Friday, October 31, 2014

"Demo at Falmouth 2014 3" --- Sold

This morning, I have arrived at the Logan International Airport really earlier, got on the plane to Houston, then to Lafayette, LA. Before the plane took off, the pilot found an engine problem. We have to turned around, back to the gate, and deplaned. Now I have several hours waiting for the new plan.

This is my third demo on the Falmouth workshop. Besides the rose, I placed a few New England Fall foliage into the setup. After I moved to the South, I have been longed for the beautiful Fall time in the North. Now after I became a full time artist and teacher, I feel very fortunate that I have opportunities to come to New England every full to see the beautiful colors.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

"Demo at Falmouth 2014 1" --- Sold

Another phase of workshop teaching has started. This is the first demo I did at Falmouth in Cape Cod, MA. I want to thank the Falmouth Artists Guild for organizing this workshop, and thank all the New England artists who are attending this workshop. This is a very typical demo: a dark bottle, a shinning pot, and colorful fruit.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Visiting Adelaide Cummings

We have arrived at Cape Cod this afternoon. We visited our friend Adelaide Cummings at West Falmouth. Adelaide is a legendary lady. She has just turned 100 years young in June. She wears a special pendent, which is her Olympic gold medal. She is winner of 4 Olympic gold medals in Tennis. Now she is also a very well known poet, and still writing every day. We met Adelaide the first time at Hope Town, the Bahamas in February. She was our next door neighbor at the hotel we stayed. Her story inspired me tremendously. She spends a part of the year in Bahamas, and the rest of year at her home in West Falmouth. I am so happy seeing her again here. Now I want share a verse of her poem with all of you:

Centenary

Folks are prone to blink, then rue,
What they think an aging mind can't do.
So, here are facts they need to heed...
We still read, enjoy a drink,
Rarely think we're on the brink,
Seldom call on help from shrink,
So to brush us off is oh so sad.
It's true we don't pursue each fad,
But we still have the brains we had!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

"Zen of Grey 2" --- Sold

I have abandoned the painting project I posted previously. I felt it went to the wrong direction, well I mean the direction I don't want to go. First of all it started using "good" colors on the cup to capture attention, but I intended to let the grey to tell the story mainly. Secondly, It gets into too much details so the painting turned into a long term project.

This painting is larger (12" x 12"). I managed to finish it in one session. To prevent me going the "wrong" direction like my previous painting, I gave myself a few rules: 1. do not remove my glasses during painting, by which I must stay quite far from the painting to see clearly; 2. use only large brushes (half in to 2 in wide). I really want my large paintings have a similar look of my small (6" x 6") daily paintings. This one is sort of on track.

The most important for this project is let the grey tell the story, not the "good" colors. Grey colors are very delicate colors. You can not be sloppy with it. We all know the absolution neutral grey is the center of the color wheel. It likes the bull's eye on a target. Can you get it casually? In Texas, there are many good shooters. They work hard to control their guns and get the bull's eyes. For artist, grey is difficult to mix. If you are not careful enough, you will make mud. In other words: mud is an insensitive (or uncontrolled) grey. So, Improving "grey sensitivity" is a serious homework we all need to do.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

"Zen of Grey" (Day 2)

I need to prepare a few small still life paintings for a gallery show in December. However, my mind is a complete blank. I started anyway. Beijing has taught me a lesson about the color grey. So I did this painting still working on my grey. This is very difficult project. I even has no confident it is going to make it. Definitely it will not go the gallery this December. However, my grey is progressing.

I like the word "Zen". Its meaning is loud and clear, but it is unspeakable. Just like grey. I hope my grey will have a "Zen" quality soon.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

"Beijing Hutong 2014 9"

Click Here to Purchase

This is the last painting I did in Beijing, and it is another plein air one. A couple of days before I left Beijing, I went to plein air painting with a new friend: Kuang Han. Han (is his first name, the Chinese always put their last name first) is a very well known pencil drawing artist in Beijing. However, he may not be known enough in the Western world. I don't need to say too much about him, please check Kuang Han's Art, you will know.

I have been home for a few days now. Due to the jet-lag, I have not started any serious painting project. However, I have been thinking a lot on what I have been doing. It is getting clearer and clearer that my art career has entered a relatively quiet phase. It feels like a novice sailor coming out of the busy harbor now. In front of me is the vast ocean, endless and exciting, but some sort lonely. For a few years I have touch_based a few areas in art. I felt quite frequently that I am either just see "the tip of an iceberg" or  "open a can of worms". Now the icebergs are getting bigger, and the worms are crawling all over (Man! what a mental picture I am painting). Well, we have no choice. Let's keep going. Maybe slow, and  maybe disoriented, but keep going, since we are determined.

Friday, October 17, 2014

"Zai-Jian Beijing"

Zai-Jiang means Goodbye in Chinese. I have left Beijing and back to Austin. My painting email newsletter should be back to normal now. I will continue painting more cityscapes, and hope this new endeavor can bring you more flavor of my art. I took more photos like this one serving as wonderful references for my future paintings.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Beijing Hutong 2014 - 8 SOLD!


Yesterday, I went plein air painting with a group of local artist friends. I did this sketch as a demonstration. I have quite a few artist friends here in Beijing. Every time I come here. I like to get together with them. We went to this place called “the Orchard”. It is very beautiful. It was so enjoyable painting with old friends. For purchase information click here.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Beijing Hutong 2014 - 7 --- Sold


This painting took me several days. I really worked on the grey, making sure the temperature change and color harmony are as correct as possible. I was very careful to avoid any arbitrary colors on this painting. This is very analytical painting, rather tiresome. Painting grey but not dirty is so difficult. Fortunately, it is still doable. Click here for purchase information.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Beijing Hutong 2014 - 6 SOLD!


I feel good about this painting because it goes to a good direction. Too many artists, me included, if we see part of the painting having issues, we usually fix them by adding details. When the painting is getting more realistic, we think the painting has progressed. This approach works but it usually ends up to a tight painting, not that exciting and dramatic. I am glad this one did not go that way. I have large areas on the painting remaining abstract, especially the knife work on the lower right corner. For purchase information click here.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Beijing Hutong 2014 - 5 SOLD!


In the Hutongs, I saw so many clothes lines. They are the major color contributions on the top of the grey. I like this one. Under the yellow afternoon sun. I have the situation of warm light, cool shadow. I tried my best to mix clean grey colors. I feel the color scheme of this painting works OK. For purchase information click here.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Beijing Hutong 2014 - 4

I modified my grey. I feel the result is better than my previous one. Grey color is so tricky. If you are not careful it turns into mud in no time. Click here to purchase.

Monday, September 29, 2014

"Many Years Ago, There Was A..."

I have been to Beijing for about two weeks now. Almost everyday, I walked around the inner city capturing the glimpse of local people’s life. This one was shot in one of the Hutongs. The tour-guide on the tricycle is describing what was going on many years ago in this area. I may do a painting based on this photo in the future. I like the back light given a rich red glow on the tricycle. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Beijing Hutong 2014 - 3



Grey is the color of Beijing. This is great opportunity for me. Although I have already spent quite a bit of time working on my greys, I am still not able to handle it in a controlled manner. Well, I have no choice, but keep going and keep learning. Click here to purchase.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Beijing Hutong 2014 - 2


I did achieved color harmony on my previous painting. However, I did not feel very comfortable about the warm tone for the cityscape in China. Today I have tried used much cooler tone. I used very few colors for today’s painting: ultramarine blue, transparent oxide red, and white, plus a touch of pthalo blue and red for the color  accents. I like the cooler tone much better. Click here to purchase.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Beijing Hutong 2014 - 1 (day one)


I started painting again. The conditions here are not ideal, but I can’t wait. This one is from a photo I took a couple of days ago. I used this almost monochromatic approach to achieve the color harmony. I don’t think it is finished, but I have to wait until the painting is dry to the touch to continue. Since I am using a medium I am not used to, there is a learning curve to cross.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Beijing Hutong 1


In Beijing, the old historical districts are called Hutongs. Many small houses and courtyards were clustered together along narrow alleys. I was born in one of those Hutongs. So yesterday I went to my birthplace. The courtyard was long gone, but the Hutongs where I spent my childhood are still there. The place was chaotic. So much construction going on. Old houses are disappearing, replaced by ugly modern structures. I passed this courtyard with a heavily decorated gate. A group of local people are chatting. They seem pretty happy.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Early Autumn in China



It feels like a blink. I am now standing on the streets of Beijing. This year I was not successful  in bringing a group artists  to China to paint. However, I still made it myself. After more than thirteen hours of flight I arrived in Beijing yesterday afternoon. Due the jet lag, I got up very early this morning. The weather is so great here. The cool breeze of early autumn feels so wonderful.

China is like a painting which has had too much color put on it randomly. Parts of it are so dramatic, and other parts the colors are getting muddy. Every time I come here, I always feel so excited, and so shocked as well. The modern looking buildings in this photo are actually an electronics flea market where I just bought a 3G data card so I can hook my my Macbook air to the Internet. The place I am staying has no WiFi. This is the only way I can talk to you. I will be in China for a month, and I will keep you posted about what I see and what I do. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Richard Schmid 80 Years Birthday

If you ask me who is the best artist I consider. I will say Richard Schmid. I admire many artists, some are good at painting still lives, some are good figures, and some are good landscapes. However, if you ask who is good at everything. I will say Richard Schmid. I am very fortunate for painting with Richard a few times. They were very great and very informative. They have strong impact on my art. I am relatively a late starter in art, but study with Richard Schmid has significantly accelerated my progress.

Richard Schmid will be 80 years young in this October. Please join me and friends all over to celebrate his Birthday by participating the Global Birthday Card Party for Richard by the Village of Arts at Putney.

Thank you

Thursday, September 11, 2014

"Demo at Easton 3" --- Sold

For the third demo at Easton, I did not do a high key one. I feel I have some thinking to do about my high key approach. As a matter of fact, I have a lot of thinking to do in front of my entire art career. At the time you look at my art, I look at other people's art as well. I have found that making progress in art is so difficult. So many artists (including myself) keep painting the same thing. We like their works when we at the first place, but after we saw so many similar paintings, we start to get tire of them and stop following them, because we know they don't have any thing new to offer.

Why is it so hard to progress in art. There are several reasons. First of all, artists are human beings, they have their limitations. If we can do one or two things well in this short life, we should feel good about ourselves. Secondly, most of us are slaves of the all mighty dollar. We perform as puppets controlled by the market. I try my best to be mindful and live intensionally, but so many things are beyond my control. It sounds that I am complaining, but I am not. I am investigating and looking for potentials.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

"Demo at Easton 2" --- Sold

For the second demo I used that red Japanese lunch box. With the orange red rose and orange warm grey back ground, the painting has a warm tone. I use to emphasize that the contrast is the key consideration to make an interesting painting, but recently I pay more attention on unification and harmony.

I am back to Austin now. The Oregon + Maryland trip was enjoyable. Now I need several days to recover my "Qi" (or energy). I really wish I will sit around and do nothing for a few days. Who knows if that is possible. Last night's full moon was so beautiful. I was pondering "unification" again. It was amazing. It doesn't matter where I am, west coast, east coast, or in Texas, the moon looks the same. Perfect, and bright, shared by the whole world.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

"Demo at Easton 1" --- Sold

I am at Easton Maryland now. Today is the second day of my Easton workshop. I want to thank Easton Studio and School for organizing this workshop, and thank artists from all over for joining me and painting. This is very artistic town. I have heard Easton many years ago about the well know Plein Air Easton event. I am so happy to be here. This is my first demo.

Monday, September 1, 2014

"Demo at Springfield 3" --- Sold

This is the third demo. Now it gets more routine this third one is high key. However, I still feel my high key has not reached the level I want. I show my struggle right in front of my students. As a matter of fact, it is good. people see more genuinely how I paint. I made many mistakes and I try my best to solve problems.

Yesterday, Song and I flew 5 hours and arrived at Washington DC. Life is so surreal. At BWI, the rental car guy was very nice to me. He gave me a car with all kinds of advanced features. But I got so overwhelm of learning all the technology at the midnight, and not able to make the navigation system in the car to work. So I decided to use the GPS on my phone. In order to make the sound louder I tried to connect the phone speaker to the car via an auxiliary cable, but I could not find the jack to plug in. I ask the rental car guy. He told me there is no jack, but use my blue tooth to connect. I hesitated, I told him all my teeth are white, I don't have a blue one.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

"Demo at Springfield 2" --- Sold

This is the second demo painting. I enjoy specifically painting the brass goblet. Every place I go, I always found some interesting objects I never painted before. There is excitement and risk.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

"Demo at Springfield 1" --- Sold

I don't know why so many cities in America are called Springfield, but I have arrived at THE Springfield of America. If you watch the "Simpsons" on TV (I think all the Americans do), you will know where I am now. Springfield Oregon is the home of the Simpsons. I am so glad I am here and teaching a workshop. I want to thank the Emerald Art Center for organizing this workshop for me. I want to thank all the artists who attend my workshop. This is my first demo painting.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Daily Painters Re-Union

I have arrived at Eugene Oregon yesterday. I am so happy visiting Carol and David Marine at their lovely home. To most of the friends who read my blog, this lovely couple shouldn't be strangers. As a matter of fact they are quite famous in the daily painting world. Carol is one of the most well-known  daily painters. She is very successful as an artist and teacher. Recalling seven year ago, Carol introduced me into daily painting, which marks as my starting point of my art career. David is the founder of the reputable online platform: Daily Paintworks. Now this website has been serving the daily painters' community as the most effective marketing and learning tools. Time goes by so fast, and big changes have happened in our lives. I am so happy to see Carol and David are doing well. They have set up they legendary role models for us daily painters.

Monday, August 25, 2014

"Demo at Cloudcroft 3" --- Sold

This is the third demo, high key with flowers. I am keeping explore my high key approaches, and hope eventually I will get more control on it.

I have to admit that this workshop was one of the difficult ones. All the outside conditions were excellent. I had a group wonderful artists, and logistics were good. The issues were within me. Due to my busy schedule, I feel my physical and mental well being are out of balance. During the workshop I felt very tired with a strong headache. I coped with my issues with my meditation practice, but I felt I need more strength to face more challenges. I might have started to feel "burnt out". I am very grateful that one of the artists in the class, Carman, who helps me to straighten up my diet and get more energy back. We are human. We need to have the skills to take care of ourselves. I will do, and you do too.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

"Demo at Cloudcroft 2" --- Sold

This is the 2nd demo. I like the fresh pamagranit (spelling? I am amazed the blogger spelling checker is not capable to correct this simple spelling error for me. I am even more amazed that my English is still so inadequate to write a simply blog post like this.), and the silver incense burner. I converted the cup holding the flowers from a coffee mug. That was an interesting process.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

"Demo at Cloudcroft 1" --- Sold

I am 9000 ft above sea level. This is my first demo at Cloudcroft, New Mexico. I want to thank Cloudcroft Artist Workshops for organizing my workshop. Thanks to all artists for coming and painting with me.

As a reminder, I will go to Springfield, Oregon to teach another workshop after Cloudcroft. We still have several openings. If you are interested in attending, Please contact Emerald Art Center for information.