Saturday, April 28, 2012

"Eeyore's Birthday"

It was a super beautiful day today.  I was in the mode of partying. Song and I went to Pease Part near the downtown Austin. Every year at this time, there is huge party held here celebrating the birthday of Eeyore, the  chronically depressed donkey in the story of "Winnie-the-Pooh". I don't know exactly the history of this event, but it surely is a lot of fun. People dress up whatever they want to, playing drums and dancing all day long. To me, this is a great photo opportunity. I can get references for my future paintings. This is one of the photos I took. Eeyore's Birthday party has a strong Bohemian and Hippie flavor. It is typical Austinish (is that a word?). With its motto "Keep Austin Weird", Austin is very avant garde place, very different from the rest of Texas. People are happy and friendly. I really enjoyed this wonderful day with the all beautiful colors flowing in front of me.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"Demo at home 2012 1"

A group of Song's friends came to my studio yesterday. I did this demo to them.

Recently, I really like the word "mode". This week happens to be my engineering consulting week. I went back to the company and worked on an project with a lot of heavy mathematics. It was a quite an effort to shift from my art mode to the scientific mode. But after I am in the mode, I gained momentum and progress. Nowadays I start to realize that I am in trouble, because I am in too many different modes: teaching mode, small painting mode, engineering mode, gallery show mode, tax preparation mode, Internet trouble shooting mode, Of course the most importantly, the family mode. I am not alone. I think everybody now have to be multitasking. The problem is that changing mode requires time and energy. If mode changing happens too often, the system will be paralyzed. The exhaustion will be maximized and the efficiency will go to zero. I can see it is happening to me. I am thinking about the way to solve the problem, but I don't have a good solution. I am hanging there, doing as much as I can.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

"Ernest Watson Study 2"

I copied another Ernest Watson's drawing today. It is a good way to learn. I will keep doing this kind of exercise until I feel satisfied with my drawings. I think I have progressed a little since I did my previous drawing. I feel pretty excited doing this.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

"Life is Simple"

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I can't believe I didn't paint any small painting for 24 days. If you follow me on this blog, you know what I have been up to. But I am so glad I am back. As a matter of fact, I am pretty burnt out now. "Life is simple" is the title I give to my painting today. It is also my dream. I wish there is a place where there is no such thing called "money". The financial world has been manipulated so much, you must have several Ph.D.s to understand what is going on. My brain is smaller than a shoe box, so I rather have it holding information about painting. Should I gamble my future on the Wall Street? ... Well I don't want to continue, because I know I will not be able to make sense after a few more sentences. On the other hand, I have realized how deep we are addictive to the "money" thingy. We have no way out. We are doomed. "Simple life" is still a dream, but I will keep dreaming.

Friday, April 20, 2012

"Ernest Watson Study 1"

Started with my tiny drawing yesterday, I have been possessed by my pencils. This one is a copy from the  book "The Art of Pencil Drawing" by Ernest W. Watson. I really like the way he illustrated the cityscapes. I am learning his value design, and the abstract patterns he used in rendering. In the near future I want to paint from photos, but I am not good to organize information from the photo. So learning by copying others work is an effective way for me.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

"Raining Day"

Today I had a desire of doing a super large painting (30"x 40" in my mind), but I ended up doing a tiny pencil sketch. This one is on a piece of 3" x 3" post note. I want to use this kind of sketch to test my composition and value designs. I drew quite a bit before, but I have not done enough recently. So this one is a good starting point.

These several years, I feel I had made some progress in both my art and the business part of it. Although I have got many opportunities, my time in art has been decreasing to almost to the minimum. Many days I spend my entire time dealing with my business, but I still can only take care of part of the demand.  In order to keep my art going, I have locked up some of my time devoted to my study and painting. I do read all of your email messages with my deep appreciation, and I try to answer emails which related to my teaching and other commitments. Due to the limitation of my time and ability, I have to delay many of my email responses. If you are workshop organizers, collectors, galleries, and artists asking questions, please be patient with me and allowing several days to get my replies. If you feel you have waited too long, you may send me a reminder. I am not a good manager, but I am learning. I understood the risk I may lose business due to my slow response, but it is so obvious to me if I can not improve my art, my business will not last long.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"Old Days Enthusiasm"

Yesterday was an ideal day for me. I spent about 11 hours painting. I rarely have this kind of opportunities. This painting is quite a challenge to me. All the objects I have not painted before, and the forms demand high degree of accuracy and need to be perspectively correct. Oh boy! Painting apples and flowers are much easier. But I really enjoyed the process. I paint it significantly slower than my demos,  did a lot of cleaning, and used knifes for straight edges. I was very tired in the evening, but my day was well spent.

This painting brought my childhood memory back. I was really interested in making radios and electronics when I was in elementary school. from small crystal radio to shortwave, I spent almost all my spare time on all kind of electronics projects. Many times I saved my meal money to buy transistors and other parts. The soldering iron, the diode, and the variable capacitor in this painting are all very special to me.  I got that radio showing in this painting about two years ago from an antique shop in Duncan Oklahoma. It was a home made one. Its previous owner must have the same enthusiasm like I did.

I have a show coming up at the InSight Gallery. This painting will be a part of the show.

Monday, April 16, 2012

"Demo at Wenmohs Ranch 2012 2" --- Sold

The second demo I did at Wenmohs Ranch was a real enjoyment to me. It is the first time I painted Oleander and I immediately fell in love with it. I will say I like the leaves more than the flower. I like the long skinny shape of the leaf. It give a significant shape contrast to other round props, making the composition rich and dramatic.

My next workshop will be in two weeks from now. I hope I can use these two weeks time to study and  improve my art a little by creating some small paintings and gallery paintings. Although I teach a lot nowadays, but I really want to be a student and learn. I wish my learning curve would have been a little straighter, and my improvement would have been a little faster. But I don't have much control. I am moving forward patiently with baby steps.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

"Demo at Wenmohs Ranch 2012 1" --- Sold

This a couple of days, I am at the beautiful Texas Hill Country teaching a workshop. I want to thank Dena Wenmohs for organizing this workshop. I am so happy to see so many friends coming back and taking my workshop again. I am so happy meeting many new artists friends. This is my first demo I did  yesterday. It was fun doing it.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

"Demo at Putney 3" --- Sold

This is old painting I did last July in Putney Vermont. Master artist Richard Schmid set up a massive flower still life. He did a magnificent demo with it. I have learned a lot from him. I did a demo too. I documented this event in my blog last year, but didn't show the painting I did. So now you have it. The painting was wet so I didn't take it with me. About two weeks ago I revisited Putney, and this painting was sold on my Albany workshop.

I have shown you too many demo paintings lately since teaching workshops have been my major art activity this year. After I relocated my studio, it has not been fully functioning yet. I am working on it patiently. It is very slow, but at least, I am moving forward. Demos are challenging. I tend to be more conservative, repeating a lot, and time limited. But I present them in front of you, so you know I am still going.

Monday, April 9, 2012

"Demo in Albany 2012 3" --- Sold

When I was in Albany, I did an additional demo open to all artists and art lovers in the area. It was a big turn out. I hope everybody was there has enjoyed the show. I wasn't using the microphone effectively that night. Now I have aware of the issue, so it will be no issue in the future.

My comment on the movie "Hunger Games" has brought up an active discussion (please read more on the comments with my previous blog post). I wish I could have more time to talk more, but. In a nutshell: There are many things in this world are seriously wrong, and getting worse day by day. However, we should think what we can do and then DO it. As an artist, I will do my best to create good paintings and pass on what I know to other growing artists. I may not able to save our kids, save our world, but I will be positive and do my best.  The Titanic is going down, but the band is still playing.

Coming back to Austin, I have not got chance to paint yet, but I will be on the road again. I will teach a workshop at Wenmohs Ranch in the Texas Hill Country near Marble Falls starting this Friday. We might still have a couple of openings. If you are interested in joining us, please contact Dena Wenmohs.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

"Demo at Albany 2012_2" --- Sold

This is my second demo at Albany. I had some difficulties to make the white rose make sense, but I like the colors I put on it.

Came back from New England. I wanted to take a break. It happened to be the Good Friday and Jonathan had no school. We decided to do something together with our family. We went to the movie theater and checked out the "Hunger Games". I heard it is very popular now and I was very curious about it. After about two hours of bumpy ride visually, the movie ended. Song and I uttered almost in unison: "That was a very BAD movie!" I regretted I have spent money and time watching children killing each other. Being squeezed among the crowd coming out (majority are teenagers), I felt sad. Do you call that "entertainment"? Do we still have any sense of morality? If we enjoy this movie, what is the difference between us and the bad guys who created and ran the "Hunger Games"? Watching the young bloods flowing in front me with the residual of excitement on their pretty faces. I was completely in a lost. It is not a generation gap. It is not a culture shock. I felt I have just landed in alien planet. I want to cry out: "Save our kids!!!"

Monday, April 2, 2012

"Demo in Albany 2012_1" --- Sold

Driving across the Green Mountain in light snow, I have arrived at Albany New York yesterday. Today is my first day of my workshop here. I want to thank Kristin and Dick Woodward for their warm hospitality. I want to thank Kristen and the Colonie Art League for organizing this workshop. I want thank all the artists for attending. This painting is my first demo at the workshop.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

"Putney Roses"

Yesterday was the Putney painters' paint-out day. Quite a few of them showed up. I am honored to paint with them. I have spent a long time on this painting. I significantly slow down and tried to make all my brush works say something. I have struggled a little during the process, but result has turned out not bad. I may send it to one of the galleries representing me.