Sunday, January 15, 2023

Amelia Island workshop


I have taught a "Landscape painting from photos" 3-day workshop at Amelia Island, Florida. I want to thank Nancy Bartmess for organizing this workshop, and thanks to all the workshop artists for attending. I did 3 demos. After the workshop, Nancy and her husband Richard took us on their boat and gave us a grand tour. We have enjoyed this trip very much.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Music of Colors


Waterlily is the most interesting thing I have ever painted. It offers vast amount of flexibility to represent this subject matter and gives the artist the utmost freedom for creativity. Waterlilies have relaxed the accuracy requirement on size, perspective, proportion, local color, and shapes, so I can fully concentrate on the geometrical composition, texture variation, and color design without worrying my painting going too abstract to leave the representational paradigm. The reflections in the water provide mainly the vertical rhythmic structures while the lily pads generate most the horizonal resonance. These two-dimensional periodic patterns interweave together and created endless opportunities for artists to compose astonishing spatial music. I got hooked immediately after I did my first waterlily painting, and it explains why Claude Monet did not touch any other subject matters after he started painting waterlilies.

Friday, December 30, 2022

2022 Paintings


Happy New Year to all of you. This video contains almost all the paintings I have done in the year of 2022. As matter of fact, I do not consider I personally did all those paintings. They are all manifestations of the Devine. Usually, people talk about the new year’s resolution at this time. We want to use what we’ve learned and hope to correct the path of life toward a better direction. 2022 is a special year for the world, and it is the first year after I survived the cancer. I have learned tremendously. If I consider to have a new year resolution, I will say I will try my best to live. Business, career, and personal achievements are all start to fade away. The only thing left is sincerely living. Be a sincere witness with gratitude to experience the beauty of the real Art of the universe.

Monday, December 26, 2022

Surgeons at Work


I hope all of you have had a great Christmas. I want to share a painting with you today, which is a 24" x 30" figurative and narrative painting . I also made a short video to document the painting process. For this relatively large painting, I do not have enough experiences, especially figurative work. To get the proportion correctly is the major challenge. I want to say that the apps I have on my website have really helped me to see better. This painting took me more than ten days to do. I have learned quite a bit.

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

DIY Solar System for Off the Grid Living


First of all, I want wish all of you a Merry Christmas. Hope you all are healthy, happy, and peaceful. Today's post is not about art. Perhaps you have noted that I have been crazy about video making lately. I am trying to vlog (video blog) what I do and what I see. Many years ago, I have talked about how important of leaving engineering and and choosing art, which I really wanted to do. Having doing art for quite a while, now my journey have found its new orientation. I am no longer consider art as a career or business. It is simply something I enjoy doing. Having reached the age of retirement, I have realized now it is the time for LIVING. It is not necessary to label ourselves specifically any more. Engineers or artists are all those specific labels. The purpose of our lives is not to make those labels bigger and shinier. The real purpose (if we think we really need one) is to know who we are. My friends, please enjoy your life and be really living!

Thursday, December 15, 2022

 Some of my still life paintings will be shown on the January 2023 issue of the American Art Collector Magazine. I have received copies of magazine this morning and made (my first time) a YouTube Short video to brag about what I have done. I have been keeping telling myself that bragging is not a good thing since the ego is the source of all suffering. I think I will suffer for sure because I had this bad karma today.

Sunday, December 11, 2022

The Day of the Dead


It is almost Christmas, but my time is still at Halloween. I am still posting my EPAT paintings.  I was at the San Angelo Museum of Fine Art, and it happened to be the Day of the Dead celebration. I don't think I am ready to talk about death, but that day was all about it. I really liked the attitude of the Mexicans toward death. The celebration was quite joyful. Colorful skulls and skeletons were all over the place. People wore colorful cloths and danced happily. Children got their faces painted like skulls. Death we usually think is a sad thing, but the atmosphere that day was quite the opposite.  I still felt reluctant to relate death to happiness, but I start to accept the mortality is significantly important. Our planet is finite. If we all were immortal, there would be no places for us to stay. I painted a small roadside memorial that day. I kind of like it, but of course no collectors want to touch it. That was all right. My wife took quite a few photos and video clips. I made a YouTube video with them to document this lively dead day.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Solo Show


I am happy to announce my first solo show at the InSight Gallery in Fredericksburg Texas. It is a new milestone for me. Please visit Qiang's Solo to see the paintings in the show. It has been eleven years since I left my engineering career and became an artist. I have been experienced and learned a lot. My general feeling about these 11 years is appreciation. I have met so many wonderful people, got so many wonderful opportunities, and visited so many wonderful places. The only thing I want to say is THANK YOU. I am so fortunate.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Still life study 112722


I hope all of you have had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I have completed all my planned art business activities. Now I am in the learning mode again. With this still life painting study I have tried combining acrylic and oil together. I did my underpainting wash with acrylic inks, then I painted oil on top. I really like the acrylic inks. They are transparent and dry super fast. So I don't worry about the under painting darks contaminating my foreground colors. They are water based so I can wet my canvas with water and apply watercolor techniques. I just loved it. Applying oil on top of the acrylic has no problem. I have left massive areas of underpainting showing through to maintain an abstract quality for the background. I used a small amount of opaque paint to build the contrast of transparency vs opacity. Using a due light sources to make the colorless metal object colorful. It was so much fun going through the design process of this study.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

My painting calendar 2023 is available


It is the holiday season again. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. As usual I have made my painting calendar for the coming new year. You can browse all the images on my NEW website.

"I did not know you have a "new" website" you might have asked me. Well, now you do. About two weeks ago, I found all my images disappeared and some funny noises showing on my sites . My web host refused to help, but only requested more money. They also refused to refund my annual renewal because it just past the 30 days. I also could not download my sites to my computer... I felt being robbed. Many hours later, I have built a new website from scratch and transferred out one of my domains. It almost has all the info. You can check my workshop schedules, buying my videos and the new calendar, and most important, you can access the Apps. Please visit my new website. If it does not work, please copy-and-paste: . Please let me know if you think I need to improve this new site. Friends, no matter how old and no tech savvy we are, we will learn. Life can be improved with you own hands and brains.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Sunset at the Block 1


I painted the downtown San Angelo (locals call it the Block 1) late afternoon on October 26, 2023. It was quite an experience. The perspective was not hard, but it was very time consuming to make all the buildings look right proportionally. The light was moving super fast and the bright sun was shinning right into my eyes. I was blind by the strong light and hardly could identify any local colors. At the last moment of the sunset. The colors was so beautiful, but the brightness of the light faded so fast and my palette got dark so quickly and it was hard to identify and mix the right colors. Can we really capture the genuine colors on a sunset painting with a plein air approach?  I doubt it. However, the easy part of sunset painting is the colors do not have to be "genuine". The color scheme is so simple. The chroma is high, and the local colors have been dominated by the light source colors. If you have painted a few times, you will find the freedom in this apparently difficult subject.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Blooming with hope


A homeless woman stood nearby watching I painted this rose. She was so fascinated with excitement. Perhaps it was her first time seeing a plein air painter at work. She told me she had learned some art when she was in jail. She really liked it. But she had never practiced because life is too hard for her. She has no money and no place to stay. Only thing she got is cancer. My wife gave her a few dollars. She said she will go to the Dollar store and get some colors and brushes. She will make a painting before she die and will give it to her daughter who lives far far away. With her beautiful hope, she left the rose garden. I finished this small "mini pearl" painting for EPAT, and named it "Blooming with Hope".... I woke up in the night. It was cold and raining outside. I thought about that homeless woman. I hope she found a relatively warm place to stay, and art...That might be too luxurious for her. 

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Funky Chicken


I didn't know why I painted this one. I was in a plein air show and knew this wouldn't sell. I was in this so called "Chicken Farm", which is a artsy studio area. Everything here are so corky. I must have been in a whimsical mood. It was quite amusing when people saw me painting this. Much laughter went with my funky entertainment. I hope you can laugh as well when seeing my today's post.

Monday, November 7, 2022

Cool Clear Water


Waterlilies is always my favorite subject to paint in San Angelo. I love the International Waterlily Garden. Waterlilies give me endless freedom to design. I don't need to follow specific pads or flower to obtain the realistic presentation. I was looking for all the opportunities to combine multiple kinds of pad distribution patterns and involve different types of texture to create my composition. This painting has won two awards: the Waterlily Award and the 3rd Place of EPAT competition. I feel so fortunate and happy. I have made a video to document this painting endeavor. 

Sunday, November 6, 2022

A Quiet Morning

 I was late when I arrived at downtown San Angelo on October 25. Most of the artists there had already engaged their painting project a while ago, but I have a complete blank in my mind. I drove around several blocks, but I still could not decide what to paint. Finally I ended up to a location quite far away from the iconic downtown area. I did this small oil sketch. The scene is a little too empty, but the geometric design wasn't too bad. The lighting was pretty good, but it moved too fast. I think the true spirit of plein air painting is maintaining cool when you know you are completely out of control.

Friday, November 4, 2022

New YouTube Video: Painting on a Texas Ranch


I have made a YouTube video to document my ranch stay. Making video is my new endeavor. The media source is simply my and my wife's phone. I use Photos app and DaVinci Resolve to edit and cut. I got background music from YouTube. I am learning little by little to streamline the required time to generate the video. The monetization part is tricky. I have almost made it to earn a couple of bucks a month ago, but now I came back to zero since my channel does not have enough viewing hours to qualify. That is not important. The important part is to get my information to you. As a matter of fact, it has a lot of fun to generate videos. 

Thursday, November 3, 2022

It is just an urn


This outdoor still life was the last painting I did at my ranch stay near Junction TX. I was very comfortable with this subject matter. During the painting time, the light changed from sunny to cloudy, but it didn't bother me at all. As an artist, I constantly try new things, feeling I must go beyond my current self. Now I doubt this kind of mentality is right. Why couldn't we just simply accept who we are and be comfortable with ourselves?

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

"Beauty at a Texas ranch


It was a good day with perfect temperature. I did this oil sketch. Recently, I have been pondering how to compose landscape paintings "correctly". When I started painting many years ago, I concentrated on still life and portraiture. I really like the high lights on an apple or someone's nose as my focal points. However, I hardly see any high light spots on an landscape scene. So I have lost the charm I am always looking for. To get an exciting landscape composition has been a constant challenge for me. So far I have not find my favorite landscape compositions yet. I just let my whim lead me to any landscape compositions spontaneously. In other words, I have painting intuitively when I deal with landscapes. This makes my engineering mind very uncomfortable. This composition is still whimsical, but I will figure out and get enlighten eventually.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Gentry Creek


The second painting during my ranch stay was "Gentry Creek". I want to thank the ranch owner Stephen for showing us his property. It was a windy day. I managed to make the painting work under the windy condition. The pile of rock by the water was so beautiful. I really like the warm afternoon sun light against the cool purplish shadows. The color at the site was so rich, but I only captured a small portion of it. The painting experience at the Gentry Creek has implied that I still have a long way to go on my journey as an oil painter.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Morning Sunshine


I have just come back from San Angelo TX participating the En Plein Air Texas painting competition. This event started on October 21 and ended yesterday on October 29. For the first 3 days, I stay at a Texas ranch near Junction TX. I want to thank Ramsey Koschalk for his hospitality and kindness of inviting artists staying at his ranch. I did 4 paintings there. This is first one. I emphasized the warm and cool play of the morning sun on this beautiful masonry work. I have enjoyed the curved geometry to lead our eyes from the near field to the afar background.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Susan's Garden


I did this painting for my friend Susan. I used a photo she provided. I examined the photo and found the elements to make the painting work. I documented my approaches and share the process with you via a YouTube video. I hope you like it.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

My Neighborhood


I live in a typical Texas subdivision. Every morning, I like to take a walk in the neighborhood. It happens it is the time when the light is fantastic. I snapshot quite a few photos. Now I start to use them as references for painting. For this one, I emphasize the warm and cool color relationship. I hardly used green and any other local colors. The entire color scheme is dominated by the light source colors. This project helps me to develop a practical strategy for landscape paintings. I have documented my approach and made a video to share it. 

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Bull Creek Plein Air

 I did this small plein air painting a week ago. A week has passed without being noticed. It seems I  did a lot this week, but it also seems I did not do much. Painting is easy, but life is much more complicated.

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Small Figure Study


I did many landscape paintings, but I have not put figures in them very often. Now I want to study more and make myself comfortable of using figures. I post this recent small figure study combined with a video showing my step-by-step approached to do this painting. Please let me know if this video is helpful. Thanks.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Gallery Verde

 Painting figures has been my dream, and it is still my dream. I hope my life is long enough and this dream can be fulfilled. I am taking baby steps. First I want paint figures as a part of landscapes. I don't have to work on details. I just need to suggest and let viewers to fill the blanks. 

Gallery Verde is located in downtown San Angelo, Texas. It is the meeting place of the En Plein Air Texas painting competition. I am very fortunate to attend this event. I am looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new friends. 

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Gardener's Storage

 Continuing the exploration of shape designs. painting looks realistic enough, but my attention was on the geometric shapes. I used to use abstractness to enhance realism. Now my way of thinking is the other way around. This "other way around" thinking will take us closer to the truth. 

Monday, September 19, 2022

New Youtube Video: Painter's Guide App Tutorial


I have just uploaded a new video on Youtube. It gives a comprehensive overview on how to use our Painter's Guide App. Two years have passed since our engineers and I created this app, and many people has used this app to assist their painting projects. However, I have not updated you a detailed information on the functions of this app until today.

I have used Youtube as a teaching tool for more than a decade, but I was so stupid and didn't know I can make some money from it. For So many years I posted so many videos and got so many people subscribed my channels. Do you know how much money I have made so far? The answer is ----- a big fat ZERO.... I really did not know how to set my Youtube correctly. Recently, I really learned Youtube from Youtube. So, wish me luck this time. In addition, if you can like what I did and subscribe my channel, I will really appreciate your help. 

Friday, September 16, 2022

Tuscany Geometry

 I am testing new ideas using geometric shapes to create a design. Although you may still recognize the scene as Tuscany rolling hills, but I have minimized the realistic presentation as much as possible. So the abstract geometric design was my goal. However, the color relationship I try to be as realistically correct as possible so people can see this is still a landscape painting. Since I am so new for this idea, and I will not consider this design is a really good one, but it is a good start. I have enjoyed using knifes for this painting. I hope I can push this approach to get some good paintings.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Download "Painter's Guide" app on iPad/iPhone


You probably already know that I have an app called the "Painter's Guide" running on my website to help artists paint better. Now I want to announce that this app can be downloaded freely to iPad and iPhone. If you go to my website > Apps > Painter's Guide (or, you will see the download buttons on the upper right corner. I have given detailed instructions on how to download this app on your Apple devices. We are not using Apple Store. I hope the download process is not too challenging. If it is for you, please do not hesitate to contact me. Maybe we should bite the bullet and put our apps on the Apple Store. What do you think?

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Positiveness of Covid


Positive means bad, and negative means good. Isn't that ironic. Recently, I was tested positive for Covid 19. I have to cancel the recent OPA event, which have been planned a while ago. I sincerely apologize to OPA for the problem I have caused. This painting was planned as my demo for OPA. Now, I have done it during my isolation.

I try to look into the positive side of being Covid positive. It is a good learning experience. Humans are invincible only in the movies. The Nature (or ourselves) can destroy our "long term" civilization so easily. The purpose that we come to (or come out of, to be more exact) the world is not to prove "I am better than you", but to witness the miracles around us. So be humble, respectful, and egoless.