Monday, July 29, 2013

"On the Red Carpet" --- Sold

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Yesterday, Song and I had a serious talk about my art. We sat in front my computer screen browsing through hundreds of my painting images. She told me she felt that my recent paintings are not as good as my older works, and some of her friends also felt the same way. Many of my recent works look unfinished and too abstract. I feel happy we had conversation like this, I agree with her and feel grateful that she kept my sanity checked. Painting really shows the artist's mental stage. We can't hide and disguise. I have to say my mind is not in a very stable and positive stage lately. Too many things happening. I have been traveling to too many places. I feel the stress and fatigue. I start to worry about future, and inevitably pay attention more on the commercial side of my art career. This is my third year of being a full time artist. Comparing with my previous engineering job, I do make less and work much more. I do not regret the decision I made in June 2011. I have been feeling happy being able to follow my heart and chase my dream. However, the real journey is rather difficult. The third year is really a test. I don't have the beginner's luck anymore. There will be more growing pain I need to endure, and more challenges need to be faced. I really want to thank Song and Jonathan for their love and support. They give me the courage to keep going.

I remember hearing a song. The lyric is like this:
"You do not know how to face it, but you have no way back.
You will stick to it until the last minute, for keeping the life going."

My today's painting is less experimental. Feels more like the good old days.

13 comments:

Karen Robinson said...

dear Qiang, I do hope my comment yesterday did not help provoke this sad mood. Your work is WONDERFUL. I think daily painting is an excellent discipline and I have learnt a lot from it, but I have noticed in the short time I have been doing this, that work can become mechanistic because of the need to keep churning them out. Then you start noticing what attracts the views and comments and what doesn't and before you know where you are you are painting what you think people want instead of what your heart tells you. Your recent painting of your father - Last Glimpse - was heart stopping and I still go back to look at it most days. Perhaps think about that painting because it meant something to your heart as well as your hand that held the brush.

Deborah L. Taylor said...

Your paintings are all wonderful, the more loose and the tighter ones. Nothing wrong with experimenting and trying new things especially if it helps you find your own voice.

Anne.D said...

I also love your paintings. This one, and the "more abstract" ones. I tend to prefer and even admire a little abstraction myself, as it opens the door to magic, mystery and mood: the 3 M's. (LOL! Just came up with that...) But I know for myself as a painter, l like to do both kinds of work, depending on my mood and feelings.... (If they could be categorized like this, which they can't really...). It is dangerous to listen to other people when it comes to our own art because art and tastes are subjective, and trying to control our process is never natural. Plus, if we wait long enough, we will find one person who will like a painting no one else liked... Isn't that funny?!. But eventually, whether we listen to others or not, we end up finding our own path, which is what it is. :-)

Byrne said...

This is my first comment to your blog, and I only started following at the beginning of May when you were on your trip to China, but your loose, expressionistic brushstrokes and style are the reasons I did. Your still lifes and landscapes, such as Orchid Study 1 & 2, Two to One,Demo at Phoenix 4, and Cathedral Rock, are all inspirational for me and maybe others who strive to paint loosely.

Kathryn Gray said...

Qiang, This is Kathryn in Louisville. I loved your workshop in Indy, and find you very inspirational. I have worked in Interior Design and Art for 30 years. I understand there are years where it is going so well that you can't even breathe! I hope you find the right balance, it starts with being aware there is an imbalance! I know you will find your way, as you are so very smart and talented! Remember to breathe and meditate, even the littlest bit. You are an inspiration to so many of us. Keep up the good, hard work, Kathryn

DLPBR said...

Never give up - your work is TOO fabulous. And you have your loved ones right beside you.

Theresa Bayer said...

I agree with your wife as to some of your paintings. Don't get me wrong, they're all good, but the outstanding ones really sing, and naturally that's what we as artists want to do more of. I'm the other extreme, I'm so self critical that there is a lot I've done that I simply won't show.

But I do have a question for you: are you able to tell the difference yourself, between a good painting and an outstanding one? I had this discussion with a family member, (someone who has always been very supportive of my art) who maintained that an artist can't always view their own work objectively. I disagreed and said, yes, they can. But maybe it varies from each individual.

In any case, your work is lovely and I hope you always have the time and energy to produce your very best all the time.

PrimeTimeMom said...

I love this painting today and also enjoy all your paintings. I personally like the "loose" ones the best. Please continue to experiment and many will follow your lead. I know I will. I did a Tibor Nagy study today and it was a beautiful disaster :-D

Katarina Öberg said...

We haven't met in person, but I find your art and your writing inspiring. Every post of yours is lovely and shows your kind heart and gentle spirit.

maelinda said...

You continue to doubt yourself, yet you have a fan base of hundreds of artists and patrons who take your art and style into their hearts. It makes us smile to watch you work and to view your daily art. Your art has moved forward, and just because it is different from the art produced in the past does not make it better or worse. If going back to working in a more structured style makes you feel better, than certainly do that. Today’s tea cup is truly lovely. But to grow you need to keep trying new things. Your pictures from China are outstanding…and that was a new undertaking. You have a lot on your plate now…your meditation retreat was interrupted by your father’s passing. You are concerned about family matters. You are pressed for time. Of course your work will reflect your internal state. Return to the ‘old way’ if that reassures you, but know that your fans and patrons will continue to love your work and encourage your experimentation. Just breathe a bit. You don’t need a retreat to bring calm…you can do this in any quiet place. Linda Levine

Carol said...

Qiang, I love the loose look and feel of your more abstract paintings, it is what I try so hard to achieve and can't quite get there. It is difficult to balance all the aspects of career and family, but know that there are hundreds of us out there reading your blog and cheering for you. Carol

Ann said...

You don't know me from Adam, but I've followed your blog a long time. I second Maelinda's remark about your China paintings--they're outstanding. Even in those "grays" you complain about mastering.

We all wonder how to strike the right balance both in our lives and our painting careers (or should I say, painting styles?), but we wouldn't appreciate the wonderful so much if something didn't upset the applecart every now and then. Sometimes it takes an abstract work to jog the mind into learning a lesson that can be applied to a more realistic work. And vice-versa.

And there is an audience out there who appreciates both of your styles. It's all in the eye of the beholder. Each person will react differently to both styles.
Nothing wrong with either.

AnnC

Judy-in-nl said...

I couldn't say it any better than Katerina Oberg and all the others who have already left comments! I love all your art!