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.

Hootsuite post test

I have just opened a Hootsuite account in order to sync multiple social media all together. I am testing this new internet tool. So far I only know how to post text but not image. Do anybody know how to post images on blog from Hootsuite? Please help me out. Thanks.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

"OPA Award"

I am very happy to know that my painting "Heavy Metal" has won the "Still Life Honorable Mention" award on the recent 24th Oil Painters America National Exhibition. This is my second time winning this award. I want to thank OPA for giving me this honor.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Meeting Master Main Situ

I was so happy meeting the contemporary oil painting master Main Situ. I have been admire his fantastic figurative work for many many year. Finally I met him in person.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

“Downtown Austin (Partial) (Day 14)"

I have almost a week at home before I go to teach another workshop. So I continued studying and painting my large "Downtown Austin" painting. I have spent two solid days, however the progress is painstakingly slow. I have seriously taken notes about my thought, my actions, my mistakes, and my discovers. Now my note about this project has 32 pages long so far and it is getting longer.

For self-learning painters, especially for painters who have been painting for a while, I highly recommend working on a few large paintings seriously and long term. This will save your time for going through what you have already known again and again, and staying in the unknown territory for as long as possible time. So you know your weak points. You work out solutions and get better. I know it is not fun working this way, and it is absolutely making no business sense if you are only market driven. To me, it is worth every minute. I am a late starter and have not got enough formal training. So this is my Academy.

Monday, April 27, 2015

"Demo at Montreal 2015 3" --- Sold

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My third demo was a mid-key floral. The yellow roses were not in good shape when I set them up. Being into this miserable world for too long, they kept wilting and fading. The gravity was mercilessly pulling their petals down to the center of the earth. I was using all my might to cheer them up and fight to use every minute to catch the last bit of their vitality and documented on my canvas. Oh boy It was a demonstration of struggling, both me and the roses.

Art is always a type of struggle. Things are not always working out. We don't have control on our fate. The only thing we can do is keeping on trying, and try a little more.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

"Demo at Montreal 2015 2" --- Sold

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This is my second demo. A couple of yellow roses and a wood thingy in the back. It was very enjoyable of painting it. This painting is still available. I put it on the Daily Paintworks.

I am on my way back home this afternoon. I have taught 3 workshops in a row in this trip. It is a new milestone on my art journey.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

"Demo at Montreal 2015 1" --- Sold

Bonjour! I came out of US again. My 9th workshop of the year has been conducted in Montreal Canada. Great thanks to John Goodger for organizing and to all the Canadian artists for attending. I have really enjoyed these a few days. This is my first demo.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

"Demo at Lowell 2015 3" --- Sold

This is my 3rd demo. It is a new experiment. At the art center, I saw may spools of springs and ribbons. They have all kinds of colors and sizes. So I decided to give them a try. I formed this composition, and did this high key painting. It was challenge of doing this experiment in front of all workshop artists as a demo. I demonstrated how I struggled to learn new stuff.

The workshop at Lowell has ended. I have arrived at Montreal Canada yesterday.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

"Demo at Lowell 2015 2" --- Sold

This is the second demo. Roses and a turnip were together. It was kind of odd, but I was look into the colors for the painting. I guessed it was all right.

The workshop went well so far. I have tried my best to make the students learning easily and the information I give was practical and easy to remember. I hope the people who took my workshops can progress steadily and become better painters.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

"Demo at Lowell 2015 1" --- Sold

Flown out of Portland OR, I have arrived at Grand Rapids MI. Thanks to Franciscan Life Process Center and Kathy Bechtel for organizing my 8th workshop of the year. Thanks to all Michigan artists for attending. It is very quiet and peaceful here, It reminds me the meditation retreat I did a year ago. It is the world it should be.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

"Demo at Hood River 2015 3" --- Sold

This is the third demo at Hood River Workshop. I tried to approach my still life painting a little differently. I hope my high key painting will mature someday. Currently it is in the middle of development. If you have any suggestions, please let me know. That will help me significantly to grow.

Recall these a couple of years, I feel I have entered a relatively difficult phase of my art career. I need to recharge badly. However, I don't have enough time to concentrate on learning new stuff, and my existing style of painting has got too stylish. I personally don't feel satisfied with the current status, and long for new growth. I have been patiently studying with my very fragmented time, taking notes, did a large amount of research. You may not see much of changes on the surface in a short run, but I am getting better. I have discovered a lot of unknowns in my own art education, and little by little I am filling the gaps. For a while, you may still see too many similar demos paintings, but I am working hard and need your encouragement and guidance.

Monday, April 13, 2015

"Demo at Hood River 2015 2" --- Sold

Low key still life painting is the scheme of my second demo. I felt pretty happy about this one. The color is harmonious. The center of focus is obvious, and the reading is smooth. The information about the bottle in the background is just adequate. I hope you enjoy this painting too.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

"Demo at Hood Rive 2015 1" --- Sold

My 7th workshop of the year has just finished at Hood River, OR. I want to thank Columbia Center for the Arts for organizing this workshop, especially Ceri and Sally. Thanks to all artists from Oregon and Washington States for attending. This is my first demo. The setup is very simple, but all the objects in this setup manipulate light differently. Painting light is the key.

Monday, April 6, 2015

"Dies Ranch 2"

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The day before yesterday, Hsin Yao and I went plein air painting. We went to this old house near where I live. I have painted this place many times. It was cloudy. Hsin Yao loved it. I like light and shadow. Cloudy day is challenge for me. I have learned a lot by watching him painting. I was amazed how much paint he used - at least 5 times of the amount I used. You can imagine how rich and thick his painting was. You can tell how confident a painter is by how much paint he/she put on palette. So quantitatively, Hsin Yao is 5 time more developed than I am.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

With the Rising Stars

Occasionally in my workshops, I lament that I am getting old, and not as energetic as before. I got stopped almost right way. Many said: "Qiang you are still a kid". Now this time I really do feel I am getting old. The three young artists next to me are the real rising stars in Art

Hsin Yao Tseng (young man taller than I am, age 28. He looks 18 to me) is already a very successful artist living at San Francisco. This photo was shot at the InSight Gallery at Fredericksburg, TX at reception of his solo show. The art work behind us are part of his cityscape paintings. He is also showing at Legacy Gallery, AZ, and  Waterhouse Gallery, CA. His art has been featured in many art magazines.

Jenna Ma (young lady on left, age 16. I hope she is not mind I mention her age). She is the Silver Medalist of the National Scholastic in Art and Writing Awards of 2015. Kyle Ma (young man on right, age 15, unrelated to Jenna) is very seriously developing his art in oil painting. He has shown his  art works at the Whistle Pik Gallery in Fredericksburg.

I am fifty some year old now, but my mind is still young. As a relatively late starter, the time is very valuable to me. I treat every painting I do as my first one. I want to learn sincerely and gain as much as I can. I treat every painting I do as my last one as well. I want to try my best to make the painting have the utmost impact I like it to have.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

"Downtown Austin (Day 12)"

I am so sorry that I am showing you the same painting again. I just can't stop working on it. You heard about overworking, but what I am doing is actuarially working over. I am no longer think this is a painting. It has turned into my laboratory or my academy. In front of this big monster, I am a sincere and serious student. I admit what I don't know, but I want to figure them out by analysis and experiment.

I have noticed at the previous stage of this painting that I had many areas with muddy colors. I didn't have a dominant color tone for the entire painting, so the color harmony was not very obvious. I know myself mainly a "value" painter. My knowledge and skills on color has not been fully developed, even I have worked quite a bit on it before. So these a couple of days, I painted this painting over, and almost completely changed the color scheme. I drove the dominant tone color much cooler and harmonized all the colors with the tone color. The muddy color issue has been controlled better. Weather this painting has improved is still questionable, but I surely know more about color know. I will continue experimenting with this painting, and figure out as much as I can.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

"Demo at Napa 2015 3" --- Sold

This is my third demo. I have struggled quite a bit for this one. The colors of the rose are so subtle and the its shape was quite complicated as well. I spent a long time on the rose in the center. The painting turned out quite good. Painting flowers is really a test of patience. Slowing down, observe more, but paint less.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

"Demo at Napa 2015 2" --- Sold

The second demo at Napa is showing here. I have shown how to paint flowers and silver.

One thing I want to mention today about lighting again. You may have remembered I compared with fluorescent light vs true day light. Today I want to talk about LED. If you recently visited the lighting department of the Home Depot, you might have seen a new type of LED light. They look like fluorescent tubes but inside are whole bunch of small white LEDs line up. The light from these tubes are very similar to fluorescent tube. The color is so similar but much brighter. You might have a lot of positive comment about these new LED tubes, but from a painter point of view, I will say NO, NO, NO. Because the color change is so significant that they will totally mislead you color judgment. The painting under those LED light will look much greener, So I do not recommend this new LED tube for your studio. However, other LED may work  for painting. I recently stopped by a well known gallery in San Francisco, They do use LED to illuminate the paintings. The result is rather good. So I will investigate further to see which types of LED can work for art.