Saturday, March 31, 2012

"Demo at Putney 2012_2" -- Traded

The second demo I did was a high key one. It gave me a lot of color opportunity. I kept the pewter kettle in the back in a very unfinished stage in contrast to the details on the cup and apple. If it works, doing less is more powerful than doing more.

Now the workshop is over. I hope everybody have enjoyed Putney, and the beautiful Vermont.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

"Demo at Putney 2012-1" --- Sold

I am in Putney VT teaching a workshop. I want thank Penelope and John for their warm hospitality and wonderful job of hosting this workshop. I want thank all my artists friends for attending. I feel so great coming back to this legendary place to teach and to learn. This painting is my first demo.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"Lily in a Bowl of Gumbo" --- Sold

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I laughed when I read my own post I did two days ago. I was trying to say that I did a wash with “burnt umber and a lot of Gamsol” (a painting medium by Gamblin), but my computer is so smart and got its own mind. It changed “Gamsol” to “gambol” without letting me know. Did I paint with “a lot of gambol”?  Maybe I did. As matter of fact, it would be even better if the computer wrote “I did a wash with a lot of gumbo”. 

Well, my today’s painting really looks that “I did a wash with a lot of gumbo”. It was done last night after a whole day of doing more “important” things: preparing data for the tax return, booking travel for next workshop, getting toner for the printer, modify my workshop presentation, printing out hundreds of handouts to my students, packing all my stuff for my Vermont trip....  to name a few.  I was total exhausted in the evening, but I still decided to paint. Well,  the result was not what I expected, but I share it with you anyway. 
Now I am on the plane from Dallas to Hartford. So I have a little more time to write. If you see any errors in my writing, it must be my computer interfered, not because I don’t know English good. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

"Strawberry to Go" --- Sold

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This painting was my test of opacity over transparency. My background was a transparent wash with burnt umber and lot of gambol. I put it on with a piece of paper tower. I painted the Chinese food to go box majorly with a palette knife. I like the looseness of this one. I am still searching for my balance point between abstractness and realism. I think I am getting closer.

Friday, March 23, 2012

"Two Peppers" --- Sold

With my recent small painting exercises, I have been trying to involve objects I have not painted or not often enough. I am taking baby steps so I will not get lost. Last one was green grapes, and this one peppers. Gradually I will cover all the objects I would like to paint. In general, I can paint anything I want. They are all shapes, values, and colors. However, if I don't do it, I would not know the characteristics of a specific object. In addition, I will learn pros and cons of using one type of objects for composition and designs in the future. For this painting, I didn't care too much about my artistic ideas (I used to do that a lot). I just want my brush work to show pepperiness. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

“Green Grapes" --- Sold

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Coming back to my small painting study, I recall I was working on the color of green. People who have taken my workshop know that I like to use Phthalo blue mixing with yellow to get greens. This method works well for dark greens, but not good for lighter greens. So I start to add viridian and cadmium green pale onto my palette. For this small study I used Phthalo green. It works much better than my previous method. I learned this from Colley Whisson last week. You may add a lot of white to Phthalo green to tint it to a very light green, but the intensity is still strong. You can shift the green with yellows and dull it with red. I really like this color. It has the potential of replacing Phthalo blue, viridian, and cadmium green pale on my palette. Due to my previous green problems, I didn't paint green grapes often. Now I am more confident.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"Study with Colley Whisson"

It has been almost a week I didn't post anything on my blog. I was busy helping Colley Whisson who was teaching a workshop here. The workshop went very successfully. Colley was a great instructor, very informative and organized. I will definitely apply some of his techniques into my own art. The painting I posted today was done on his workshop. I copied one of his paintings. My landscapes still needs a lot of work, but I am so fortunate that I have great opportunities of being close to the masters.

Now, I am sitting at my cube doing some technical work for my previous engineering company. My life is amazing, exciting, and busy. But my major concern is how to concentrate my limited time and effort to form a practical way that makes my art progress systematically.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

"Head Study 031412"

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This is my first portrait painting this year. It is 9" x 12". I offer much lower starting price for it than my still life paintings, because I am still at the early stage of portrait painting.

Tomorrow, well known Australia artist Colley Whisson will teach a 3-day workshop here in Austin. As the workshop organizer, I will be busy assisting him. I am really looking forward to see his techniques.

By the way, I have announced a while ago that wonderful California artist Fongwei Liu will come to Austin to conduct a figurative workshop. I have got great responses on it. Fongwei is not only good at portrait and figurative works, he is also a wonderful plein air landscape painter. If you are interested in learning his plein air approaches, you have an opportunity. He will teach a plein air workshop in California. Please check Mammoth Lake Plein Air with Fongwei Liu for detailed information.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"Horse Stepping on a Swallow" --- Sold

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The bronze horse is a replica of the well known Han Dynasty statue "Horse stepping on a swallow". The original one was created about 2000 years ago. I had this horse for a long time, but I didn't painted until yesterday. Some of friends who commented on my paintings have suggested that I should paint more varieties of subjects. So I am gradually moving out of my comfort zone and adding objects like this horse on my paintings. I didn't spend much time on composition and designs for this one, but it was fun for sure to be different.

Monday, March 12, 2012

"Harmony Under Warm Light" --- Sold

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Painting this small painting, I was really paying attention to the color harmony. I was using a halogen light  for illumination, so the light was very warm. The background is a piece of white canvas, and the bottle is actually blue. To judge my color perception, I turned on my iPhone and placed a white screen on the display. I used this "iPhone white" as my standard, and placed it near my setup. I judged all colors I saw by referencing to this standard "white". In this way I see the background is so yellow, and the bottle is so green. If I didn't use this iPhone trick, my eyes would soon adapted the illumination and I would not have the color accuracy. You may want to try this too. Any electronic display with some sort of white screen will work.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

"Greens in Purple" --- Sold

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I have restarted my small daily painting again. recalling what I did before my Melbourne workshop, I was working on high key colors. With this painting, I worked on the color of green. Due to my limited experience with green colors, I have found that it is very difficult to obtain good greens by mixing blue and yellow. To get high chroma greens, I have to put more green paints on my palette. On this painting, I have used viridian (Rembrandt), cadmium green pale (W&N), yellowish green (Van Gogh), and Shiva yellow citron (Richeson Oils), plus phthalo blue and yellows. I have more green pigment I will test. Eventually, I will put my green issues under control. BTW this painting is 6"x8". I haven't done this size paintings for a long time.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

"Demo at Melbourne 2_2012"

This is the second demo I did at Melbourne. I got looser, maybe too loose.

Now I am back to Austin confronting new challenges. These a couple of days I have relocated my studio. It is still in my house but it is upstairs now. The advantage of the new place is that I got a true north window. The disadvantage is that this place does not have enough storage. I have stuff piled up all over. It will take a while to make the new place  functioning.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

"Demo at Melbourne 1_2012" --- Sold

My 3-day workshop at Melbourne FL just completed today. I want to thank Carmen Beecher for organizing this one. I felt so wonderful coming back to this beautiful coastal city. I want to thank Mary and Joe Warnick for their warm hospitality. I want to thank all the artists attending. I was so great meeting you or seeing you again. This is my first demo painting.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

"Green Red and Yellow" --- Sold

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I did this small painting last night. Right before I was on my way to the airport, I snapped a photo in a rush. This is another high key painting. I am really into color now. My sense of color needs a lot of improvement. Without knowing much, I used most obvious approaches. 

I am on my way to Melbourne FL, having a workshop to teach. Now I am on the plane typing this note on my phone. I will let you know how the workshop goes in my next post. 

BTW I will go to Putney VT at the end of the month. On March 31, the Putney painters will paint together. If  you are interested in join us, please contact Penelope Simpson for detailed information. I would love to meet or see you there. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

“City of Props"

Several days ago, I thought I should do a painting for this year's OPA show. I got on my calendar trying to make a plan, but to my surprise that I found out the dead line of submission had already passed. This is the first time I missed the  OPA show since I joined. This kind of things have happened more often lately. I felt like the rabbit in "Alice in the Wonderland", and being late for almost everything.

I have spent two days on this 12" x 16". In May, I will be part of a three-person show in a gallery. I must crank more gallery paintings between my workshop teaching trips. With this painting, I really practiced how and what to paint on the second day. Naturally, I will get tighter. So I deliberately controlled myself not going that way. I worked on the edges and the design of supporting items. The result is not bad.

When I was trying to concentrate on figuring out the colors and edges of the painting, I saw the white rabbit running in my mind, dragging a gold watch, crying "I am late, I am late, I am late late late ...".