Monday, July 6, 2015

"Water Lily and Fountain"

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I did this plein air painting this morning. This is a test of using a limited palette: cadmium yellow lemon, alizarin, ultramarine blue, ivory black, and white. It was quite interesting. The limited palette really helped to obtain the color harmony, but it was too cool. I finally put some cadmium red light (the gold fish in the pond) to warm it up.

The painting is cool, and weather is cool as well. It was excellent day today. The temperature was 88 F with a cool breeze. I can't believe it happens in July at Austin, Texas.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

"Tangerines, Onions, and Grapes"

Happy 4th of July to All of You,

After I came back from Indianapolis, I was obsessed of cleaning up my studio. As a matter of fact, I have relocated my studio and office. I thought it would take me only a few hours, but it ended up I have spent almost a week. I did not realize how much junk I have accumulated even I consider myself a mindful and organized person. This is a modern disease. I think most of us live in trash piles and do not sense that. We just manage a small area we can function within a massive amount of trash. In physics, this is called the second law of the thermodynamics.

Now my new studio and office are barely functioning. I know I must paint, before I turn into a professional janitor. This painting started in February, (I didn't realize time goes by so fast). I have painted more grapes yesterday.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

“Demo at Indianapolis 2015 3"

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More roses, more color, and more abstract. Doing a floral as my third demo has become default now. This style is evolving. I feels the potential, and try my best to make it happen. This painting is still available. So I put it on Dailypaintworks.

I am back in Austin now. I have about  two weeks time home before my next workshop. More exploring and learning will happen to me.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

"Demo at Indianapolis 2015 1" --- Sold

I have arrived at Indianapolis three days ago. I co-juried the Hoosier Salon show with California artist Randy Sexton, and my workshop started this morning. I want to thank Hoosier Salon for this great opportunity of teaching at Indianapolis. Thanks to artists coming from over for taking my workshop. This is my first demo painting.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

"Three White Roses" --- Sold

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Since my white rose is still fresh, I did another rose painting. This painting is a little larger, 12" x 12" For this painting, I have documented the whole painting process by taking a series of progressive photos. I plan to make this document available on my website in the near future, so everybody can access to it. I can use this method to show how I paint roses. I need to learn how to do it. If you have information on how to do online teaching, please help me out.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

"White and Pink Roses" --- Sold

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I am in the mood of painting flowers. I did this rose painting with only one white rose. First I orientated it for the center of focus. Then I relocated it to the back and left side. I have learn the approach from Richard Schmid. It combines the bold abstract brush work and detailed realistic presentations. I really like this piece of visual music.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

“Demo at Lake Zurich 2015 3" --- Sold

Painting flowers is my 3rd demo. Having doing this kind of floral painting for a while now, I have started to see the potential for this approach. I used to consider flower is a part of my still life, but more and more I have made my floral painting deviate from my usual way of still life painting. The style and approach are all different from what I have been doing. I will investigate more on my floral painting to bring it to a higher level.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

“Demo at Lake Zurich 2015 2" --- Sold

This is the second demo I did at Lake Zurich workshop. You know the still life objects have their own personalities. In this setup, the bronze is showing the pride, and the brass is showing the support. I had fun painting them.

Friday, June 12, 2015

"Demo at Lake Zurich 2015 1" --- Sold


I have arrived at Chicago yesterday, and today is the first day of my workshop at Lake Zurich, IL. I want to thank Frankie Johnson for organizing this workshop and thanks to all workshop attending artists for coming and painting with me. My first demo involves all warm colors. Color harmony is so important. You don't need many colors to makes a painting colorful and exciting.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

"Rose Garden in Mayfield Park" --- Sold

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I went to the Mayfield Park again and painted this plein air floral painting. Different from my usual still life paintings, the flowers are much fresher and different kinds, and the leaves are in much better shapes.

It looks my full month of painting and learning will pause for a while. I am traveling again tomorrow and will teach a couple of workshops in a row. I will show you my demo paintings again. I hope you will not get bored with them. Life goes on, and we must do our best to survive. I will keep on painting and hope I can progress everyday. It does not matter how small the progress is, if we keep on going, we will see the difference.

Monday, June 8, 2015

"Small Building at Mayfield Park"

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This is another plein air painting I did at the Mayfield Park. I have no idea about the use of this building, but it has an interesting shape. It was a sunny day. I like the warm tone of the building against the trees in the back ground. The Texas summer is in a full swing. It was pretty hot even in shade.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

"Arch Way of Mayfield Park"

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I went to Plein Air painting today with our local PAA group. The location was the Mayfield Park. I was amazed by so much scenes we can paint. I may go there again to paint this days. I picked this ivy covered stone arch way. It is wonderful combination of man made structure and the nature. I have really enjoyed myself today.

Friday, June 5, 2015

"Wuzhen Canal 3 (Day 3)"


This is another large painting (36" x 24") in progress. I like this composition. It has three layers: the far field, mid field, and the near field. I have given enough details on the boat, but I have not worked on the edges.

Currently, I have 6 large paintings going simultaneously. I work on one for a while then work on another one. Progress is rather slow, but I have a little everyday. Now I have felt that painting is a rather labor intense work. I wish I have more energy. It is very different from my old discipline of small daily paintings. I use to finish a painting in a couple of hours.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

"Wuzhen Canal 1 (Day 5)

You might have remembered I posted the same painting on May 25. I thought I was very close to the finishing point at that time. However, I have spent 3 more days on it.  I have seen so much potential on this painting, and I might want to spend a few more days on it.

From my previous post on this painting to now. I have been working on the color and edges. I enhanced the warmth of the color in the light area so the painting gets much more colorful than before. Working on the edges was a tough task. I have already had a lots of details and the painting was very tight at the previous stage. I have to destroy unnecessary details to get loos. I like this painting today much more.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

"Dragon's Eyeballs"

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This is a demo for my Tuesday morning mentoring class. Dragon's eyeball is a kind of tropic fruit. The eatable part is translucently white, and it has a dark colored core. It is very sweet.


Monday, June 1, 2015

"San Miguel Street (Color study)"

This is a 9" x 12" color study before I do a large painting. Havng done a few large paintings, I have learn that doing a small color study is very important. It helps me to determine the general color scheme, harmony, and a general design. I don't have the habit of doing color studies because I used to paint small. 9" x 12" had been considered as a large painting for me. Now I play different game now. When I did my large Austin painting, I really learn the hard way. I directly jumped into the large format. Oh boy! I have wasted so much time and paints just try to get the color scheme I wanted. Now I always do a small color study before I paint on a large canvas.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

"Wuzhen Canal 2 (Day 2)"

This is my Second painting of my "Wuzhen Canal" series. It is a 24" x 24". I paid special attention to the color harmony. It is so sensitive when I paint Chinese landscapes, because the color of grey is so subtle. If I am not care enough it goes to mud so easily. At this moment the painting is still look mechanical. Additional information is needed on the edge treatment to make the painting more painterly and dramatic. Quite a few years ago, I did a small 6"x 6" with the small ref photo, but now the large version really much stronger impact.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

“Head Study 052715"

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I did this head study last night. I felt happy about it. It is 4th head study of the year. The progress is noticeable. I paid attention to the solidity of the head. I can't wait to paint my next one next week.

This week,  I have been working in my garage since my studio is not large enough. I am working on 4 large painting simultaneously. I have the feeling that I am a real full time painter now. Of course, I have been working full time for my art about four years now, but I have not had this kind of concentration before. Somehow I feel this kind ideal working condition will end soon. I really treasure this luxury.

Monday, May 25, 2015

"Wuzhen Canal 1 (Day 2)"

This painting has been progress very fast. I have given almost all the details it needs. It may need more edge work and color accents, but I am close to the end of the painting. Compared with my downtown Austin painting (which takes me close to 20 days), It is amazing. I am going to start another large painting very soon.

I really enjoy my current mode of painting. Quiet and involved. Painting, and painting only.


Sunday, May 24, 2015

"Wuzhen Canal 1 (Day 1)"

I have started a few large paintings simultaneously. This is one of them, size 22" x 28". It is based on a photo I took a few years ago at Wuzhen China. It is in a early color stage. It may take me a few more day to finish this painting.

I have noticed and not surprised that nowadays my online traffic to my blog has been significantly decreased. I have entered a relatively quieter time of my art career. My feeling is mixed. One side I feel I can relax a little because I don't need to reply as many emails as I did before. However, on the other side, I do felt a little lonely now. People have seen my art for so many years, their interest is no longer as high as before. It is a very understandable situation. I feel I am a lonely sailer, waving to all my friends at the port. Now the land is getting afar. I am by myself only surrounded by the vast ocean. The journey is long and unpredictable. It is beautiful and a little scary around me. What I need to do only is keeping on going, going, and going more.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

"Head Study 052115"

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I am having a great time these a few days. You can see I am painting everything: plein air, still life, and portrait. I am investigating and learning like a sponge. This is the thing I really want to do. I don't care much about establish a name and making a lot of money. What I really care to do is painting itself. I want to paint well.

I went to portrait painting last night. Our model had a long day and felt very tired. She hardly could keep her eyes open. So I concentrated on her nose and mouth. I used only raw umber and white for this painting. I don't worry about color. To accurately present her facial features was my objective.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

"Dance in Light"

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"To get a good composition, do not put the object right at the center of the canvas". It is not true. I like what I have done on this painting.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

My China Painting Trip Reminder

Dear Friends,

Earlier of the year, I have announced that we will do our 2nd China Painting trip this September. Now I want to officially say that this trip is a "GO". Currently, we have 8 people in our group.

Travel to China this year has a few advantages than what we had two years ago. First of all the airfare to China this year is significantly lower than that of last year. Secondly, Chinese embassy starts to offer 10 year visa for Americans. With a relatively small group of people, the trip will be more enjoyable.

It is not too late if you are interested in joining us to tour and paint in China. Please check my China Painting Trip Website for information and signing up. If you have not planned your vacation this year, you may consider to join us for this fun trip. I am looking forward to traveling and painting with you in this old and exotic country.

Monday, May 18, 2015

"Backyard Plein Air 1" --- Sold

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You must have noticed that I have stopped painting small daily paintings for about a year by now. However, I want to restart again. This time I want to concentrate on plein air landscapes. I have not practiced enough on painting plein air. I always want to place regular shaped 3D objects, like a house, or other man made structures in my plein air. That is the reason I prefer cityscapes rather than pure landscapes. Well, this one is my exploration of trees and bushes.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

"Head Study 051415"

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Coming back from Ann Arbor, I finally feel I can relax for a relatively long period of time. My next workshop teaching will be in middle of June. So I can stay at home for more than a month. What a luxury I am having. I can paint and study in my own pace.

I went to live painting yesterday. Having not paint human faces for a quite a long time, (this is my 2nd head study of the year) I feel really rusty. Not long from now, I need to involve portray painting into my workshop teaching. So I really need to do more this kind of studies to improve my portrait skills.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

My 2016 Workshop Schedule

Dear Artist Friends,

My 2016 workshop schedule now is available on my website. Similar to 2015, I teach 2 workshops per month in average. I will travel all over. If you are interested in learning my painting techniques, please select the workshop near you and contact the workshop organizer for detailed information. For these a couple of years, I have seen more and more people coming to my workshops. Many places have long waiting lists. Therefore, please secure your seat as early as possible. I will see you in 2016.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

"Demo at Ann Arbor 2015 3" --- Sold

This is my flower painting demo on the workshop. I have been doing this kind of mid key flower demos consecutively in my still life workshops since this February. It feels that it is a good direction to go. At this moment the composition and flower types are still lack of variation, but it starts to develop into a style I like. I  would like to move on and get better.

Friday, May 8, 2015

"Demo at Ann Arbor 2015 2" --- Sold

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The second demo on the workshop I have involved a pewter horse figurine. Placing a new type of objects in my demos is a way I combine teaching and learning together. Sharing something I know is my duty as an art teaching, while sharing my struggle of problem solving is showing myself as a regular human being. I am on the same boat of my students. We are experiencing the same learning process to fulfill our art dream.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

“Demo at Ann Arbor 2015 1" --- Sold


My 10th workshop of the year happened at Ann Arbor Michigan. I want to thank Debra Zamperla for organizing and thanks to artists from all over for attending. It is beautiful spring time in Michigan, but I am still doing still life paintings indoor. This is my first demo. I hope you like it.

BTW I start to explore more about social media management, and try to sync Blogger, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Weibo all together. I am trying to use "Hootsuite" Social media dashboard. If any of you using this tool or other tools, please let me know. Thanks.