Monday, October 31, 2011

"Autumn Glow"

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Happy Halloween! This is the season full of warm colors. It is the time I always reminisce my New Hampshire days (I used to lived in Keene, NH for several years), beautiful colors everywhere. In Texas, we don't have much color this year. It has been so dry.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Head Study 102611

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I did another head study on Wednesday night. We had another superb model. She has ideal facial features. With such a wonderful model, I could totally rely on my observation to compensate my lacking of anatomy knowledge. I am glad that these many years of daily painting practice has given me rigorous training on how to see. This painting was predominately a value study, but a slight color suggestion have given it a totally different look. I remember I read a piece of advertisement in an airport: "Simplicity is the highest level of sophistication." I really want to my painting has that kind of taste.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

New Workshop Announcement: Zhaoming Wu, Italy, 2012

A good friend of mine and a master painter - Zhaoming Wu will teach a 8 day workshop in Italy in the summer of 2012. Following is the information from Zhaoming:

Dear Friends, 

I am writing to let you know about a unique workshop opportunity coming up in the summer, 2012. I will again be teaching a workshop in central  Italy, May 24- June 5 in the charming medieval town of Corciano. Corciano is located just south of Tuscany in the Umbria hilltop region. The workshop will be an on-location landscape and figurative painting intensive workshop with 4 days of painting  the towns and countryside of this beautiful region and 4 days of working from a live model. We will also include 2 days of site seeing and museum visits inFlorence and Siena. If you are interested in receiving more information, please contact Jason Bowen at Jason is organizing the workshop for me and will be able to send you an information packet and application to fill out. If you have any specific questions please also  email Jason or call him at 925 323 0664. Attached you will find the brochure for the workshop along with an image of the town of Corciano where we will be staying. I hope you can join us this summer for this unique workshop experience,

Best Regards,

Zhaoming Wu ( see the workshop brochure)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"Let Us Drink"

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I will continue on my figure painting exploration, but I also want to keep my small still life going. I had this brass thingy for a long time, and I saw it among other props too in many of my workshops. So It must be a common item of American daily life. But what is it for? Is it for tea or liquor? I am wondering how that skinny spout can allow any liquid go through. This is my first time painted it. It was fun.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

“Bouguereau study 1"

I don't know much about art history. I only know a few artists I really like. William Bouguereau is one of them. Yesterday I spent almost the entire day paint this study from Bouguereau. Lately, I have been pondering my art. I predominately paint small work still lives. If I only do that, I don't think I serious enough as an artist. I want to do more larger and figurative paintings, but I don't know how to do that. First, I need to take the challenge to tackle anatomy and many subtleties related to figures. This painting I consider is the starting point. I did have quite a bit of hard time when I painted this one, especially the hands. I will work hard and across the learning curve as quick as possible. I know this is not easy. Academic painters spend years of professional training in art schools just to manage the skill of painting people. But I will be patient and get there eventually, step by step.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

"Head Study 101911"

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I went to live painting in South Austin last night. This is what I did. We had a superb model. I really enjoyed the cool reflections in the shadow.   Figure and portrait painting are my true love, but I have been shying away from them because it is a relatively longer way to be successful. I detoured into still life painting because I could put aside anatomy and all subtlety of dealing with human subjects, so I can be quickly pass the basics and come to the artistic concepts like composition, colors, edges, and paint textures. Now I have achieved what I wanted in still life. and now I will try my best to paint humans more.

It is more fun to paint portraits, but marketing them could be an issue. Nobody wants to put a stranger's portrait on the wall, and I don't quite enjoy doing portrait commissions from photos. So I don't know the solution. I am going to put this study on auction with a relatively low starting price. I am going to experiment placing more artistic designs on my human paintings and make them more universal, more story telling. If you have good suggestions, please let me know. Thanks.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"Happy Ghost"

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I usually have a difficulty to resume my daily painting routine after returning from a travel. If I am not paying attention enough, I could lose many days without noticed.  Of course I always have tons of excuses for this time lag, but it is hurting me, not anyone else. So this time after I came back from Albuquerque, I immediately set up my studio.  Even I have engineering duty this week, I did this small painting last night. This happy ghost is reminding me that my time is getting shorter. Our days go by so quickly. I can't believe we are close to Halloween again.

Having said about traveling, I am planning to go to China for a month from mid November to mid December. I will stay in Beijing most of the time in my parents' place. I don't know how many my artist friends are in that part of the world. If you happened to in China too and are interested in getting together, please let me know. I should have time to paint and teach there. I know my blog is not displayable in China. Does anybody know how to sync a blogger to corresponding Chinese social media?

Monday, October 17, 2011

"Demo at Albuquerque 3" --- Sold

I am sitting at my cube right now, starting my one week of engineering work for my ex-company (I need a proper name for this place). I keep a win-win relationship with my ex and agree to work a week per month as an engineer. This work pattern works out so far so good.

This my third demo at my Albuquerque workshop. I enjoyed very much those several days in New Mexico. Thank you again, Peggy and Julie, for your great hospitality and wonderful work of organizing this workshop. I hope all of the workshop artists practice what we have talked about and turn my understanding into your skills.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Demo for Portrait Society of America

Friday night, I did a portrait demo at the Albuquerque Artist League. This event was hosted by the Portrait Society of America. I was one of the six demo artists. I didn't get a chance to plan for this demo. It just happened to be that this event was overlapped with my workshop at the same city. This was my first portrait demo in public. I shifted into my "just do it" mode, and had no expectation what it would turn out. So here you go. This was I did.

Friday, October 14, 2011

"Demo in Albuquerque 2" --- Sold

This is the second demo I did on the workshop. I tried to show many things with one: I painted a rose (sort of), a blue glass bottle, and a copper. The painting is a high key one.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

"Demo in Albuquerque 1" --- Sold

I am in Albuquerque, NM. I want to thank Peggy Jones and Julie Ford Oliver for providing this wonderful teaching opportunity for me. I want to thank all attending artists for coming. This is my first demonstration. This is a very strong group. I saw many artists in advanced level, and I am very happy to see many good paintings coming out in the afternoon.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

"Wrestling Pears"

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You may have noticed, my paintings of today and yesterday have shown perspectives above eye level. I felt like a child full of curiosity trying to figure out what mom has put on the table top. I am fifty some years old now. Bouncing around in the world for so many years has exhausted much of my energy. I feel tired and numb. Sometimes, I feel depressed too. But  art is my therapy. This kind of above eye level setups refreshes me. We cannot resist the natural process of aging, but let try our best to keep our mind young forever.

Monday, October 10, 2011

"Color Before Light"

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I have arrived at where I was about three weeks ago. I was working on high key with a lots of colors. I always consider that light (or value) is more important than colors. However, my recent high key approaches starts to shake my foundation. We know in history how strong was the impact of the Impressionist upon the tradition. Now, I am experiencing the same impact in my personal art history. So at this moment, I put “color before light”. I see more opportunities. There are still many beautiful ways to depict nature I haven’t managed yet. But I want promise to you that my history will be very different. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

"Bottle Study"

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I like this prop. It gives me so much color opportunities. I gradually come into my learning mode again. I don't have much to say today, but I surely enjoyed doing this small study.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

QH and QH

I was at the InSight Gallery this afternoon. Master artists Quang Ho and Scott Christensen were having two man show There. Both Quang and Scott did wonderful demos. I admire both masters. I met Quang many years ago, and so happy to see him again. We had fun talking about the similarity of our names. Our first names have only one letter different, and we have identical name initial: QH. I had several cases in art gatherings where people mistakenly thought I was Quang Ho. I was really flattered when that happens. At the mean time. It is always great inspiration to me when I get closer to great artists, physically or namely. It gives me tremendous motivation to improve my work.

Friday, October 7, 2011

New Workshop Announcement

Many of my local artist friends asked me how come I taught so many workshops all over the places but not in Austin. Well, I don't have a good answer for the question. Now I have arranged a workshop on February 16 - 18, 2012, and my wife Song will organize it. Please click here for detailed information, and contact Song to sign up. For the friends who have contacted us before, now it is the time to secure your spots. We are looking forward to meeting you or seeing you again in the beautiful Texas hill country.

"iApple" --- Sold

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I have been a PC person all my life until about two years ago I got my first Ipad. About a year ago, my HP died on me, so I got my MacBook Air on the first day it came out. Since then I have been happy instead of frustrated with computers. I usually do not include technology stuff on my paintings, but this one is exceptional. I share many Steve Jobs's beliefs. I hope all of us can follow our hearts and make something significant to both ourselves and the world. With same kind of spirit, I left my job (I am hungry) and stepped into a new field which I am not educated for and in a not very young age (I am foolish). Life is short. However, painting will turn that several hours of you at your easel into infinity. So happy painting and happy daily!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

"On the Same Boat" --- Sold

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After more than two weeks down time, I resume my small painting project again. My learning process lost it continuity and I am almost "back to the drawing board". So today I stay in my comfort zone. The painting is relatively low key and my colors are in light area.

My business management is improving, and thanks to many of you sharing what you use. Life is so complicated nowadays. Simplicity is hard to come by. No matter where you are, I think we are all on the same boat. We are trying our best to be floating.

BTW, my next workshop will be in Albuquerque, NM on October 13 -15. We have one opening. If you are interested in attending, please contact Peggy Jones.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

"Demo at New Braunfels 3" --- Sold

This is the 3rd demo. My intention was to show how to paint metal objects and get perspective correct. I have spent some time on the design. The painting involved size and shape variation of the props. The colors near the center of the focus capture the attention effectively.

This a couple of years. My art has progressed and brought me more opportunities. My small paintings are selling well. I am traveling all over the place teaching workshops. I got more galleries who are interested in representing me. Now I start to realize that planning and managing all the activity is non trivial issue. I haven't had a good management system and tools to coordinate all the events. I merely put most of  (if not all) things in my brain. Now I start to get an anxiety worrying that I might forget things. Sometime I wake up in the middle of night and questioning myself if I should be at another location. Recently I begin to search for any good system to manage my art. I have  encountered a book called GTD (Getting Things Done) by David Allen, and started to use ICal to record my activities. I think it will take me a while to get a working system going. If you are workshop organizer, gallery owner, show planner, press, or someone who have any work relationship with me. Please send reminders to me before any events. I am learning and will catch up soon. If you are using an effective management system. I really appreciate if you let me know. Thanks.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

"Demo at New Braunfels 2" --- Sold

As usual, my second demo at the workshop was a rose painting. I am sorry the photo is not that good. There are quite amount of abstractness on this painting. I really want to achieve the spontaneity and give the viewers more room to think what is going on.

I have come back to Austin. Song is back to normal. Now I can relax a little after a really busy life for about two weeks. I feel tired and I am going to bed now.