Monday, October 16, 2017

"Good Morning Sedona"

I have arrived at Sedona AZ two days ago. I am so happy coming back to the Red Rock country and participating the Plein Air Festival. I got up really early to catch the morning light. I like how this one turn out.

After the PAF, I will stay here for a few more days and teach a plein air workshop. So far we still have a few openings. If you are interested in painting the beautiful Sedona with me, please check: and sign up. Thanks.

Monday, October 9, 2017

"Demo at Lijiang 2017"

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After left Shaxi, we have moved on to a famous city in Yunnan: Lijiang. The city has been commercialized too much. There are too many shops and too many people. This painting was done at a park call the Helongtan Park. I forgot to bring any mineral spirit, and I had to paint directly with out of tube colors. So I was not able to use my wipe-out technique. With many dry marks, the painting has an unusual look. Plein air painting is just like life, we try to be prepared, but there is always something unexpected will happen. We are out of control, but have to deal with whatever happens as much as we can, The result can be surprising, but not always bad.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

"Demo at Stone Forest Yunnan China"

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As matter of fact, this is my very first demo painting in Yunnan China. The Stone Forest is a very special geological formation. The rocks there have extraordinary shapes. I took many photos, I will paint them in the future.

Monday, October 2, 2017

"Demo at Shaxi 2017 2" --- Sold

I found this group of old houses under the sun. It was a good example to demonstrate how I dealt with perspectives. So I did this demo, and our artists painted with me. In the middle of our plein air event, a movie director passing by. Well in the afternoon, a few of our artists have been selected as actors for a movie. You will never know what can happen when you paint outside.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

"Demo at Shaxi 2017 1" --- Sold

I had just come back from China a few hours ago. I am sorry I was not very active in posting my activities when I was there. I was too busy and had no time to adapt the Internet situation there. Anyway I had a great time in China with 11 artists from USA, South Africa, Brazil, and New Zealand. We have spent most our time in the Yunnan Province. We enjoyed so much, I will post more photos for you to see and tell you more latter on.

This is one of my demo paintings. I have fell in love with the architecture in the villages. I wish I could have more time stay there.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Shaxi Yunnan, China

I think I have found an ideal plein painting place. Shaxi is a small town in the mountains of Yunnan  Province, China. All members of my China Painting trip consider this is a ideal painting location. Very few people know this place. The hotel is luxurious, The place is clean. Very little tourists. The scenery is fantastic. We are having a super time here. Here are some photos I took. I will post my paintings later.

Monday, September 4, 2017

"Demo at Hinckley 2017 1" --- Sold

Hinckley is a small town south of Cleveland, OH. I want to thank Sara Kass for organizing this workshop, and thanks to all the artists for coming and painting with me. This workshop is different from most of my other workshop. We painted still life, landscape, and portrait. This is my still life demo. 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

“Head Study 081217"

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Since I am in the portrait mode, I will do more studies to see if I can improve a little. I did this one the day after I did the previous head study, but at different location. I documented what I have done with this two paintings, and figured out what I should present on the portrait day of my forthcoming workshop. I plan to stay with monochrome a while for my head studies.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

"Head Study 081117"

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Coming back from Pennsylvania. I had about two weeks at home before my next workshop trip. Since the next workshop I need to demonstrate how I paint portrait, I needed to warm up and prepare a little. I have not painted human face from quite a long time. So I did this study. I used only transparent oxide red and naples yellow light. The monochrome approach allowed me to concentrate on the forms and features of the face. I was kind of happy for the turn out of this painting.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

"Demo at Sunbury 2017 3"

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I like the grey in this demo painting. Floral painting tends to be more colorful, but I want to be careful not to use too much saturated or high chroma colors, otherwise it will look garish. Grey is sophisticated. It is rather hard to get it right.

Friday, August 18, 2017

"Demo at Sunbury 2017 2"

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The Art Cent at Sunbury collects pencil sharpeners. I put one of them in this demo and use color pencils and marbles as the color providers. I like that little mouse figurine candle stick so I put it in. That is the second demo.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

"Demo at Sunbury 2017 1"

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You probably get tired of seeing my landscape paintings by now. I am showing you still life today. After Easton, I drove up to Pennsylvania for another workshop teaching. I stayed at Lewisburg and taught at Sunbury. They are charming small towns. I want to thank Yarts Center, and Lina Ferrera for organizing, and thanks to all the artists for coming. This is my first demonstration painting.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

"Demo at Easton 2017 4" --- Sold

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This small 6"x8" is my last demo on my Easton workshop. This time at Easton, I surely did many plein air paintings - 14 of them. Now I have a different feeling about plein air painting. It has expanded my art capability. I have extended from still life into landscape a little further. My landscapes still have a long way to go before reaching some sort of maturity, but I am glad I am on the path now. I hope I will have some sort of style gradually evolved from more practices in the days to come.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Workshop reminder: Stephanie Birdsall

Austin has cooled down a little. I feel we will have a beautiful fall this year. It is time to remind all of you that we have a few workshops planned in the Austin area. Stephanie Birdsall will teach a 4-day painting workshop from 9/30 to 10/3. Stephanie is a well known Putney painter and a wonderful teacher. I am so happy she will come to Austin again. So far, we still have a few openings for her workshop. Please get detailed information at: Stephanie Birdsall's workshop at Austin and sign up. We are looking forward to seeing you in the beautiful Texas Hill Country.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

"Demo at Easton 2017 3"

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The third demo I did was at the Maritime Museum in St Michaels. I have simplified the background significantly. The realistic presentation of the boat gives me room to go abstract for everything else. You may think I have painted the pier, figures, trees, and so on, but in reality I just painted some textures.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

"Demo at Easton 2017 2" --- Sold

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I painted this boat house as my second demo to show how I handle linear perspective. Recently, I have done quite many plein air landscape paintings. Through all of these exercises, I have discovered so many issues in my landscapes. I don't have all the solutions yet, but I have start to aware of the areas I need to work on. I really do not know how to paint sky and water. I don't know how to paint grass and trees either. There is a long learning curve I need to across. Now it is time to work thing out. I am in my research mode again.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

"Demo at Easton 2017 1" --- Sold

On the next day after Plein Air Easton 2017 ended, I started my workshop teaching. It was a 4-day plein air painting at the same town. The weather was much nicer. It was not that hot. The humidity was still high. I want to thank Carl and Nancy Tankersley for organizing, and thanks to all the artists for coming and painting with me. I painted the same building that I did for my quick draw during the festival, but from a different angle. Color temperature control was my main topic I was emphasized during this demo.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

"PAE 2017 10: On an Easton Street" --- Sold

This is my final piece at the Plein Air Easton 2017. It was my quick draw painting. This building is quite complicated. I simplified it a lot, so I can finished it within 2 hours. Plein Air Easton has ended. I surely learned a lot.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

“PAE 2017 8: Rise Up Coffee" --- Sold

"Rise Up Coffee" is a great place at Easton, wonderful food and friendly people. They make their food in a red trolly. I did this plein air right in front of it.

Monday, July 31, 2017

"PAE 2017 7: Nocturn of Last Night" --- Sold

This is crazy for me. I did not realize that we need to paint plein air in the night during PAE. I didn't know what I was doing, but I did it anyway. I was not sure what color to use because I can't see. However, I looked the painting the day after, it looks better than I thought.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

"PAE 2017 6 Dover Street Sunshine"

This small painting is the only one I did that didn't sell at the Plein Air Easton Festival. I gave the painting to my hosting family Richard Caroll to think him for supporting me by offering his lovely place for us to stay. I want to thank other volunteers who helped Plein Air Easton 2017 as well. Without all those people who generously provided their time and effort during the festival. Plein Air Easton would not be possible.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

"PAE 2017 5: Old Point" --- Sold

"Old Point" is the name of a boat being build at the St Michaels Maritime Museum. Many PAE artists painted this boat. It was a busy site. whole bunch of lumber piled up under the "Old Point". I thought it is very difficult to paint them, but the result was not bad.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

"PAE 2017 3: Has Seen Better Days" --- Sold

During the Plein Air Easton Festival, I was so impressed with how some of artists worked. They arrived at the painting locations very early like 5 or 6 AM, and set up very large canvas. They were able to paint 3 or more paintings each day. they even painted after dark as well. The weather was brutal: 90s with almost 100% humidity, but so many artists still worked under the steamy sun. I was so unexperienced. I got up about 8, having coffee with my host family. When I arrived at the painting site. Quite a few artists have done their large pieces. Now I understood what it means by "painting seriously".

Monday, July 24, 2017

PAE 2017 2 and 4 --- Sold

Plein Air Easton 2017 ended yesterday. I painted 10 paintings and sold 9 of them. I did not get any awards. That is all right. I surely enjoyed very much this 9 days festival. These are two 12" x 24" I painted at Oxford and St. Michaels. This was my first time painting large paintings live at the sites. It was quite challenging. I have stepped into many unknown zones of plein air painting. I have learned a lot from many experienced plein air painters this time.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

"Boat House at Fox Harbor Farm (Plein Air Easton 2017 1)" --- Sold

My very first Plein Air Festival - Plein Air Easton started. I am so happy to gain new painting experience at this new event. I was shocked that most of participating artists started painting in very early hours, and keep on paining after dark. They can crank multiple paintings per day. The weather is not cooperating. It is hot and humid. But artists working hard under the sun. The event is very well organized. I feel very fortunate to get in. This is my first painting. I started around 4 PM finished about 7 PM. framed (with the only frame I brought) and displayed on my easel. Collectors came. The painting sold pretty quickly.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Nancy Tankersley Workshop Reminder

Nancy Tankersley is one of the artists I really admire. Being able to painting loose but accurate is not easy. Nancy knows the secrets and she will share them with us in her painting workshops. Many artists who had taken her classes expressed to me that her methods are very practical and effective. Figurative art can be quite challenge to many beginning and intermedium level artists. I highly recommend Nancy's workshop to you. She is coming back to Austin this fall and teach a four day workshop. Please click: Nancy Tankersley Workshop for detailed information and sign up. We only have very few openings.

In addition, Nancy is one of the major artists who started the Plein Air Easton Art Festival. It has become one of highly prestigious plein air events in the country. I am lucky to get in this year as a newbie, and looking forward to paint together with Nancy and other well known artists.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

"Demo at St Simons Island 2017 3"

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My usual workshop demo. I did this one on the last day at St Simons Island workshop. The flowers are not bad, but I really like the color relationship between the background and the white vase.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Stephanie Birdsall's Workshop in Austin

I am very happy to announce that the well known artist Stephanie Birdsall will come back to Austin and teach a 4-day floral and still life painting workshop from September 30 to October 3, 2017. Stephanie is a good friend of mine. We met many years ago at one of the Putney Painter's event. She is excellent in both oil and pastel. She has taught a 2-day workshop earlier this year. Quite a few Austin artists have attended and learned a lot. I am so happy she is coming back. Please check Stephanie's workshop webpage to get detailed information and sign up.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

"St Michaels Exercise 2" --- Sold

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I have applied my "new daily painting discipline" for a week. I have done 6 paintings so far. This is the second one. Compared to my old daily painting practice, there are two major differences (as matter of fact, they are two opposites of traditional daily painting): (1) PAINTING BIG. The size of painting can not be smaller than 12"x12". The current one is 12"x 24". (2) DO NOT PAINT FOR MARKET. The only purpose of these exercises is simply improve the art. If the painting sells, it is good. If the painting does not sell, it is OK too. Although the painting size is bigger, I still force myself to "finish" the painting within a few hours. I won't touch the same painting any more in the second day.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

"Demo at St. Simons Island 2017 2"

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Coming back to my still life demo in my workshop at St Simons Island. This is my second demo. As usual, I demo my way of dealing with metal objects. I really enjoy painting this copper kettle.

In about a week, I will travel to Easton MD and participate the Easton Plein Air Festival. Right after the festival, I will teach a plein air landscape painting workshop. We still have one opening due to an artist has to cancel due to physical issues. If you are interested in taking my workshop, Please visit my website for info and signing up. Thanks.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

"St Michaels Exercise 1"

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It has been 3 days I paint everyday at my home studio. I want to see if it is possible I can paint relatively large and manage to finish in a few hours. This one is a 12x16. I finish of this one in about 3 hours. I am kind of practice my daily painting exercises again, but in relatively large scale. So far so good. In about 10 days, I will participate the Easton Plein Air Festival. This is my first time to get in. So I want to prepare a little. This one is from a photo I took at St. Michaels, MD. In the coming festival, I may go there again.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

"Demo at St Simons Island 2017 1"

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I have just finished a workshop at St. Simons Island in Georgia. I want to thank Mary Anderson for organizing this workshop, and thanks to all artists for coming. This is my first demo.

This is an "as usual" painting as a part of my "as usual" life. It is usual that artists always looking for something new, something more exciting. Me too. But "Life as usual" is reality. "As usual" is good. No news is really a good news. Let's have another usual day. As a matter of fact, we do progress, as Usual.

Friday, June 30, 2017

2018 workshops

The year of 2017 has reached its mid point. So I think it is a good time to announce my 2018 workshop teaching schedule. It has been just published. You can access it anytime. Just go to my website and press the "Teaching" tab. Similar to 2017, I will travel all over and share my painting process. If you are interested in taking one, please contact the organizer of the corresponding workshop and sign up. Happy painting and bettering (is that a word?).

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

"Demo at Lowell 2017 3"

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This is the third demonstration I did at Lowell. You may have noticed, my "daily painting" practice has passed 10 years mark. From painting small 6"x6" and selling on eBay to doing demos on workshop almost daily, I have changed. life is so tricky. If I say I am not burning out, nobody believes it. I am no longer as fresh, as energetic as before. However sweet grape juice has turned into dry wine. Maybe that is what we call "bitter sweet". I used to paint till midnight and not feeling tired. Now I am long for a comfortable bed to pass out. I really want to thank my students to keep my teaching activities going. Without you, I might have stopped painting a long time ago. I really want to thank the vulnerability of my life. Without it, I would not still making baby-step progresses day by day.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

"T-Day in Bologna"

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This one is my studio work based on a photo I took at Bologna Italy. T-days are weekends and holidays for the people in Bologna. They block all the motor vehicles and turn the center of the city into a pedestrian only area. People enjoy T-days with music and wine. This painting was a challenge to me. Italian buildings have so much ornate exterior decorations, and the street were packed with people. I want to just suggest the T-day atmosphere instead of render tightly the details. I have spent about 3 days on this one. I still see quite a few places on the painting I don't feel absolutely satisfied, but I know I must stop. Otherwise the painting will lost its freshness and look too much labored.

Monday, June 19, 2017

"Demo at Lowell 2017 1" --- Sold

I am so behind in posting my painting lately. After I returned from my Italy trip, I have been to Lowell, Michigan. This is my first demonstration on my Lowell workshop. I am back to my usually still life demos. As matter of fact, I have been improving in baby steps. I am pretty happy about this one. I want to thank the Franciscan Life Process Center and Kathy Bechtel for organizing my workshop and thank to all the US and Canadian artists for coming and painting with me.

Friday, June 9, 2017

“Demo at Lake Martin 2017 3"

This demo was done at Lake Martin Alabama before my trip to Italy. Nowadays, I am so behind in my online posting. I must be getting old. I am kind of slow of doing anything.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

"Demo at Fiesole Italy 2017 2"

This is my second demo at Fiesole. Italy has so many this kind of bell towers. They are not that easy to paint. I need think more how to handle it. I hope I can do a better job of painting them.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

“Demo at Fiesole Italy 2017 1" --- Sold

I did this floral demo at the night I just arrived at Fiesole Italy. The workshop was planned as a plein air one. Since I painted after dark, I choose to paint flowers.

Friday, June 2, 2017

“Demo at Florence Italy 2017 2"

Because some Internet issues, I did not update you my activities in Italy. This is the second plein air demonstration I did at Florence. We are at the bank of Arno. There were so many old architectures in front of us. I didn't copy any structure "correctly". I painted my "feelings" of those beautiful houses. I was extremely humbled facing those beautiful buildings. I felt my art is really neglectable in the place  like Florence. Also I felt extreme fortunate that I was able to visit Florence as an artist.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

"Demo at Fiesole Italy 2017 03" --- Sold

I am so excited coming to Italy teaching my very first workshop in Europe. This is my 3rd plein air painting at Fiesole near Florence. I want to thank Debra and Ivano of Artensity for organizing this workshop and thanks to all artists from Brazil, Germany, Switzerland, and USA for coming and painting with me. I am so impressed by the rich culture here at Florence. This is a new milestone in my art career. I am so happy.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Painting in China 2017 Reminder

Time goes by really fast. I want to remind you that our "Painting in China 2017" will close to its registration deadline. Please don’t miss your opportunity to sign up to join this small band of international explorers and painters on the Plein Air Painting in China tour. My wife Song and I are both originally from Beijing, so you will have bilingual “locals” on the tour with you as well as the bilingual tour guides. 

There are still a few seats available if you would like to join us. 

For more information about the trip including full itinerary, please go to  

The trip includes popular tourist sights such as The Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, The Summer Palace along with  a trip to Shangri-La (Zhongdian) and some lesser known sights with many opportunities to paint along the way. I will provide plein air painting demos and share with you all my painting tips. It should be a fun and informative trip.

Check it out now before it sells out.  

It’s never been easier to travel in China with a guided bilingual tour. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

"Demo at Lake Martin 2017 1"

Returned from from San Diego, I stay at home only one day before I started another teaching trip. This stop was Lake Martin near Auburn Alabama. Staying at the side this beautiful lake my fatigue due to heavy traveling was gone just like that. I want to thank Dorothy and George Littleton for organizing this workshop and thanks to all the artists for attending. This is my first demo, which is a plein air piece.

Monday, May 15, 2017

"Small house at Balboa Park"

On the 4th Day of the Plein Air Convention, we have painted at the beautiful Balboa Park. There are so many grand, elegant, and very ornate structures. I have shied away from all of that and picked up a small house near the parking lot. When I painting this one, I turned around and found surprisingly that Jeremy Liping was standing next to me. I was so excited. We talked for a while and he gave me quite a few tips. Thank you, Jeremy.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

"Harbor of San Diego" --- Sold

I have attended the 6th Plein Air Convention in San Diego. I did this plein air painting right out of the Sheraton Hotel at the Harbor Island. Be honest with you, I really didn't know what I was doing. The scene was very busy with zillions of boats. I was in my "just do it" mode and follow completely my intuition. The result was better than I thought. Many artist call themselves intuitive painters. I am not.  But sometime I was in the spot and have no way out. Well, I just do it.

Friday, May 5, 2017

"Demo at Louisville 2017 3" --- Sold

This floral demo was a little crazy. I saw big bouquet of flowers in the studio, and directly moved it to my still life stand with adjusting its arrangement. It was very busy, full of different kinds of flowers. I only selected a few flowers and formed my composition. It was a indoor plein air practice. I did not paint everything in front of me, but selected only a few items which are interesting to me.