Please note that while Yosemite remains open during the federal government shutdown, services and facilities are very limited, and certain areas of the park are closed. For more information, please refer to the National Park Service and the Department of the Interior: visit www.nps.gov/yose and www.doi.gov/shutdown.

As the impact of the government shutdown continues to be felt, Yosemite Conservancy remains committed to supporting Yosemite National Park.

Click here for more information on the availability of Yosemite Conservancy programs and services during the shutdown.

Meet Molly: Three Questions for a Yosemite Artist

Meet Molly: Three Questions for a Yosemite Artist

Yosemite Art Center instructor Tsungwei Moo (Molly) has led pastel drawing workshops in the Valley since 2012.

Towering granite, lush green meadows, sparkling lakes ... Yosemite is a utopia for the artistically inclined. Whether you're a seasoned pro, an occasional doodler or a total artistic novice, you're bound to find inspiration for a sketch or painting when you visit the park.

2016 marks Tsungwei Moo's fifth season as a guest instructor for the Yosemite Art Center.

Eager to put pencil (or paintbrush, or pastel stick) to paper and capture your view of the park? Head to the Yosemite Art Center to join one of our guest artists for a workshop in the Valley! Most classes are held outside (weather permitting, of course), and give you the chance to learn from an expert while creating your Yosemite masterpiece. 

Today, we're introducing you to one of our longtime workshop leaders, Tsungwei Moo (Molly), a San Francisco-based artist born in Taiwan. Molly works in many mediums, has traveled all over the globe, and is a keen observer of the natural world.

In Yosemite, where she led her first Art Center class in 2012, Molly teaches pastel drawing. Read our quick Q-and-A below to learn more about her path to art and the park!

Tsungwei (Molly) Moo draws inspiration from Yosemite's natural beauty, seen here in her pastel drawing of Yosemite Falls.

 

Q: How did you get started in the art world?

 

A: It was a children’s picture book that made me the artist I am today.  A book about three kittens playing between cans of paint.  One kitten knocked over yellow.  One knocked over red.  The red and yellow became orange.  Blue spilled into yellow and became green.  I was suddenly fascinated with the magic of color.  My lifelong passion for creativity was born.

I have studied and practiced fine art and design all my life.  I worked in publishing and graphic production in my native Taiwan, and since immigrating to San Francisco, I have dedicated myself to the creation of fine art.  I have produced a wide range of work in painting, pastels, ceramics and printmaking.

 

 

Q: Why do you love creating art in Yosemite?

 

A: Yosemite is a special place on this earth.  I have traveled to many countries and seen many wonderful parts of the world, yet Yosemite is alive with a spirit and beauty that I have found nowhere else.  It inspires me.  It is my creative and spiritual home.

Visitors learn pastel drawing techniques during one of Molly's workshops in Yosemite Valley.

 

Q: What advice do you have for beginning plein air artists?

 

A: My advice would to be to simply enjoy creation.  Don’t worry about making mistakes or achieving perfection.  Take your time and come close to nature.  Look at the beautiful world as though you are seeing it for the first time. And practice, practice, practice.

 

Inspired to take Molly's advice and get close to nature? Take a look at our Yosemite Art Center calendar and find a class that fits your schedule and interests. In addition to watercolor, acrylic, ink painting and silk-dyeing workshops, the Art Center offers drop-in crafts programs, plus classes for kids and teens.

Here's the best part about making art in the Valley: As with all of our Yosemite programs, proceeds from art workshops support the park, so you can get creative and give back. We hope to see you at the Art Center sometime!

 

Yosemite Insider

Artist Instructor Tsungwei Moo, Yosemite Conservancy

Tsungwei Moo

Tsungwei Moo is a native of Taipei, Taiwan, and currently resides in San Francisco. She regularly exhibits her artwork in galleries and museums throughout the Bay Area, and she has taught plein air pastel drawing in Yosemite National Park for several years. She has hiked the High Sierra backcountry, explored the South African veldt and traveled the world. Her art is an expression of her passionate observation of the wonders of nature.