Yong Hong Zhong, a Chinese-born artist who immigrated to the United States at age 12, went on to draw for MTV Animation and Disney.
After many years working on Disney’s movies, Zhong decided to return to traditional painting.
Through several twists of fate, he came to Port Angeles last year for Paint the Peninsula, the week-long festival of plein air painting, demonstrations and fresh-art shows at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center.
The juried event runs from Aug. 21-27 this year and brings 22 painters from across the United States and Canada.
“I had a blast,” Zhong said of Paint the Peninsula.
“It’s an honor to get invited back,” he said, not only for the competition but also to give a plein air watercolor workshop Saturday, Aug. 19. His morning session will cover fundamentals and include an in-studio demonstration; the afternoon will explore painting ideas and add an outdoor demo.
The cost, which benefits the nonprofit Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, is $125, while more details and registration can be found at www.PaintthePeninsula.org.
Another Paint the Peninsula artist, Robin Weiss of Poulsbo, is returning to teach three sessions just before the competition begins. Weiss, winner of multiple Paint the Peninsula prizes, will give an oil painting workshop Aug. 17-19.
Painters — of any level — can sign up for one, two or three days with Weiss, at $125 for one day, $235 for two days or $345 for all three days, again with proceeds benefiting the fine arts center.
“We’re just going to have fun,” said Weiss, who plans to bring his students to La Push’s Second Beach, Port Angeles’ waterfront and perhaps a Dungeness Valley farm.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or more advanced,” Weiss said.
A painter who travels to plein air competitions around the country, Weiss won Best in Show, Artist’s Choice and Best in Show awards at Paint the Peninsula.
In his workshop, he’ll spend time with students individually at their easels.
But it’s not all about him.
“The natural surroundings of the Olympic Peninsula,” Weiss said, “are the biggest draw.”
For more information, call 457-3532 or visit www.PAFAC.org.