Thursday, January 30, 2014

“Morning in Zhouzhuang (Day 3)"

I didn't have much time painting yesterday, but I still did some: working on the ripples. This painting has started to show the effect I would like to see. I simply want to present the simple beauty of a simple life, the life which is not purchased from market, the life which is submerged harmoniously in nature.

I have been trying to learn to live my life intentionally. I want to pay attention to everything I do. However, it is so difficult to do. I am always in hurry. There is always much more things need to be done than my ability to handle. Life is passing me without being noticed. I have been aware of this. These several days, I start to learn cooking, spending more time with Song. Life should be like this painting: no hurry, no pressure, and the time only exist simply at this moment.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

“Morning in Zhouzhuang (Day 2)"

With this painting, I need to deal with many unknowns. The color scheme is cool and high key. I do most of my paintings with warm and low key, so I have stepped into the total opposite of my comfort zone. I chose this color scheme is not simply because it is different and new. I think I have seen new opportunities. The two days with Huihan Liu at the Scottsdale Artists School have turned on a few light bulbs in my mind.

I think you start to see the painting now. I have developed the center of focus today. and try to manipulate the purple and turquoise colors in the background. I want to see if I can involve some Impressionistic colors to the painting.

Monday, January 27, 2014

"Morning in Zhouzhuang (Day one)"

After I came back from Tucson, I must admit that I have burned out significantly. For several days, I did not go in my studio. I watched some TV, but very quickly I got bored with it. I tried to fix a few computer problems, but I got more frustrated. For instance, I tried to connect my laptop to my printer. I thought this is a small problem, but I spent at least two days on this task. However, no matter how hard or smart I try, it just simply do not work. Oh, boy! I thought I used these several days to recharge.

Surviving in today's life is definitely a special ART. I must become a real master of this art before I can do anything else. Being able to accept failure is what I am learning now. I must admit that we can not do everything, and we have to let them go, like my printer. Keep calm, even the world shattered into pieces right in front of you. Accepting failures is not giving up, because you know your priorities. One piece of advice for you: if you want to live a peaceful life, please make sure the core of your life is not controlled by IT.

I started painting again. This project will take me several days. You may not know what I am painting at this moment, but it will show gradually.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

"Demo in Tucson 3" --- Sold

This is my third demo in Tucson. before I started someone wanted me to do a rose, and someone wants me to do a sunflower. So I did both.

Monday, January 20, 2014

"Demo in Tucson 2" --- Sold

This is the second demo in Tucson. There are quite a few abstract shapes. Still life painting is not copying nature. It is a design process. I really like the blue color on the left. What is that? who cares.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

“Demo in Tucson 1" --- Sold

I arrived at Tucson yesterday, and workshop here started this morning. This is my first demo. I want to thank Brenda Semanick for putting this workshop together. I want to thank Marry Ann and Dennis Wilson for their hospitality and opening their lovely home to me. I want to thank all the artists coming painting with me. Tucson is very beautiful place. I really enjoy the special desert beauty here.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

"Figure Study with Huihan Liu"

After my workshop at SAS. I decided to stay two more days in Scottsdale and sat in to a workshop by  another artist. I chose a figure class taught by Huihan Liu. I felt so great for being a student again. Huihan is one of the best figurative artists. He does spectacular narrative paintings of Tibetan people and American Indians. I felt very fortunate for being able to study from him.

This is the painting I did on Huihan's class. The value design is OK, but it has big problems in proportion. So I don't consider this painting is a successful one. Figurative painting is my weak spot. My foundation is not sound. I have realized that I can NOT paint what I SEE (like I do still life) when painting figure. I must paint from what I KNOW, and use the model only as reference. First, the model can not go back exactly the same pose after a break. If you chase the pose, you will doomed to fail. Secondly, the human body structure and foreshortening are so subtle. If you can't handle perspective and lack of knowledge of anatomy, forget it. All over places, I see beginner artists go to open studio to draw or paint nude figures. My sincere advice to my beginner artist friends is: If you want to be a good figurative artist, you need to know what you are doing. Please do not do parallel parking if you don't know how to drive straightly. Study perspective, anatomy, and figure illustration is a mandatory requirement for you.

Friday, January 17, 2014

"Demo at Scottsdale 2014 3" --- Sold

I usually do not do experiment during workshop demos, but I did this time. I put more stuff on the foreground and my reading path made a curve leading to the center of focus. I was not so sure how it would turn out, but it came out much better than I thought. I kept a part of painting unfinished to enhance more abstract effect. I hope you like it too.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

"Demo at Scottsdale 2014 2" --- Sold

This is the second demo at SAS. The background is so dark. It enhances the sunflower and the foreground. Now the workshop is over. I hope all the artists can practice what we have talked about. It will bring your art to a higher level.

Monday, January 13, 2014

"Demo at Scottsdale 1" --- Sold

My workshop at the Scottsdale Artist School started today. I did a very elaborate demo. I really enjoyed the atmosphere at SAS. There are so many great masters teaching here. I am humbled. I want to thank SAS for this honor. I want to thank art friends coming from so many places coming and painting with me.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

"Demo in Austin 4" --- Sold

My Austin workshop has four days. I did this landscape (or cityscape) on the last day. It is from a photo I took in China. I feel my landscape still need lots of work. There are still many things in this genre I don't know. But it was fun doing this in front of a group artists. I am learning and teaching at the same time.

I have arrived at Scottsdale AZ today. Starting tomorrow I will teach a workshop at the Scottsdale Artist School (SAS). This is a very well known art school. I feel honored to teach here.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

"Demo in Austin 3" --- Sold

The third demo on the workshop is about roses. I feel more confident since I did 10 rose studies before this workshop. There is no short cut in art. You just have to paint more.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

"Demo in Austin 2"

This is my 2nd demo. It is a relatively simple setup. I did ok I guess, but I so happy seeing so many good paintings coming out from my students' easels.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

"Demo in Austin 1 2014" --- Sold

I have started my 2014 workshop teaching. I didn't travel this time. My dear wife Song put this workshop together. My son Jonathan helped me to set it up. The workshop location is at the Anderson Mill Garden Club in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. Artists from all over come and paint with me. I really appreciate all the wonderful people for participating this event. Thank you all very much. This is my first demo.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

"On a Guilin Street"

For these 3 days. I have been concentrating on doing one painting. I used one of my photos I took during my China painting trip. When we were in Guilin, it was a very hot day. The mid-day sun was so intense that people use umbrellas to shade. The pavement was marble creating beautiful reflections. The colorful umbrellas were like floating flowers. I shot this scene with my phone. I decided to paint very loose on a 12" x 16" canvas. It was a struggle.

For the entire year of 2013, I was so busy teaching and traveling. I did almost all small paintings and studied other artists' styles. One thing I should do but really have no time doing is provide larger paintings to my galleries. I hope my gallery owners do not get mad with me. So this one will be a gallery paining.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

"Pink Rose Study 10" --- Sold

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After many experiences in life and diligent spiritual pursuits, Ms. Rose has reached her maturity. Although her physical body is no longer as sound as before, but with recent hip replacement, she stands straighter, with her lasik surgery, she can see better than her teenager time. However the most important, she has understood life better. Her time spend on the Earth is just a small (but significant) ripple of the universal eternity. Her body is simply the extension of everything around. And her mind (Oops, I lost my word). MAY ALL THE BEINGS ENJOY THE REAL PEACE, REAL HARMONY, AND REAL HAPPINESS. (The last sentence is not mine.)

This maybe my last painting of my pink rose study. I have a pile of workshop teaching coming soon, I need to be warm up for that. For this painting, I paid more attention on the color subtlety. Instead of too much alizarin or permanent rose, I have used much more naples yellow, venetian red, and cad green pale. I also want to comment on my model. I bought a pink rose from the local grocery store about 10 days ago. I was so amazed how long she has last. All the ten rose paintings I did were all from this one rose. She posed all the stages of the life of a rose. Even now she is still pretty strong. No single petal has fell off. I had experiences that I had roses for my workshops, some of them could not last even through my two hours demo. In comparison, this rose I am having is really a miracle. I will see if I have more time, I would love to do two more paintings from her poses.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

"Pink Rose Study 9" --- Sold

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New Year's firework was shining on an abandoned Christmas tree lying on the side of the road. Life just like that, Ms. Rose has observed. Another year has passed. It seems the time goes by so much faster than before. There are endless things needed to be done. Preaching vigorously to their own choir, people on this small globe are clustered according to their specific opinions on economics, politics, and religion. Wars are fought, Tragedies are all over, the environment are getting worse. The only authority that can unite the human specie is the all mighty money. Life just like that, Ms. Rose has observed. But why? What is the power that is driving the world? ... Suddenly, Ms. Rose has realized she needs to go beyond speculating on the surface. We humans are involved inevitably in a game, we are forced to follow the rules. Life is not that bad. In the darkness she starts to see sparks of hope. She sees the conscience, morality, and love.  Although it is not the main stream, but the positive energy is there.

I am sorry I am sounding kind of blue at this time we supposed to be happy. As a matter of fact, I felt very grateful to all of you. I hope all of you happy at this great beginning of 2014. You are my source of that positive energy.