Thursday, February 11, 2016

"Derek's Boat"

I did this painting yesterday on Derek's workshop. I started to practice the Impressionistic way of using colors. Since boats have more has more rigid structure, I felt more comfortable than the day before. I have really hard times doing rocks and waves because they don't have a regular structure I can following. It is really a good thing that an artist knows his/her weak points. If you work on improving your weak points, you will progress quickly to reach the next level.

Workshops reminder

The winter is coming to the end. I am looking forward to the beautiful spring time and visiting beautiful places. It will be my first time to teach plein air painting in France and feel so excited about this trip. It will be a great experience. So far we still have a few openings. If you enjoy painting outdoors in France, There is opportunity for you. I will also go to beautiful Southern California in March. We also have a few openings. If you are interested in my teaching, please visit my workshop webpage. I am looking forward to painting together with you.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

"My first seascape"

This is my very first seascape painting. I am not particularly like it, but here it is: a milestone for me.

Monday, February 8, 2016

"A yellow bird"

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I felt so great to be a student again. For quite a few years I have not taken any workshops from other artists. I was so busy teaching, and forgot that I have run out of juice. Although I am research and investigate art issue by myself, but that is not enough. Now I am at the Scottsdale Artist School taking a workshop from Derek Penix. I really like Derek's impressionistic approach of colors, and his delicious impasto brush textures. I am so happy learning from him. This is my very first bird painting.  It is not too bad. I start to feel something new.

Monday, February 1, 2016

"Anderson Mill Water Wheel" --- Sold

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I did this small plein air study a week ago. That day my wife Song went the Anderson Mill Garden Club for quilting. I went along but stayed outside and painted this one. The weather is so good in Austin this winter. I have been lucky and been able to paint so many plein air studies.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Plein Air Convention

I am so excited to be an official faculty member of the 2016 Plein Air Convention & Expo - #PACE16 in Tucson April 15-19. This is the World’s Largest Gathering of Plein Air Painters. Join us in Tucson for the time of your life and, if you register now, you’ll save $200 off of the regular convention price. To find out more about PACE, head on over to – looking forward to see you in Tucson!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

"Cypress Creek Park 5" --- Sold

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I have been painting at the same place again and again. I don't know why I am doing this exactly. It maybe because I don't feel enough control on handling the colors for plein air painting.  I see too much, but my hand can only do a very small portion of it. I hope I will progress and get to a higher level by keep going to this location again. You will see more to come.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

"Cypress Creek Park 4" --- Sold

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Another plein air at the same park, but at a different location. The new limited palette works very well. The painting looks harmonious and colorful. I am happy to include pure (i.e. no man made structures) landscape painting into my portfolio.

Monday, January 25, 2016

"Cypress Creek Park 3" --- Sold

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I went to the same place again, and did my third plein air. I feel I really need to do several paintings at the same location. I am a little more comfortable now.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

“Cypress Creek Park 2" --- Sold

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I did the second plein air painting at the exactly same location. I wanted to practice with this new limited palette more. It was amazing of seeing so much colors at this location. I used to dislike pure landscapes. I used to think that I must put some manmade structures, like a small house, in the painting. Now I feel I start to see the beauty of pure natural landscapes. My skill is not mature yet, but at least I have seen something different than before.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

"Cypress Creek Park" --- Sold

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I went to plein air painting by myself yesterday. It is also my first non-demo painting. When I am not teaching, I shift into my research mode and try to improve myself. The research topic with this painting is trying to develop a workable limited palette for plein air painting. I used 5 colors to do this painting: cad yellow lemon, quinacridone rose, manganese blue, ultramarine blue, and white. I think the painting has proved that this palette works. I can get all most all the colors I need.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

"Demo at Houma 2016 3"

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The Third Demo I picked a theme: Mardi Gras. The local artists brought items related to Mardi Gras and I formed this composition. It was quite a challenge doing something new, but it was quite enjoyable as well. I had a wonderful time of painting the Mardi Gras doll, the green, purple, and gold color beads, and the King cake baby. I wish I could stay in New Orleans a little longer and see the Mardi Gras 2016. I heard it can be quite a experience. Well maybe in the future.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

"Demo at Houma 2016 2" --- Sold

This is my second demo. Felt a little empty on the right hand side. So I put my linseed oil bottle there to balance out. I spent quite amount time on the pewter pot and the vase in the far field. Relatively, I did not spent too much time on the rose.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

“Demo at Houma 2016 1"

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I just came back from Houma Louisiana. I really enjoyed the Cajun country. I want to thank the Terrebonne Fine Art Guid for organizing my workshop and thanks to all the Louisiana artists for coming and painting with me. This is my first demo.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

My Instructional DVD is available now

So many of my workshop students have asked if I had an instructional DVD available that I decided to go ahead and create one. This is the first "Introduction to Still Life Painting". It follows my usual teaching format which will be familiar to my students, reinforcing my five step painting process.  Please see the preview on YouTube. The video is available for purchase on my website.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

"Demo in Austin 2016 4" --- Sold

The last day of the workshop, I did this monochromatic doorway from one of my photos I took in China. I used only black white and transparent oxide red, and mainly used a palette knife to paint this one. I really like this new direction and want to spend more time to develop this style.

Friday, January 8, 2016

“Demo in Austin 2016 3" --- Sold

The third demo is about flowers. I painted a few roses as usual. I always feel the leaves is harder than the flowers. I still need more practice on that.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

"Demo in Austin 2016 2" --- Sold

The second demo was about the glass and metal. They are quite mysterious. Majorly I worked only on the edges and highlights. The solidity of those objects are very illusive, but that was mainly the fun of painting them.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

"Demo in Austin 2016 1"

I can't believe that the year of 2015 is gone and 2016 is right here. I have started my first workshop teaching right here at home. For organizing this one I really want to thank my wife Song, and thanks to all Texas artists for attending. I also want to thank my son Jonathan for preparing meals for the workshop and Jane Frederick for her assistance.

The first demo intends to introduce my process. I like the brass pot. It has some intricate details.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

My Provence France Workshop in 2016

Happy Holidays to all my art friends. I want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Meanwhile I would like to announce one of my new adventures in 2016: I will teach a plein air workshop in Provence, France on April 29 to May 6. Please check my Provence Workshop webpage for information and signing up.  We will stay in a beautiful mansion near the Roman Arena in Arles and paint there and around the area. There is video on the page showing you some of the places we will visit. This is my first workshop in Europe, and looking forward to meeting new friends, and re-uniting with old friends in such a wonderful place. Je vous remercie.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

"Demo at Ada 2015 4" --- Sold

The last demo I did on the workshop is different. I told the class that they would set up the still life for me, and I would take the challenge to paint the setup. Suddenly, my shadow box has piled up all kinds of things. I was so overwhelmed. This is what I have. The reason I am doing this is that I will automatically go out of my comfort zone, and also hope I may step onto something new that I can develop in the future for my personal growth.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

"Demo at Ada 2015 3" --- Sold

The third demo is about flowers. You know sometime when I paint, I have this odd feeling. We use all of those pretty bad stuff, such as cadmium and lead, to create those sweet and charming illusions like apples and roses. Is that symbolic? It so weird.

Monday, December 14, 2015

"Demo at Ada 2015 2" --- Sold

This is my second demo at Ada. It is rather mechanical and engineering looking. That was my intention as a matter of fact. On my workshops, we use more left brain. I establish quite a few very rigid rules. I think artists do have left brains. Why not using it? a good art should show balance.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

"Demo at Ada 2015 1" --- Sold

Left Dallas, I drove another 3 hours and arrived at Ada, Oklahoma. Yesterday I have started my last workshop of the year (No. 22) at the East Central University. Thanks to all artist friends for coming. It was so wonderful meeting new friends and re-uniting with old friends. This is my first demonstration. I guess I should feel OK now if a painting has achieved good quality, even my composition and style is predictable. I believe my art will be getting better for sure if I keep on going.

Friday, December 11, 2015

"Demo in Dallas 2015 3"

I want to thank all the friends who commented on my yesterday's post. You encourage me to keep on going on my art journey. Today's painting is my third demo on my Dallas workshop. I challenged myself by putting quite a few unfamiliar objects on the setup. With limited time to plan and paint this one, the final painting is not what I expected. Anyway it was a good try, and the students have enjoyed seeing me go through the process in front of their eyes.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

“Demo in Dallas 2015 2" --- Sold

This is my second demo. It is a rather good one. The roses are beautiful and the metals are vivid. However, I don't really feel satisfied with what I am doing nowadays. I saw so many artists, even some good ones, who keep on painting the same thing, again and again. You hardly can distinguish what have been done ten years ago to the work of yesterday. I keep telling myself, I don't want to be that kind of artist. I want to grow and progress noticeably. Well now, I am really humbled, because I find myself is exactly that kind. Why don't I paint some other flowers rather than roses, or use some new compositions? I don't have a good answer to this question.  I must admit my limitations. I don't want complain about life, about distractions, and giving excuses. The only thing I can do is keep trying.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

"Demo in Dallas 2015 1"

I am on the road again. This time is in Dallas, not too far from home. I want to thank Associated Creative Artists for organizing this workshop and thanks to all the Texas and Oklahoma artists for attending. This is my first demo. Sorry the photo is not that good.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

“Spatial Melody"

I have been composing a piece of visual music on this canvas. So I name this painting "Spatial Melody". You might be curious what are those tinker thingies and why they are hanging there. I did not arrange this set of still lives myself. I painted this from a photo I took in September when I visited a cloisonné factory in Beijing. The workers hang their parts on the the wall semi randomly. They form beautiful patterns naturally without too much human intentions. I snapped a few images and know I will paint them some day. To be honest with you, I am not a very creative person. I tend to "discover" things rather than "inventing".  In other words, I consider the world is all ready perfect. There is no need to create "better" stuff. We only need to do is to remove our ignorance and see better.

I plan to send this piece to 2016 OPA. Please wish me luck.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

" A Rainy Day in Chicago"

I feel happy about what I did today. I have been doing research on monochromatic painting for a while. The advantage of monochrome is automatic color harmony. I don't need to worry that color gets muddy. So I can concentrate on value design and texture design. You have seen a small version of this painting earlier.  This one is 18" x 24".

How to market my large paintings is a good question. I did show my large work in galleries, even very good galleries. However, the result was not very good. So I kind of giving up on selling my large paintings at this moment. If you are interested in collecting my large paintings, please send me an email. We can work out a deal.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

My 2016 Painting Calendar

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.  Recall all the milestones on my journey, I am extremely humbled and in gratitude to all the support I received. 2015 has close to its end. I am very fortunate that my art is still growing. In summary we I have done this year, I made my painting calendar for the year 2016. Now it is available for you. The price is $10. If you order 5 or more, you will get free shipping. You may preview the painting images and purchase on my calendar 2016 webpage. Please enjoy.