THE ARTS: Max Yamada has made local images come alive
By Melissa Morris
August 26, 1999
The Newport Beach Light
Max Yamada wants to bring light to the world.
The 44-year-old Newport Beach resident, born in Yokohama, Japan, paints nature scenes of the city's beaches and Back Bay using high-gloss varnish to intensify color and light.
Yamada, whose paintings are on display at City Hall Gallery through Sept. 17, began painting professionally two years ago because he said he wanted to work independently of others.
Yamada retired in 1991 from Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan after designing car interiors for 10-years:
He earned a bachelor's degree in engineering from Chiba University in Japan. During a three-year, work-related stay from 1988 to 1991 in the United States, Yamada met his wife, Jolyn Wayne. Wayne, a director at The English Learning Service in Newport Beach, taught Yamada to speak English.
"For me, a good painting means you feel the painter's view or the painter's emotion," Yamada said.
Yamada's work comes from a love of nature and an enjoyment of life. He uses paints to create light and enhance color. "I like the brightness and the color," said City Manager Homer Bludau of Yamada's work. "It brightens up City Hall."
"I feel nature is the best subject to lighten up the viewer's mind," Yamada said, explaining why he paints environmental scenes. "Sometimes I think people get discouraged, but (they) see a painting and lighten up." Yamada is proud of himself and his work.