Friday, October 9, 2015

"Xidi Village 1"

This is another large painting I did based on a reference photo I took at the Xidi village. I have extended my paintings from doorways to buildings, and from monochrome to color. I am really concerned that the painting will get muddy easily when I shift from mono to color. I have paid serious attention to the color harmony. Also I have realized that I may not want to paint this kind of archaic painting too large. I don't know exactly why. Some how I feel the history is too heavy on me. I feel pressured when I look at the aging texture of the ancient structures. I might have run into something in my previous life. Who knows.

I want to pause my Xidi series now. A new phase of my art starts soon. I will travel again and keep busy.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

“Xidi Doorway 4"

This is my fourth Xidi doorway painting. The difference between this one and the previous ones is the size. This one is a 18" x 24", while my first one was a 6" x 8". I hope you don't see too much difference from the photo images. It is easier to show painterly effect with small paintings. That is why I did this exercise. I want to make sure I can maintain the painterly look with my large paintings.  I want to practice this style a little more to stabilize the approach. So I don't need too much warmup time in the future if I want to painting this kind of monochromatic works.

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Xidi Village

You have seen three of my Xidi paintings, but what is this place called "Xidi". Xidi means "west post" in Chinese. It is a very old village in Anhui province. It was listed as one of the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 2000. Most of the houses were build in Ming and Qing dynasties, about two to four hundred years old. Following are a few of photos I took there. Our painting group stayed at Xidi for three nights. I felt I was back to the history. The last photo was our group photo there. I would love to go back to this place again in the future.

Friday, October 2, 2015

"Xidi Doorway 3" --- Sold

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Continuing on my Xidi doorway series, I did this one. The painting is slightly large (9" x 12"). I would not to say this monochromatic, because I did start to consider color now. I don't know how far I can go with this approach, but I really enjoyed what I am doing. The Chinese character above the doorway means good fortune. I hope this relatively new style of painting can expand my ability in art and eventually can bring me good fortune as well.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

"Xidi Doorway 2" --- Sold

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Following the momentum of my monochromatic practice, I did another doorway painting. The simplification of the color portion of the painting allows me to concentrate on the texture manipulation. Aesthetically, the monochromatic harmony and the roughness of the texture gives the artwork a sense of time transition, a feeling of old age. Beauty seems closely related to old and imperfectness. That is why we collect antiques, and visit old places. I don't know why, but this is my intuitive thinking. If you have a more philosophical explanation, please educate me. I am very curious about this topic.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

"Xidi Doorway 1" --- Sold

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Due to the jet lag, I got up really early. I started painting this one at 5:00 AM. This is a good exercise of monochromatic painting. This approach is suitable of presenting old architectural structures. During our China painting trip, we spent quite a few days in an old village called Xidi. Most of the buildings there are more than two hundred years old. This place is the paradise for me. I have seen so many paintings I want to paint. I was so excited the first night I couldn't sleep. I am sure I will go back to this beautiful place and paint more plein air. Now I am painting from the photos I took. For this painting I used only three colors: black, white, and transparent oxide red. It is almost done completely with palette knifes.

Monday, September 28, 2015

"Lotus Garden at West Lake" --- Sold

I have come back to the States last night. When I was in China, the internet assessment was not great so I wasn't up to date what I was doing. But it was a superb trip. I did 8 paintings and took a ton of photos. After I process my photos I will share some of the high lights with you.

I did this painting as a plein air demo at Hangzhou by the Xi-hu (West lake). It was a beautiful garden. It was quiet place and the weather was ideal. As a matter of fact, it was my first time of painting lotus. It was a wonderful experience for me. Quite a few artists in our group painted along with me. They did wonderful job as well.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Demo at Xidi 1 --- Sold

I painted this window as the demo for my group. We have wonderful time. I saw so much, but I am too exhausted to writing any more. I am going to bed. zzzzzz.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Yellow Mountain

We are on the Yellow Mountain. One picture worth more than ten thousand words.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Demo at Summer Palace

This is my demo at Summer Palace. It was a wonderful day. We painted at this lovely garden. It was very crowded. So many people surrounded us. I think we have inspired many local people and tourists. You never know. Maybe because this plein air event, some people will become future artists. That is my mission. I hope we will enjoy the beautiful world more this way.

We have ten artist in our "Painting in China" group. We have had great days in Beijing. Now we are in Xi-an, and will go to Huang-shan (the Yellow Mountain) this afternoon.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Beihai Park

I did this painting from a photo I took at the Beihai Park in Beijing. I gradually gained more momentum in painting. I started to see the grey colors in Beijing. There are more than 50 shades.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Yellow Rose Study 090315

I use this small floral painting as my warmup here in Beijing. I copied a part from one of Richard Schmid's paintings. I must admit that it was a struggle. I felt so many forces around me trying to stop me from painting. All of those forces are strong, full of charge and seem reasonable and legitimate. I felt I am fighting against my fate. This painting was not one of my best shots, but it is more significant because it is a proof that I am still moving forward. In front of my fate, I may lose eventually, but I will try all my might to go as far as I can. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Beijing in the rain

I arrived at Beijing in the rain. This morning I walked on the street, everything is crispy clean. This erases my concern about the air quality in this giant city. I hope it can keep this way during our painting trip. My mother is doing greatly. She is in good health and practicing her recently accepted Catholic faith, which gives her peace in mind. I have pulled out my colors and set up my easel in my tiny bedroom. I will start painting very soon. I have adapted this super unstable life style. Time, locations, culture, and languages are so illusive. I feel I am living in a big dream. I must admit that this year is a more difficult in my art career. Being an artist, it needs not only talent, inspiration, and creativity, but also courage, patience, and tenacity. The latter is a way more important.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

"My China trip starts"

I am leaving for China this afternoon. I will stay with my mother in Beijing for about 10 days. Then my China painting trip 2015 will start. I am looking forward to meeting my team and have a wonderful two weeks together, painting and sightseeing. Life is so dramatic.

I took this photo about two years ago with my 2013 team in Guilin. It seems like just yesterday. We had so much fun. I can' wait to see the beautiful places planned for this year. For all the friends who are following me on the Internet. I will keep you posted and share our trip with you.

Monday, August 24, 2015

"Demo at Huntsville 2015 2" --- Sold

The floral demo went well. I was happy that all workshop artists have benefited from those three days. Now the workshop is over, and I spent an additional day visit more of my old friends here. My art journey goes on. I hope I will like my students, practice and progress.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

“Demo at Huntsville 2015 1" --- Sold

I am so happy coming back to Huntsville Alabama. I have spent 7 years here about 20 years ago. I left Huntsville as a rocket scientist. Now I am back as an artist. The city is the same and also changed greatly. I want to thank Huntsville Museum of Art for organizing this workshop, and thank all the artists coming from all over for painting with me. This is my first demonstration.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

"Demo at Bolivar 2015 2" --- Sold

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My second demo at Bolivar was a plein air one. I used this painting to show how I manage the perspectives. The painting shows the quietness of a small town. However in real life, this intersection was quite busy. Big semi-trucks make wide turns right in front of my easel. They seem coming right at me. I really don't understand why these big monsters are called "semi".

BTW both of my demos at Bolivar are still available.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

"Demo at Bolivar 2015 1" --- Sold

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I am now at a small town in Tennessee call Boliver. I want to thank Deborah Turner Brasfield for organizing my workshop  here, and thanks to artists from Tennessee, Mississippi, and Georgia for coming and painting with me. This workshop is a landscape one. I did this demo from a photo I took last year from Jeckyll Island, GA.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

"Yellow Rose Study 081215" --- Sold

I did this rose study from life, but also referenced to one of the paintings that Richard Schmid did. The rose part is easy, but the whole abstract composition I am still having problems. Perhaps you have seen quite a few my rose paintings, do you feel that the compositions I used are rather similar and they are not rich enough? I admire Richard Schmid for many years, especially for his designs

I was asking my readers in my previous post. Do you prefer low key or high key paintings. By checking my Instagram, I got almost twice as many "likes" in comparison with my earlier low key painting. The result is obvious: Most people like high key. However, I am relatively weak in doing high key paintings. So more effort and time are needed.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

“Movement of Colors"

This one is a pure high key painting. I have been working in this realm for a while now, but have not really get the effect I really crazy about. So I will keep trying. This one is just another experiment. I know I like my low key paintings because they show much more drama of light effect. However high key does not show the dramatic spot light effect as well as low key. So why bother going this way. If you are high key painter, would you let me know why you like doing high key? I really need more inspiration to keep going this way.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

"An Alley"

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When you feel absolutely NOT motivated to paint, what do you do? After came back from the extremely beautiful Yellowstone National Park, I have spent two solid days on the phone trying to make an insurance company to pay my bill. I was amazed how the insurance industry expands your probability of running into a disaster from 0.001% (can be even less) directly into 100%. (I personally believe that being profitable by taking advantage of other people's misfortune is what we call "Evil").

With the above mindset, I painted the above painting. If you are not motivated to paint and you don't want the insurance company to ruin your career, you simply go to your easel, pick up a brush, and start to paint anything. You may throw away all you have learned: composition, value, all that crxp. You can see the painting I posted here is mainly about dumpster and trash cans.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

"Demo at Jackson Hole 2015 4" --- Sold

This is my last demo on the workshop at Jackson. The purpose of this demo was showing how I approach to paint medal objects. My key of painting metal is trying to use as much as transparent pigments and reserve the opaque colors for the high light area only.

This painting was sold on the workshop. However, I do still have a demo painting still available, which is a rose painting I did plein air at Durango CO. If you are interested in that one, please click here to get information and purchase.

Monday, August 3, 2015

"Demo at Jackson Hole 2015 3" --- Sold

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I am back home now. Yellowstone was breathtakingly beautiful. I took tons of photos. I hope some day I may paint from all of those beautiful references.

This painting was done on the 3rd day of my Jackson Hole workshop. Because I didn't have wifi in side the National Parks, I had to delay the posting of it. This is one of best floral paintings I have ever done. Painting orange colored roses was my first time, but I immediately fall in love with it. I also like the leaves. I don't know the name of those leave, but their color and shape are much of fun for painting. The cool green color of the leaves enhances the flower significantly. I just love it. You can see I hardly painted any rose leaves. Those flowers were from a grocery store. The rose leaves are all folded badly. I can hardly use them for the painting.

You may have noticed that my composition for these kind of floral demo is lack of variation. They are pretty much the same. I am aware of that, but I have do one thing at a time. I am concentrated on dramatize the shapes and texture of the flowers and leaves now. The time will come and I will progress.

This painting is available for purchase.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

"Demo at Jackson Hole 2015 2"

My workshop at Jackson has ended, and now I am vacationing in the Yellowstone National Park. Since no wifi and cell phone signal inside the park. I have been delaying my painting posting. Last night we stayed just outside of the park, so I got a few hours of online time.

It is the image of my second demo. It is grey, grey, and grey. This one was used to show basic painting process, so I didn't elaborate too much.

Friday, July 24, 2015

“Demo at Jackson Hole 2015 1" --- Sold

My workshop at Jackson Hole WY has started. I want to thank the Art Association of Jackson Hole for organizing this workshop at this super beautiful place. I want to thank Peggy and Gregg Prugh for their hospitality and kindness of providing lodging for me. Thanks to artists from all over for attending this workshop.

This is my first demo. Do you see the three value design in this painting? dark, light, and mid-tone.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

"Demo at Durango 2015 3" --- Sold

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The 3rd demo at Durango was a plein air painting in a rose garden. I showed how I re-organized all the flowers so they could form a composition I wanted, and how important of going slow and not over working. I saw quite many good rose paintings from that day's exercise.

After my Durango I traveled quite a few places. I have visited the Mesa Verde National Park, Telluride, Glenwood Springs, and just arrived at Jackson Hole WY. I was stunned by all the breath taken beauty of all those places.

Friday, July 17, 2015

"Demo at Durango 2015 2" --- Sold

My Durango workshop is mainly a plein air one. We have spent three days outdoors. This is my second Demo. I painted this in one of downtown neighborhoods. It happened being of one of the busy  traffic area. Many local people were curious about what we were doing in the streets. Even the local Newspaper came and reported our class. Durango is a lovely town. I like the culture here. People here are so bohemian, healthy, sporty, down-to-earthy, new-agy. What a wonderful place to live.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

"Demo at Durango 2015 1" --- Sold

Today is the third day of my workshop at Durango. I want to thank the Durango Art Center for organizing this workshop, thanks to Vicki and Will Coe for their hospitality and offering their lovely home for me to stay, and thanks to all artists for attending my class.

This is my first demo on the workshop. I just love the brass lantern. It is from France. I like its design a lot. The cherries are from one of the street. They add wonderful colors for this painting.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

"Vicki's House"

I am in Durango Colorado now staying with my friends Vicki and Will. Yesterday afternoon, I did this plein air painting in front of their house. It is a lovely place. I want to thank Vicki and Will for their hospitality. They make my stay very comfortable.

Monday, July 13, 2015

"A Lonely Rose"

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This is a small 6" x 6" painting I have not done for a long time. Even now I mainly doing large paintings, but it feels good doing small studies once a while.

Recently I put a video page on my website. My son Jonathan edited most of the them. He is pretty good about online stuff. I really appreciate he is helping me out. So please enjoy these videos as a snapshot of my art.