Thursday, June 23, 2016

"Morning Laundry"

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I did this painting from a photo Song took during our last year's China trip. In the first morning we stayed at the Xidi Village, I saw a group of ladies doing their laundry at a small pond. The scene was spectacular. It was incredibly beautiful. I like the good old days. The life was more painterly then what we have now. Some day I might paint people with smart phones.

The China trip we have planned for this year did not make it. What a pity! We have postponed the same arrangement to 2017. Now we have much more time to think about it. If you are interested in join us in 2017, please contact Song to be on the list.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

"Future Star"

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Keep on going. Paint more figures. This one is my number 9 for this series. I have established my procedure. I am able to get a decent figure with adequate accuracy on proportion, anatomy, and perspective. I feel this is the first step, which is the study stage. Next, I will concentrate on the design to make the image more dynamic or dramatic.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Come and paint with me in July

June is my studying month. You have seen I am working on my Impressionistic figurative paintings. I have been taking notes, documenting my trials and errors, summarizing my learning, and figuring out methods and procedures. Soon, I will involve my new knowledges in my workshop teaching and share them with all my students.

Next month, I will teach 2 workshops. The first one will be at the Art School in Sandy Springs in Atlanta. It is full with a waiting list. And then the second one will be at Swannanoa Valley Fine Art League in Black Mountain, NC. We still have 3 openings. If you are interested in my teaching, please contact Cheryl Keefer for information and signing up. I am looking forward to paint with you.

Friday, June 17, 2016

"Young Artist 3" --- Sold

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My today's painting comes out smoothly. I have tried to keep the figure as loose as possible by avoiding unnecessary details. Painting children is rather pleasant. This young artist was observing what was happening right in front of him. He will be good at Plein Air very soon.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

"Drummer 3"

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I have followed the momentum of painting Impressionistic figures. This one is slightly easier than my previous one. I started to develop a procedure of this kind of work. It is rather different from my still life painting. When this procedure gets mature enough, I will share with you.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

"Poetic Colors"

Today, with my limited time, I did this abstract study. I started this one as a still life (you probably still can see it), but somehow I want to push it into a pure abstract direction. I have played with designs of geometry, color, value, and texture.  To many representational, especially realistic painters,  Going abstract is not easy. We are too used to following the visual world outside, but we don't know how to follow our internal world. Learning how to observe our subjective mind objectively will be very helpful to our art. There is freedom there, but we need to learn how to use it.

Monday, June 13, 2016

"Drummer 2"

10" x 8", oil on board, framed, $850 + shipping

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I have spent more than a day on this painting. Boy! painting figure is hard. Especially the face and hands. They got to be absolutely correct. Artist's license will not work. This is my second drummer painting. When I posted my previous one, many friends did not know what the figure was doing. This one should be self-explanatory.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

"Ring Man"

8" x 6", oil on board, framed, $750

Please contact Qiang to purchase

I have gained more momentum in figurative painting. I did another one today. For figurative work, I feel it is rather difficult to compose. Different from a still life, in which I can easily move the objects, figure is difficult to move because there is too much involved. In addition, I have a hard time to maintain the size of the figure. It changes a lot when I try to get the proportion correct. To solve the problem, I have stopped using pre-sized panels and canvases. I tape a piece of loose canvas on a board, and figure out my composition by cropping the canvas after the painting is finished.

Friday, June 10, 2016

"Drummer 1"

8" x 10", oil on board, framed, $850 plus shipping

Please contact Qiang to purchase this painting

The last Saturday in every April in Austin, you can find a hippy festival call the Eeyore's Birthday Celebration. People dress up and play drums all day long. This event is a wonderful photo opportunity. I took tons of photos. I know some of them will be great references for my figurative work. Today is a good day. Now I have more feeling about the Impressionistic color application. Painting figures is much harder than painting still lives. The proportion, anatomy, and perspective need to absolutely correct. Otherwise a three year old can tell you what is wrong with it.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

"Blue Bucket"

6" x 8", oil on canvas, framed, $300 + shipping
Contact Qiang to purchase.

Sorry I have not been active in painting lately. I have run into some personal trouble, and have to deal with it alone. My mood now will be reflected by the Imagine Dragons's song "Demons".

This is a beautiful painting. However, the beauty is hypocritical. Only the blue is the truth.

Monday, May 30, 2016

"Mountain Labor"

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Last September, a group of artists and I arrived at the top of the Yellow Mountain (China) by cable car. However I have found that the most of supplies for hotels on the top of mountain was carried up manually. The work is very hard. I feel sorry, but that is their way of make a living. I took quite few photos. The painting was done based one of them.

It was a few days struggle to do this painting (no comparison to the person who carried a giant oxygen tank climbing who knows how many steps). Somehow I feel this is my self portrait as well, carrying a heavy load on my journey going up. There is no way back, and there is still a long way to go. Even I don't know if I can make it.

Tomorrow will be the deadline for my 2016 China trip. We still need a few more people to make this trip a "Go". I hope some of you can join us. I am very sure it will be a wonderful trip.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

"Young Artist 2"

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I did a painting called "A Young Artist" many years ago. That boy must be a handsome young man now. Almost at the same location, I shot another photo a couple of weeks ago. Now this artist is doing almost exactly the same thing, innocent with the same concentration. Is the time really exist? I doubt it. If we don't individualize, We have already lived in the Eternity.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

"Red Hair"

Painting figures is really my dream. When I started painting, I immediately went into figurative. Very soon I have realized how difficult it could be. So I took a detour and went into still life painting to strengthen my foundations. You have seen I only occasionally paint head studies and figure practices. So fast, more than a decade has passed. Now I come back to my try love.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

"New Video about China Trip"

I have made another video about our China painting trip last year. This one is about Xidi and Hongcun, the villages we stayed and painted last time. I am looking forward to having another wonderful China trip coming up this September. Time goes by so fast, I want to remind you that the deadline for signing up is May 31. If you are interested in visiting China and do plein air painting there with me, Please visit my China Painting Trip 2016 webpage as soon as possible. The trip is well organized and reasonably priced. You may contact artists who attended previous trips for reference. Please email me, and I will provide the contact information.  To some people this trip can be the one of the life time. Please take action now before it is too late.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Invited Artists' Workshops

Besides I am teaching workshops intensively around the world, I also invited accomplished artists come to Austin. In the near future Hai-Ou Hou and Derek Penix will come and share their artistic expertise. If you are in or near Austin Texas, Please check my invited Artists' Workshops page and sign up.

I believe many of you have participated or plan to attend various plein-air events. Painting quickly and manage the essence of scene is the key for being successful. Hai-Ou's workshop will help you to accelerate your painting speed and keep the paint quality loose and dynamic. If you participate quick-draw or any plein air activities, Her technique will be directly beneficial.

You know I just came back from this year's OPA National Show. Do you know who has won the Best of the show ($30,000)? Yes he is Derek Penix. I am so happy that Derek will come to Austin to teach. He has very special way to manipulate colors and texture to give his painting a bold and energetic expression. He will share his approaches of alternating warm and cool and complementary colors to create a very Impressionistic painting.

I feel I have a mission of bringing high quality art education programs to the central Texas area. I hope you can benefit from those programs and bring your art to a higher level.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

"Demo for OPA National 2016" --- Sold

I did this still life demonstration for the Oil Painters of America 2016 at Dallas. It is a major milestone for my art career. I am so honored to show my art at this highly prestigious art community. Many my audiences are my teachers. I am glad I did OK.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

"Pink Rose Study 02" --- Sold

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Flower painting, I have done quite a bit, but I still see much more room for improvement. I'd like to paint from life as much as possible, but this one I did from a photo. When I in a studying mode, I tend to paint very slowly. The flower does not want to sit still. It grows right in front of me. Some time I paint so slowly that I feel I was chasing the growth of the flower.

I have started an new online activity: selling my art directly from my website. Please check my "Available Paintings" web page. I want to be the gallery owner of my own art. I appreciate all of you to support my new endeavor in this part of art business. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Thanks.

Monday, May 9, 2016

"Demo at Lancaster 2016 2" --- Sold

For the second demo at Lancaster, I showed painting architectural structure from photograph. This project gave me more chances of using palette knifes. The key to get a good architectural painting is to make sure the perspective is correct. I tried my best to manage the perspective on this one, but it still was not perfect. Well, I have learned.

Friday, May 6, 2016

"Trip to Yellow Mountain" my video

This is my first time post a video on my blog and daily newsletter. This one shows part of our trip to China in September 2015. Yellow Mountain is spectacular place. I took massive amount of photos there. One day I will paint from some of them.

I want to remind you our China trip in this September. I have detailed information on my website. It will be very special opportunity to see, paint, and have a great time in this cultural rich and exotic country. The trip is well organized and very reasonably priced. So far we still have a few openings. Please click Painting in China 2016 to sign up. Thanks.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

"Demo at Lancaster 2016 1" --- Sold

After Williamsport workshop, I drove a few hours in the rain and arrived at Lancaster PA. In the wonderful Amish country, I did two paintings. I want to thank Beth Bathe for putting this one-day art class together, and thanks to all the artists for coming to see how I paint. I like that silver tea pot a lot, I deliberately put the handle to the front to cast a nice shadow across a high light. Dramatic effects can happen any time. We just need to pay attention.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

"My 2017 Workshop Teaching Schedule"

Dear My Artist Friends,

My workshop teaching schedule for the year of 2017 is published now on the my website: Similar to this year of 2016, I will have 22 workshops all over the United States and also 2 international painting trips to Italy and China. If you are interested in my teaching, please find the workshop location convenient to you and contact the corresponding workshop organizer for detailed information and signing up. I am looking forward to sharing my know-how to you.

Establishing more than 20 workshops per year is a time consuming and very tedious job. It is impossible for me alone to make it happen. I want to sincerely thank all the workshop organizers and especially my administrative manager Jane Frederick. There have been massive amount of communication between Jane and organizers to iron out all the details and make them happen. I am so grateful to have so many wonderful people around me. They are the real heroes of making great art and high quality art education available.

Monday, May 2, 2016

"Demo at Williamsport 2016 3" --- Sold

Silver and roses, they are the two my favorite items I love to paint in my still life paintings. I like the contrast of textures. The glossiness of the metal and delicate softness of the flowers make the painting still life exciting.

Friday, April 29, 2016

"Demo at Williamsport 2016 2" --- Sold

Now it is common I paint something I never painted before when I demo for the workshop. I had a lot of fun painting that oil coffee grander, which is my first time painting it.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

"Demo at Williamsport 2016 1" --- Sold

I am a way behind. Before I went to Tucson, I was in Pennsylvania and did quite a few paintings there. This one was my first demo painting on the Williamport workshop. I want thank Bibi Brion for organizing my workshop, and thank all the artists for attending. We had a few snowy days, but inside the Pajama Factory was warm and happy. I saw so many old props, felt like in an antique show. I had a delicious feeling when I paint this one.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

"Plein Air Painting at Tucson 3"

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This is my third plein air piece at Tucson. On the fourth day of the convention, we went to the Old Tucson. I feel a little better than my previous one. The light and shadow is more obvious. I can handle it better. However, my feel is not strong. How to get a strong feeling in front of the scene is not easy. I have more feeling when I setup my still lives, but for landscape I have not got there yet. Need more learning.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

"Plein Air Painting at Tucson 2"

I use my blog to document my painting activities including successful ones and failed ones. My today's post is about a failure. On the second day of the Plein Air Convention, we painted at the Catalina State Park, where has beautiful scenes of mountains and saguaros. I was overwhelmed by what I saw, and having a hard time to decide what to paint. The light changed quickly, and finally I find a piled of ruck with cactus with a back light. The shadow colors were beautiful, so I decided to give a try. I was rushed for about 30 minutes, then the light was gone. I barely got some value and no time to think about colors at all. That was I had. How do you like it?

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

"Last Territory" --- Sold

From April 15 to 19, I have attended the Plein Air Convention at Tucson, AZ. It was a wonderful event. I met many wonderful artists and so happy of seeing many old friends. This one is a plein air piece I did. I admire so many great artists having the ability of painting mountains and saguaros, because I can't. So I hid in a place not many people can see me and painted this wagon.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

"Demo at Sacramento 2016 3" --- Sold

Demo three: painting flowers. When I set up the still life, that flower was rather small, but it grew so fast. During the demo, it got so big making my composition off the balance.

Friday, April 8, 2016

"Demo at Sacramento 2016 2" --- Sold

I really like the second demo I did. My color presentation gets more impressionistic now. Colors do not need to "belong to" any physical objects. I concern more how to make the painting better rather than to make the scene realistic.

BTW I am at Williamsport, PA now and started another workshop teaching.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

"Demo at Sacramento 2016 1" --- Sold

This is my demo 1 on my Sacramento workshop. However, what I want to say today is that this painting was done about two weeks ago.

Life has successfully stopped me from painting for about two weeks now. I must admit that I have lost the battle this time. Like most of people on this world, I was sooooo busy. This busy-ness has driven me nuts. Painting? who care about that? I have been doing "important" things.

Being busy is a very dangerous disease. The Chinese character for "busy" has two parts: the left means "heart" and the right means "death". So if you are too busy, your heart will die. If you feel no way out of those "important" things, you want to be alert now. This world will turn you into a zombie.

I want to thank Patris Miller for organizing this workshop and thanks all the California artists for coming and paint with me.