‘Life is Beautiful’

“Japanese Beauty”

Hsiao-lin “Pearl” Chiang, RN, is a nurse at Matheny and a professional artist. From October 1-31, her paintings will be on display at the Bridgewater, NJ, Public Library. The exhibit, “Life Is Beautiful,” contains 30 paintings, but since the space available will only hold 10, Chiang will be changing the paintings twice during the month.

Chiang moved to the United States from her native Taiwan in 1990. She has enjoyed painting since she was a child, and, while it was originally mostly an escape for her, it has turned into much more than that. Last fall, she had a 38-painting exhibit at the Art Yards Café in Taipei. For the past eight years, she has been teaching art to students, and recently she recruited a group of high school students to help her finish a mural, “Paradise,” in the Matheny children’s dining room. She also has her own website, www.pearlchiangarts.com.

“Chinese Beauty”

“I love to paint,” she says, “and I want to meet others who also love to paint or who might enjoy my colorful and happy paintings.” The Bridgewater Public Library is located at 1 Vogt Drive. Hours are Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 1-5 p.m. For more information, call (908) 526-4016.

Nursing and art: perfect together

After caring for her son, who has type 1 diabetes, Hsiao-lin “Pearl” Chiang knew her true calling was to become a nurse (so much for her Master’s degree in computer science).

Chiang, a resident of Bridgewater, N.J., started her nursing career at Muhlenberg Hospital in Plainfield, moved on to the Bonnie Brae School in Basking Ridge and then joined the nursing staff at Matheny in 2006.

But it’s not just nursing that tugs at her heart: she has always loved to paint. “One of my friends, who has a lot of galleries in Taiwan, saw my paintings and offered me a big show at the Art Yards Café in Taipei,” she says. The exhibit, containing 38 paintings, was held from August 7-October 5 of this year, and Chiang was there for the premiere. Many of her paintings, such as “Mermaid” (below), “Japanese Beauty” and “Diamond Beauty,” depict beautiful women.

Her technique is to start with a pencil sketch, followed by a watercolor pencil. She then adds some other material like oil paint or a special effect such as embroidery or a pearl “to make it come to life. Painting helps me show my feelings directly.”