homepage and poster. Additionally, Lingel said she won first prize at the 2018 Lake Arrowhead Art and Wine Festival.

Lingel said she is influenced by the paintings of Nicholai Fechin, Joaquin Sorolla, Edward Hopper, Henri Matisse and Claude Monet. She paints using oil in both studio and outdoor settings, also called “en plein air” painting.

Lingel said her favored subjects are landscapes, still lifes, portraits, and figurative works. For her, “painting is a form of meditation, both challenging and deeply fulfilling.”

“Painting is the way I can best communicate and when my paintings emotionally connect with the viewer, I feel honored to have made that intimate human connection,” Lingel said. “I hope that, through my paintings, I can help others see the beauty that surrounds us, even in everyday objects. I am grateful that, with beauty all around us, there will always be endless inspiration.”

Alma Borcuk

Alma Borcuk is a painter who said she has paintings in private collections throughout the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, and Asia.

“My work was featured in the December 2003 issue of Northlight Book Club Magazine,” Borcuk said. “I’ve also done a book cover illustration for a children’s chapter book by author Betty Sleep, entitled ‘Purrlock Holmes and the Case of the Vanishing Valuables.’ During the 2018 Lake Arrowhead Rotary Art & Wine Festival, I was awarded ‘Best of Show,’ selected over 70 participating artists in various art mediums.”

Borcuk is also a self-proclaimed nature and animal lover.

“I love nature and so my paintings are drawn from (it),” Borcuk said. “Cats and dogs are my favorite. I find dog expressions and cat poses quite fascinating and that’s what I seek to capture in my art.”

Borcuk said her favorite medium is watercolor, but she uses others, including ink, pencil, Conte crayons, pastels and oil pastels. She even combines different mediums to “create (her) own unique style.”

“I do this in order to always evolve and flourish in my artistic endeavors,” Borcuk said about trying out and mixing different mediums.

For her artwork, Borcuk takes inspiration from Asian painting techniques and an American painter named John Singer Sargent.

“I strive to finish paintings in as few strokes as possible and to know when to stop so as not to overwork it,” Borcuk said. “This produces a fresh, spontaneous and serene quality in a painting that I so admire in Chinese and Japanese art. And in the tradition of John Singer Sargent’s work in portraiture, I aim to capture not only the likeness of my subject but also it’s soul.”

Borcuk said lately she has been focusing on “traditional Sumi-e and Chinese brush painting” and studying under her mentor, Dr. Ning Yeh. She said Yeh is a “premier master of this ancient art form. He is known for his Emmy award-winning PBS art show and has authored several art books on the subject.”

The “use of ink line drawings… and the sparse or non-existent background of my subjects” are two noticeable influences these painting styles have had on Borcuk’s painting.

“I so love this painting style that I decided to share this art form on our mountain by teaching,” Borcuk said. “I currently teach Chinese Brush Painting at the Community Arts Center (CAC) located in Lake Arrowhead Village.”

Her art has also made Borcuk more involved with animal rescues.

“Through donations of my art, I’ve been able to help several animal charities,” Borcuk said. “My works have been featured in charitable fundraising events throughout the US and have raised funds to help end animal suffering. This is the ‘icing on the cake’ so to speak, making my life as an artist an even greater source of joy.”

For more information on Borcuk’s classes, or to register, visit To see more of her art, visit She can be contacted by email at

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