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"

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"

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"

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.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Downloadable Version of my DVD is ready

Finally, The downloadable version of my DVD is ready for purchasing. Please visit the DVD page of my website. Now you may either purchase a physical DVD or download the video onto your computer or iPad. The size of the video is about 1.1 GB. Please make sure you have enough space on your devices. If you have any issues please let me know. I will learn and try my best to help you.

Friday, April 1, 2016

OPA 2016 National

I have never thought I am going this far in my art career. I am extremely honored to be the demo artist for the 25th National Exhibition and Convention of the Oil Painters of America. Meanwhile I am extremely humbled. So many my teachers will be watching I paint on the stage. I will be nervous for sure, like a student presenting homework project in front of a group of professors, wondering if I am able to pass the test. I will be very honest to tell you that I don't know much in painting, but I will definitely try my best to show my painting process. I hope it will benefit to the OPA Convention participants to know how I work. I am looking forward to meeting or seeing you in Dallas.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Painting in China 2016

Finding the true Utopia has been a constant dream for me. So I plan to go to Shangri-La this coming September. Now I want to officially announce my Painting in China 2016 trip. I would like to take a group of ambitious artists to go to the Southwest part of China (Yunnan Province) to see and paint this exotic and mystical place. If you are interested in this trip, Please visit: It will be a wonderful experience of your and my life time.

Friday, March 25, 2016

"Demo at LAAFA 2016 3"

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My third demo: painting flowers. I have got more and more abstract nowadays, some time even chaotic. This painting is reflecting the current status of my mind. This year is rather difficult year for me. Quite many friends has asked me. "You teach so many workshops. Do you feel tired? Have you felt burnt out?" Well, what can I say? As a matter of fact, I have been burnt out a long time ago. On this difficult journey, I don't have much choice except keeping on going, and going. Experience the hard time makes the art more meaningful.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

"Demo at LAAFA 2016 2" --- Sold

This is the second demo at LAAFA. Apples are my favorite still life objects. This painting is predominately warm. So the green apple stands out more and becomes the center of focus.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

"Demo at LAAFA 2016 1"

LAAFA (Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art) is a wonderful school provides rigorous training of the academic way of drawing, painting, and sculpting. I am really honored to teach still life painting workshops here. It is my second time coming to LAAFA. I want to thank all the wonderful artists for attending my class. This is my first demonstration.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

"Spring at Dies Ranch"

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I did this plein air painting this morning. The spring in Texas is spectacular and the colors are so fresh. I enjoyed the perfect weather today. It is one the ideal days to paint outside.

The weather is wonderful, but the climate is so strange. The spring comes so early this year. The temperature has gone beyond 90 F this afternoon. We might have a super hot summer this year.

Monday, March 14, 2016

"Xidi Carved Window 1"

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I am continuing on the research of the monochromatic paintings. I started to consider to remove the transparent oxide red off my palette. This painting was done with burnt umber, white and a little black. It looks the experiment works. This way will save me significantly on the expenses on paints.

I have a major computer crash over the weekend. I have lost quite a bit of information. If you used to receive my daily painting emails, but found you did not receive this post and posts in the future, please let me know, I have to manually put you back. I am sorry for the inconvenience.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

"Plein Air at Xidi Village (Day 2)"

I have started another large painting. When I was at Xidi last September, I saw so many artists plein air painting all over the place. I really want to do several serious paintings to reflect the lives in this small place. You have seen I painted quite a few doorways there, but that was just the necessary foundation work. This one I start to involve more figures, which are the artists in the village. I know it is a challenge for me to paint any serious painting with my fragmented time, but I will give a try.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

"Xidi Doorway 7"

I used this ref photo the second time. Xidi village is the place that keeps coming back in my dreams. This morning I painted this Xidi doorway again. I want to practice this technique more to gain more control and gradually develop a style. There is a Chinese character on the red sign posted about the door, I have waiting the paint to dry to write it on.

Monday, March 7, 2016

"Boedges Study 1"

Mark Boedges is the artist I started to follow very recently. I met him at the Scottsdale Artists' School last month and saw his paintings at the Legacy Gallery. I like the way Mark composes his color designs. Pure landscape painting is not my cup of tea, but I want to study and practice more to get better. So I decided to copy a few Mark's paintings to understand more how he handle his colors. This is the first one I have done.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

"French Legation Museum, Austin"

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This morning I joined a group of local artists, painted plein air at the French legation Museum at the downtown Austin. My color scheme for this painting is rather weird. I did not plan to do this but it turned out like this by itself. I don't quite like this color scheme. Can any psychologist explain what is going on?

"Keep Austin Weird" is the motto of this city. I must be possessed by a "weird" spirit this morning.

Friday, March 4, 2016

"Big Apple and Small Onion"

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I have been back to Austin for a few days now, and this is what I did today. Somehow every time I am back home, it is always difficult to start painting right away. So many other things because priorities, and painting have to give in. Several days passes quickly and my mind is blank at this moment, so I used this simple painting to warm up.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

"Demo at Sedona 2016 3" --- Sold

The flower demo was on the last day of the workshop. I saw a bouquet of white roses casually set in an empty can. I move it to my still life station. It is almost perfect as my subject. However, from my greediness, I tried to "arrange" it to make it "better". Well it ends into a disaster. Finally I have to pull all the flowers out of the can and redo it. It happens too often, that the mother nature presents the best design for us, but our ego will come to say: I can do better. Well the result is often the opposite. So the ability to "discover" is more important than the ability to "create".

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Radio Interview with Artists Helping Artists

At 1:00 PM EST on Thursday March 3,  I will be interviewed by Leslie Saeta and Dottie Leatherwood of the Blog Talk Radio "Artists Helping Artists". If you have some time on Thursday afternoon, please join us by clicking the link of "Artists Helping Artists". I will share my story and experience in art with you.

Monday, February 29, 2016

"Demo at Sedona 2016 2"

This is the second demo I did on my Sedona workshop. The setup was typical, but I started to see something new: the game of warm/cool colors. I feel good about this one, but I can't articulate why at this moment. I think I need more time to digest what is going on. and practice a little more to make sure this effect is not accidental. Please be patient with me. I will show you.

Friday, February 26, 2016

"Demo at Sedona 2016 1"

I had a few days that I could not get decent internet connection, so I was not able to post my paintings up to date. After teaching at Scottsdale I went up to Sedona, AZ and did another 3-day workshop. This was my 1st demo. This time I kept the painting monochromatic such that I can emphasize the importance of the drawing and value. Many of my students (especially landscape artists) tend to go to color too quick and without enough awareness of the drawing and value. So this time I force my students doing monochrome on the first day. I feel it is a very good practice.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

"Demo at Scottsdale Artists' School 2016 4" --- Sold

For the 4th demo, I asked everybody: "What do you want me to paint?" The silver is most people wanted. So I formed this composition.

Now the workshop at SAS is over. I will come back here again in the future. SAS is such a wonderful place to learn and teach.

Friday, February 19, 2016

"Demo at Scottsdale Artists' School 2016 3" --- Sold

The third demo. The rose demo. Mid key. Slow down. Concentrate.  Think more, and paint less. Hope you like it. Forgive my broken English.