Wednesday, July 10, 2019
This is a small painting I did for my host family Anne and Phil Graham. I really appreciate they offered their lovely home for us to stay during the Wayne Plein Air Festival. Anne is a excellent portrait artist. Please check her website: http://www.annegrahamportraits.com. You will be amazed what you see.
Monday, July 8, 2019
Let me finish the story of my misfortunate painting day first. I almost had a panic attack when I found my classes were "gone with the wind", because that was my only pair and I needed a new prescription from an optometrist to get a new prescription. I was not home and two days later I needed to go to Michigan to teach another workshop. I had no idea if I could have another pair of glasses made within 48 hours. After, my heart sunk into the bottom, my situation started turning around. First of all, I felt so grateful about having a wonderful family and so many wonderful friends around me. My wife Song was with me when all of those misfortune happened, She took over the driving part. We arrived at Wayne Art Center about an hour later, the center director Nancy Campbell immediately made calls to all the eye doctors in the vicinity of Wayne. It happened to be a Friday afternoon. She made more than 10 calls, but all the optometrists were not available in Wayne. Finally she found an eye doctor in another town. So we went to see this very doctor. The optometrist was very nice. She measured my eyes, and helped me calling to see if anyone can make my classes quickly, and she found one. We went to nearby shopping mall, and visited a "Lens Crafter". They made a new pair of glasses for me within ONE HOUR. Well the story ended happily. I then painted those happy peonies the day after.
Saturday, July 6, 2019
I have an amazing story to tell about this painting. One of those Wayne Plein Air days, I went to a ship yard near Philly. I saw a few beautiful tugboats. The best view of them was from a bridge across the water. I set up my easel right away and started to paint. When I just layed out of my composition, I noticed that boat (I used for my center of focus) started to move. Quickly it turned. I saw a guy on the stern waved to me, seemed to say "Bye-bye". Then it disappeared. I was so disappointed, but I did not give up. I started to observe the second tugboat. It was not attractive as the first one, but It looked ok. So I altered my composition and kept on painting. Well, just when I blocked in my colors and ready for details, the second boat started to move. It turned mischievously, and disappeared. I was so frustrated. Only one tugboat left, but it was rather uninteresting. Well. I had no choice, and kept on painting. I removed my eye glasses and put it to the pocket of the apron I was wearing, and concentrated to develop a design to make the painting work. I painted, and painted I did not know for how long. I wanted to observe the painting from afar, and tried to reach my glasses. Suddenly I discovered my apron has mutated into a piece of string on my neck. The body of the apron had been blown away by wind. You know I was painted on a bridge. I looked into the water, and there is no trace of the apron and my glasses. Without glasses, I am literally blind. I may paint loosely, but I can not drive. That was the end of this lost tugboat painting. rest of the story is about how to get back to Wayne, and how to be able to see again. I will tell you later.
Thursday, July 4, 2019
Happy 4th July my friends! It was also on 4th July, Henry David Thoreau moved into his small house by Walden Pond. Although so many people around me considered my effort of building this Off-the-Grid shelter is so idiotically unnecessary, but as an artist, I feel it is my responsibility to demonstrate my American spirit: Fighting for the Freedom and Independence. I believe we can use our own hands and brains to build our beautiful life and librate ourselves from the shackles of the merciless commercialism. The photo shows the status of some of my projects. So far I have 6 100V solar panels (cost $81 each) giving power to a small window AC so I can stay comfortably indoors agains the brutal Texas summer heat. I also put up a deck, and installed the awning above the window. Today I don't show a painting. Maybe I can call this piece my sculpture or my performance art.
Sunday, June 30, 2019
First, Let's talk about art. This is a bad photo, but it is kind of interesting. This is my 3rd nocturne painting ever. I brought a portable light this time, but I did not realize how fast the battery fades. It was a good experience. Even under the fading light, the painting glowed in the dark night. I start to like nocturne plein air gradually.
Secondly, Let's talk about life. It is sort of like this painting: dark and fuzzy. Now we have closed our new house. The bank is empty, and I cross my finger for the future gamble. I hope it will rent fast so it pays its mortgage, insurance, and tax. The reason I don't like this main stream lifestyle is that it is totally out of control. Your fate is at the mercy of the "outside". If the "outside" says I don't like your countertop, you better change it. If "outside" says I want your arm and leg for the tax, you better give it. Just like Thoreau, I turn my direction to the woods. I love building my "Off-the-Grid" place. I experienced the entire process of human surviving. I have put a roof above my head, and I know how to deal with black and grey waters. I spent very small amount of money to get my basic supplies. I am happy when it rains, because my rain tank gets fuller. I am happy when the sun shines. I check my volt meter to see how much energy comes to my battery. Yesterday was in the 90s, and I kept my AC running for hours to cool my small place to 82 F. I feel good about life, because the nature provides so many resources for free. I feel good about myself, because I am able to survive with my own hands and brain.
I want to thank so many good friends to encourage me. With all of you, I don't feel lonely.
Thursday, June 27, 2019
I did this painting less about one and a half hours. I was not plan that way, but the light changed too quickly. I have to abandoned completely my usual approach, and just went with the flow. It was a relatively large painting. I even did not have the confidence that I can finish it. But the result was surprising.
In my last post, I talked about my "Off-the-Grid living" project. I must say I did not do it for my philosophy only. Currently, we live in a relatively big house that I have paid it off 10 years ago, but now I can't afford to pay its $14,000 per year property tax. We have decided to downsize. We are buying a small house brand new, and sell the big house. Everybody says: Austin is such a booming city, and your house will sell in no time. Well, it has been on the market more than 2 months now, and it does not move. I have reduced its price twice, and it did not help. The small house will close tomorrow. Since the bank only gives me a small loan (I am an artist you know), I need to use up almost all my cash to buy it. We also must to rent the small house out immediately (I need good luck for that as well), otherwise my property tax will shoot up way above $20,000 at the end of the year, not talking about paying the mortgage. After renting out the small house, we will have no place to move if the big house sells. That is the reason I am building my "Off-the-Grid" storage shed like crazy. Sometime, I feel what fool I am --- living in a storage shed but paying $20,000 property tax.
I like the song "Hotel California" by the "Eagles". "We are all just prisoners here of our own device". Modern life is such a trap. "You can check out anytime, but you can never leave". "Welcome to the Hotel California, such lovely place. Such lovely face"...
Saturday, June 22, 2019
This small 8"x8" won me an award on the Wayne Plein Air competition. It was some sort chemical tank on an dairy farm. I was attracted by the colors.
When I post this painting, I am at my "Off-the-Grid" land. There is no electricity, no water, no septic here. Since I can't afford to set up power lines, dig a well, and a septic tank, I have decided to make all of these living necessities myself. Last October, I put a factory built 200 square feet storage shed on 1.1 acre wilderness, and started my "sustainable living " projects. I have put solar panels and the roof and installed an electric system so I can turn on the lights, fans, and water pumps. I harvesting rain water with seven 55 gallon water tanks and build 4 stage filtration system. I have installed a tankless gas hot water heater for a shower. My biggest expenditure is a composting toilet. I have a gas heater for the winter, and I am upgrading my solar system so soon it can drive an air conditioner.
Why am I doing this? Henry David Thoreau said: "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I have not lived." Many have read "Walden", but very few decided to do it.
Saturday, June 15, 2019
I really like to paint old barns. This painting was done on a private property. It was cold and windy. I did not see any other artists at this location. It was a struggle, but the result was rewarding.
Tuesday, June 11, 2019
The rain finally stopped. I went to the Valley Forge National Park, and painted the Washington Headquarter. It was a cold day, but I painted the first time outdoors at this painting festival.
Sunday, June 9, 2019
My 2nd painting at the Wayne PA Festival was done at a placed called the Willow Brook Farm. It was raining heavily. I decided to paint inside an old barn. I found whole bunch of antique items and formed a typical still life setup, which is indeed my "cup of tea". I did not set up a light and use the existing lighting in the room. It was fun, and I completely forgot the rain outside.
Friday, June 7, 2019
I have participated the 13th Wayne Art Center Plein Air Festival from May 13 to 19. I did 12 paintings, sold 10 of them and won an award. I want to thank Anne and Phil Graham for offering their lovely home for us to stay. This one is my first painting there. It was a raining day. I decided to stay indoors. The location was at Valley Forge Flowers.
Tuesday, June 4, 2019
Somehow I forgot to post this one. I am pretty sure that old clock is older than I am. Time is an interesting thing. We think it is linear. The future can never meet the past. Well, the clock tells us something different. Time goes in circles.
Sunday, June 2, 2019
My Austin workshop seems eons ago. Many things have happened since then. We have put our house on the market more than a month now. So far nobody want to buy it. Very soon we will close another house. I remembered someone "advised" me when I decided to quit my job: "Qiang, please do not leave your job. Imagine you need to buy a house. If you are an engineer, you will get a loan easily. Well, if you say you are an artist, you probably will not get the loan you need." 9 years has passed. Unfortunately, this someone's advice has been proved TRUE.
This painting is available, please contact me if you are interested in.
Sunday, May 26, 2019
Friday, May 24, 2019
The deadline of the application of our China 2019 trip is approaching. Please visit my website to sign up. To some people this might be one of the life time opportunity. Please do not miss it. We are look forward to traveling and painting with you.
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
Back from Indiana, and started teaching at the hometown. Doing still life again. Life goes on as usual. "Compromise" is the word. I will never give up my art, but I have to give in almost everyday. I wish, I surely wish, some day I can paint without guilt.
Monday, May 20, 2019
Thursday, May 16, 2019
This is my 2nd time visiting New Harmony Indiana and teach there. This town had two utopian experiments in the history. She is quite unique. My workshop was "painting landscape from photo" I snapshot these two old cabins, and this my my demo.
Saturday, May 4, 2019
Friday, May 3, 2019
Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Saturday, April 20, 2019
About a month from now, I will go to Lowell Michigan and teach a landscape workshop. For quite a few years, I have been pondering how to make landscape (either plein air or studio) more dynamic. I have gained more experiences by participating multiple plein air painting competitions. In this workshop I want to share with you what I have learned these a couple of years. We still have a few opening. If you are interested in knowing my process of painting landscapes, please join me in Michigan. For detailed information, please check my website or Qiang Huang Workshop at Lowell, and sign up.
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Those pink flowers are not roses, they are ranunculus. But they so much like roses. I am always looking for chances I can improve my floral paintings. This one has give me a baby step improvement.
Monday, April 15, 2019
Sometimes, it is hard to say weather I am going too much or not. The 2nd demo is here. I feel I am so borderline now. It was fun to play the abstractness on the background, but I do wonder where this spirit of playing leads me to. Even my son comments quite often that dad is still a teenager. He just wants to play.
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Left the Deep South, I have arrived at the West Coast. This is the demo 1 I did at Springfield Oregon. I want thank Gene Costanza and the Emerald Art Center for organizing my workshop, and thanks to all artists for coming. It rains a lot here, but we had fun indoors.
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Monday, April 8, 2019
This is demo 3 I did at Lake Martin. It is also my favorite one. I have started to pay attention on color scheme design with this painting. The harmony of the color design on this painting was my intention.
Friday, April 5, 2019
Wednesday, April 3, 2019
This is my first demo on the workshop at the Tallapoosa School of Art at Lake Martin, AL. I want to thank Dorothy and George Littleton for organizing this workshop, and thank all the artists for attending. Lake Martin is a beautiful place. If you are interested to visit and paint there, please check: http://www.tallapoosaworkshops.com.
Friday, March 29, 2019
I was requested to do a demo at Dahlonega after my workshop. So I did this one. I have experimented a little on the composition. You have seen so many of my demo paintings, probably get bored with them because they are very similar. I decided to do this demo a little different.