Saturday, October 31, 2015

“Guilin Color Study"

Click Here to Bid

This is a color study to explore the potential of monochromatic oil painting. I used a ref photo I took at Guilin three years ago. You have seen I tested monochrome scheme when I painted a few Xidi doorways. With that project I developed my warm palette. Now this one is my test of a cool palette. I used only three colors: black, white, and Prussian blue.

Monochrome is an abstract color scheme, because reality is always in color. However, monochrome images can have its own aesthetics. I think my today's palette will be suitable to water related landscapes.

Friday, October 30, 2015

"Wuzhen Canal 2"

Came back from New England, I have only about ten days at home before I travel again for my next teaching trip. How to use my broken time to do some significant painting is always a challenge. You might have remembered this painting. I started in May, but didn't have enough time to finish it. Fortunately I paint this one from a ref photo I took from Wuzhen (a water village near Shanghai, China.) So I can continue painting it when I get time. I spent about 3 more days adjusting the color harmony and adding details. I tried to apply some of the knife technique I developed when I painted my Xidi series, but it did not work well enough. Anyway, that is what I got today.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

"Cedar Park Water Garden"

Click here to bid

Today I went with a group Austin artists to Cedar Park Water Garden. I did this plein air sketch. It was a overwhelmingly busy places, full of miniature ponds, fountains, flower pots, and other decorative stuff. I really don't know what to paint. So I found a shaded spot, observing the direction of the sun moves to estimate the light stability. Then I saw the scene. So if you feel hard to decide where and what to paint in a plein air situation, first make yourself comfortable. Secondly, you observe from your location.

Am I too abstract? If you feel I am going too far, please warn me.

Monday, October 26, 2015

“Demo at Landgrove 2015 4" --- Sold

The last day of the workshop I painted something new - the egg shells. They are not that hard than I thought. I am glad my painting ability has extended slightly.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Reminder - Chesapeake Maryland Workshop

I am so happy that I will go back to the Washington DC area.  On November 12 - 15, I will teach a 4 day still life painting workshop at the Chesapeake Fine Art Studio near Stevensville Maryland. Please check the workshop description.

Many years experiences in optical engineering and still life painting make me confident to say that this studio has the ideal lighting condition for painters. The huge north facing window brings massive amount of stable and cool natural light indoors. The natural north light has the highest color rendering index to surpass any artificial lights. No wonder so many master level artists come to Chesapeake Studio to teach, such as Scott Christensen, Kevin Macpherson, and Scott Burdick to name a few. I am so excited to go to this wonderful place also to share my techniques.

If you are interested in learning under the ideal lighting condition, the opportunity is rare, but at this moment, we do have a few openings. Please sign up by visiting Chesapeake Fine Art Studio website or contact the workshop organizer Hai-Ou Hou. The time is limited. Please decide quickly. Thanks.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

"Demo at Landgrove 2015 3" --- Sold

This is my flower demo for the workshop. I really enjoyed the color stage when I painted this one. The vase at back I used almost pure ultramarine. The apple in the back I painted really abstractly. The roses, what should I say. If you manage the light shadow relationship, they will be beautiful.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

“Demo at Landgrove 2015 2" --- Sold

I used this demo to show how I paint metals. The most enjoyable part was painting the handle of brass pot.

Monday, October 19, 2015

"Demo at Landgrove 2015 1"

I have arrived at Landgrove VT, and saw my first snow of the year. This is a very small town in the rural Vermont, but the Landgrove Inn conducts quite many art workshops. This is my second time teaching here. I want to thank Thomas Checcia for organizing and thank all the artists for attending. This morning I was jogging and found an apple tree full of small apples, I thought about the demo I would do. So I collected some of the fruits, and now they are showing here.

Friday, October 16, 2015

"Demo at Wethersfield 2015 3" --- Sold

The third demo involves flowers. The workshop went very well. Everybody was happy. Tomorrow I am on my way to Vermont. Another workshop starts in a couple of days.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

"Demo at Wethersfield 2015 2" --- Sold

During this workshop I stay with my friend Victoria and Doug. They have a few apple trees bringing them ton of fruit. So I used two of the apples for my demo.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

"Demo at Wethersfield 2015 1" --- Sold

At this beautiful fall foliage time, I have arrived at Wethersfield CT. I want to thank Wethersfield Academy of Art for organizing and thank all the New England artists for coming and painting with me. This is my first demo. Those pumpkins really makes the color of the season.

Friday, October 9, 2015

"Xidi Village 1"

This is another large painting I did based on a reference photo I took at the Xidi village. I have extended my paintings from doorways to buildings, and from monochrome to color. I am really concerned that the painting will get muddy easily when I shift from mono to color. I have paid serious attention to the color harmony. Also I have realized that I may not want to paint this kind of archaic painting too large. I don't know exactly why. Some how I feel the history is too heavy on me. I feel pressured when I look at the aging texture of the ancient structures. I might have run into something in my previous life. Who knows.

I want to pause my Xidi series now. A new phase of my art starts soon. I will travel again and keep busy.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

“Xidi Doorway 4"

This is my fourth Xidi doorway painting. The difference between this one and the previous ones is the size. This one is a 18" x 24", while my first one was a 6" x 8". I hope you don't see too much difference from the photo images. It is easier to show painterly effect with small paintings. That is why I did this exercise. I want to make sure I can maintain the painterly look with my large paintings.  I want to practice this style a little more to stabilize the approach. So I don't need too much warmup time in the future if I want to painting this kind of monochromatic works.

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Xidi Village

You have seen three of my Xidi paintings, but what is this place called "Xidi". Xidi means "west post" in Chinese. It is a very old village in Anhui province. It was listed as one of the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 2000. Most of the houses were build in Ming and Qing dynasties, about two to four hundred years old. Following are a few of photos I took there. Our painting group stayed at Xidi for three nights. I felt I was back to the history. The last photo was our group photo there. I would love to go back to this place again in the future.

Friday, October 2, 2015

"Xidi Doorway 3" --- Sold

Click here to purchase

Continuing on my Xidi doorway series, I did this one. The painting is slightly large (9" x 12"). I would not to say this monochromatic, because I did start to consider color now. I don't know how far I can go with this approach, but I really enjoyed what I am doing. The Chinese character above the doorway means good fortune. I hope this relatively new style of painting can expand my ability in art and eventually can bring me good fortune as well.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

"Xidi Doorway 2" --- Sold

Click Here to Purchase

Following the momentum of my monochromatic practice, I did another doorway painting. The simplification of the color portion of the painting allows me to concentrate on the texture manipulation. Aesthetically, the monochromatic harmony and the roughness of the texture gives the artwork a sense of time transition, a feeling of old age. Beauty seems closely related to old and imperfectness. That is why we collect antiques, and visit old places. I don't know why, but this is my intuitive thinking. If you have a more philosophical explanation, please educate me. I am very curious about this topic.