Painting in encaustic provides a strong connection to her mother and late mother-in-law. Both were artists that worked with heat and pigmented wax. Her mother, a retired teacher and ikebana artist, called her technique“melted crayons.” Her late mother-in-law was a graphic designer, painter, and encaustic artist. Although their styles are different, strong use of color and botanical themes is the common thread that binds them together. The tools they use to fuse the wax are also different, Mylen uses a blow torch, her mother a lit candle and metal flashing while her mother-in-law used a heat gun.
She is inspired by color, texture, depth, and random or natural compositions. She is just as interested in the shapes of objects as the shapes or spaces between objects. The layered textures and subtle color variations reveal a story and represent metaphors that translates into a painting. She works in different mediums and use different techniques – encaustic, printmaking, oil, acrylic, ink, oil pastels – but the common denominator is nature.
Mylen builds up the layers in her painting. She starts with an idea in mind, from an image that resonated during one of her daily walks. In addition to a blow torch, she also uses razor blades, carving tools, bristle brushes, oil sticks, add and subtract shapes, textures, and colors, to the layer beneath until a whole, unified picture emerges. The creative process is a relationship between herself and her painting, a constant give and take.
Mylen is an artist and a teacher. She immigrated from the Philippines to the US with her family when she was 14 and later studied art at the Center for Art and Design in Detroit and at Columbia College in Chicago. Her engagement in arts education began with the Seattle Children's Museum over twenty years ago. For the past ten years she has been teaching and advocating for youth arts education in partnership with Arts Corps, for which she is also a board member, the Seattle Art Museum, Arts Impact, Seattle Public Schools, Highline School District and the Creative Advantage. She lives in Seattle with her husband, two sons and a lovely dog.
Board member for Arts Corps, an arts education organization whose mission is to revolutionize arts education by igniting the power of young people through culturally engaging learning experiences.
Teaching Artist at Seattle Art Museum and worked for many years as an artist in Residence in a variety of public school in Seattle and Highline School Districts.
Artist Mentor for Arts Impact, an arts education organization who empowers educators to teach the arts and integrate them into all learning, so that each child thrives and we close the opportunity gap for children of color and those experiencing poverty.
CORE Gallery 117 Prefontaine Place South Seattle WA 98104
March 31- April 24, 2021
- October 2021
- July 1- 25, 2020
- group show, January 2020
Glass and Home Decor Art Walk - October 18 & 19, 2020
Phinney Neighborhood Art Stroll- August 30, 2020
Phinney Neighborhood Association - Northwest Fine Arts show June 10-July10