Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"Smoke House"

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I didn't have to teach last Sunday, so I went out did this plein air painting. Since I painted with Calvin Liang, my attitude toward landscape has changed quite a bit. I know what I am looking for. Well, however, when I actually doing it, I find I get confused again. I know I have to do more until I have some sort of control.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

"Wild Lantern" --- Sold

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Song (my wife) and I had a picnic in a park on Saturday. We haven't done this for a long time. The vegetation in the park is so different from our last visit. One type caught my attention the most. It is a vine full of red and green puffy lanterns on it. They danced happily in the autumn wind. I don't know its name (maybe you can help me), but I brought some of them home and painted this one that night. I am so happy to be an artist. So much beauty around us eagerly want to be painted.

Friday, September 25, 2009

"Color Behind Light" --- Sold

Now I am at the time between workshops, so I am continuing my color study. Similar to the swan painting, I really pay attention to the colors in the shadow. There are so many opportunities there. This painting deviated quite far from my "typical" ones. The view angle, composition, illumination, and color are all different. But I will keep my sanity checked. If you think I am going too far, please raise the flag for me.
Since my last post, I received many comments and emails showing me tips of controlling spams on blog and emails. I really really appreciate it. Now I have changed the settings for the comments. Thank you so much for the help. Isn't the Internet wonderful? I am so grateful that I am in this great artists' community.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"Demo at Austin 4" --- Sold

My today's post is the second demo I did at the Austin workshop. I have not painted many white roses. So it was a challenge of painting it in front of public. But it turned out all right.
Another topic
Recently, I have noticed someone sending spam as comments to my blog. I want to stop these guys of doing it, but I don't know how to ban the inappropriate comments on the blog. If you know how to do it, I appreciate greatly if you can show me how. Thanks.

Monday, September 21, 2009

"Demo at Austin 3" --- Sold

I had another wonderful workshop over the weekend. I want express my sincere thanks to Karen Wilkerson for organizing my workshop the second time in Austin. I met many new friends and happy to see several old friends again. This painting is my first demo at the workshop (the third one in Austin this year). My color sensitivity has been increasing. I am so excited that I am able to put more exciting colors fit into my painting. I want to thank all workshop attendees. I hope those three days have positive influence to your art.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"Come and Join" --- Sold

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On most Sunday mornings, I teach drawing to a small group at my house. They are absolute beginners, but they have made tremendous progress. Now some members of this group will take my painting workshop at Austin this coming Weekend. Since they never painted before, they requested me to give a pre-workshop class. The paintings of this and the previous post are my demos to them. From my experience of teaching this group, I want encourage those who want to do art but consider themselves having no talent. Art can be learned. You can produce wonderful work if you are on the right track.

Monday, September 14, 2009

"Apple Demo" --- Sold

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In my previous post, I borrowed the term "chromodynamics" from quantum physics to identify the color theory I would like to practically use and share with everybody in my teaching. It will take a while for me to organize all my logic, but in a nutshell, what I tried to say is "the way color moves". These a couple of days I received many comments and emails asking what I really learned from Calvin Liang. I remember he told me: "I really like to paint the scene that more than 60% of it is in shadow". This statement zapped me. I suddenly realized that 90% of my paintings were the opposite. I like the scene that more than 60% of it in light, and put most of the colors in lighted area as well. Calvin directed me to a new way of think. I interpreted his saying meant: "Why don't you put most of the good colors in shadow and see what happens?" This suggestion opened tremendous amount of opportunities for me to be creative. Instead of having one piece of vibrant color doing a solo, I can have many grays and subtle colors to perform a whole symphony together. You know I was not too fond of high key paintings. Now I changed my mind. Well, my today's painting is still belong to my old category, I will talk more about it next time.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

"Graceful Color" --- Sold

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Yes, I made it!!! I have been in a bottleneck stage for a long time. I considered myself a value painter, not a color painter. You may not agree with me because you see many my paintings with vibrant red and oranges. However, my main trick was using the contrast of color vs. non-color. My good color stays in the light area leaving the shadow subdued. This approach worked, but I want progress more. I tried paint white objects several time, but the progress was not significant. After painted with Calvin Liang last Monday. I can't sleep for several nights, and keep thinking about my understanding of color. This time my left brain function dominant. I found that color for art could be theorized much more systematically than the current nebulous and chaotic color models and schemes. What should I call my color study? Hmmm...... How does "Chromodynamics" sound? Scientists use this term describing a study in the subatomic physics. Why can artists use it too? I think my today's painting is quite Chromodynamic. The object doesn't have much of a color, but I arranged the environment with good colors to make the reflection very colorful. I think I started to understand some of the Impressionistic approaches now. How do you like my chromodynamic painting so far?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Workshops Announcement

I have just updated my website and put my 2010 workshop schedule on it. If you are interested in knowing my approaches in painting, please contact my workshop organizers and sign up. If you are interested in having me teach at your location, please shoot me an email. I still have a few openings on my calendar. I have two more painting workshops in 2009, but they are all full. However, if you want to know how I manage my art business, I do have a half day workshop about that. It will be held in Austin, TX on October 3, 2009. Please contact Tess Walls at: tess.walls@sbcglobal.net for details.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

"LBJ Ranch" --- Sold

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I was so excited. I painted plein air with master artist Calvin Liang yesterday. Calvin is a wonderful landscape painter. After attending the reception of his show at the Greenhouse gallery in San Antonio, He is teaching a workshop at the Fredericksbury Artists School. Calvin and I have been friends for many years, but this was the first time we paint together. His way of using colors is incredibly dramatic. We talked about color during the paint-out. He turned on quite a few light bulbs in my head. Lit with Calvin's light, you will see me doing more landscapes later on.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

"Purple Eggs" --- Sold

Now, it is eggplant season I heard. The other day my wife got these cute baby eggplants. I enjoyed so much painting them. The bluish shine on dark purple is so delicious and the ending (what do you call that?) forms such nice irregular shapes making wonderful contrast with the regular round body of the plant. Life should like an egg plant: simple, beautiful, and down to earth.

Friday, September 4, 2009

"Frontyard Beauty" --- Sold

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I am lucky and didn't go to work this morning. So I decided to do a plein air painting in my front yard. This little flower is one of bush blossoms right in front of my house. Different from my still life approach, I didn't have the controlled lighting and the freedom of arranging my objects. That is difficult part of plein air painting, but it really was fine doing it. Texas finally gets a little cooler now. You will see more of my plein air pieces in the near future.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

"Sherrie's Roses"

Sherrie McGraw is one of masters I admire the most. Her paintings keep me inspired all the time. I also believe that one of best ways to learn is by copying master's work. So my today's painting is my "conterfeit" one of Sherri's paintings. I hope she does not mind I am doing so. In scientific world, we believe that if you want excel in your field, you should stand on the shoulder of giants. Without Isaac Newton, and James Maxwell, Albert Einstein would not be possible. However in art world, Many people doing the opposite. "It has been done before" implies we don't need to do it any more. Copy master's work doesn't mean to do an identical print. It is a great research and practice on what was going on in the master's mind. By the way it is also a wonderful alternative of collecting masterpieces.