Tuesday, December 31, 2013

"Pink Rose Study 8" --- Sold

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Life is full of difficulties we must face. Ms. Rose has tried all her best to manage. She saw others get sick, old, and die. She had to see goodbye to ones who she really loved. She also met someone who gave her so much trouble.  She has dreams but cannot come true. She has experienced so much physical and mental pains. She feels tired, but in her mind, she still hope things can improve.

I am adding more colors to my rose painting. The secondary cooler light enhances the richness of rose colors.  I also start to pay attention to the edges. I really need to introduce more soft edges.

Monday, December 30, 2013

"Pink Rose Study 7" --- Sold

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Life goes on. Seasons come and go. Fruit juice has turned into red wine. It has much richer and more sophisticated taste. Ms. Rose has realized she is not the center of focus any more. The universe is a way larger than she thought before. She is perplexed. pondering in the dark night. What is the meaning? Who am I?

I have used all my engineering might and fixed most of my computer problems. Now my small Macbook Air has been forced to install so much more junk softwares I never thought I will need, and my little shoebox size brain has stuffed more junk knowledge I know soon will be obsolete again. It seems I have done a lot, but I know I have absolutely no progress. We have to run faster to keep still. My friend, have you sensed that all the people are busier than before, but have we accomplish more? Are we happier?....

Stop! Come on, Qiang. All what happens are tests for you. They are all REAL but not TRUE. Do you get it?

Sunday, December 29, 2013

"Pink Rose Study 6" --- Sold

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Life is full of challenges, and Ms. Rose is getting stronger. She has started to know that the world is not perfect, and she need to face the reality and deal with problems. However, she is optimistic. Smile is still on her face even she has to work harder, because she knows her future will be better if she keeps going.

I made a very big mistake yesterday. According to Apple's recommendation, I upgraded my Mac into the new IOS X Mavericks. I didn't realized how big can of worms I have opened. It changed my painting email format, my imaging processor is no longer working, and my routine blogging activity has been stuck because many of my know-hows become obsolete.  This is our current reality. Our life is full of junks, including our knowledge. Your expertise of doing things can be wiped out just like snapping a finger. Part of your life can obsolete just like that.  I never believe the computer related know-hows are considered real knowledge, but our life has to be depend on it. That is unfortunate. On the other hand, I feel very fortunate. Because nobody can obsolete a piece of art. When all the hardware and softwares you are using today have turned into junks, the impact of your painting is everlasting.

BTW, I will hack back, and my online art business will keep on going.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

"Pink Rose Study 5" --- Sold

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The life of Ms. Rose is in full blooming. Sweet and kind, generous and caring, she is so welcomed by the community. Her smile is so enchanting. The world is watching her dance.

I felt much freer when painting this one. I still keep a relatively tight style, but avoiding overwork is very important. BTW, quite a few friends asked how I painted the background so dark. Here is the secret: I painted two layers. First one was with acrylic ivory black. It dries in minutes. The second one was with oil colors ultramarine blue plus permanent alizarin. Now you know.

Friday, December 27, 2013

"Pink Rose Study 4" --- Sold

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Today my rose is no longer a child. She has stepped into her adulthood. She is full of love, full of passion, and full of energy.  She is the sun shine, she is the cool breeze. The sky is only the limit. Life is a beautiful song to her, graceful and elegant.

I painted this rose no longer using rendering. It is not necessary to copy all the petals in detail. More important is the value and color transition. The spontaneous brush strokes is critical to maintain a fresh look of the beautiful stage of this rose. I have spent much less time on this one than I did when the rose was a teenager.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

"Pink Rose Study 3" --- Sold

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This study is so far the most difficult one for me. If we compare the blooming time of a rose to the life duration of a human being. This rose is approximately a teenager, charming but rebellious. I really had a long and hard time of dealing with this flower. There are in general two ways of painting a subject: rendering and suggesting. So far I approached these three rose paintings all by rendering. I depicted the subject by copying all the details I have seen. It is so tedious. It was OK when I painted the budding stage. Like playing with a baby. Simple and fresh, it was a lot of fun. Now my flower is a teenager, but I still treated her as a baby. I got more challenged. I saw more details and more problems. I got more frustrated. However, it is time to get my left brain functioning into a trouble-shooting mode. Be patient. It is the time now to really figure out the rosy structure anatomically.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

"Pink Rose Study 2" --- Sold

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The back side of the rose. I just love the translucent warm light going through the petal, and the cool reflection light in the shadow area. For this rose study I don't want to get loose to quickly. In stead of painting my feeling, which I do a lot, I want to be tight for a while. so I can examine the details.

Today is Christmas eve. I wish all of you Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 23, 2013

"Pink Rose Study 1" --- Sold

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I have mentioned that I went to a meditation retreat. You might think at this moment I had calmed my mind, levitated to the clouds, and reached Nirvana. Well .... I lied. I didn't get going. I got an email after I posted on my blog saying that my application was late and the waiting list was too long. I felt a little disappointed, but I will keep trying, because reaching my spiritual goal is important.

On the other hand, things are not that bad. I gained more time, so I started another round of painting studying. This time, I will concentrate on roses. Many people think I have known how to paint roses. I disagree. I might have done a few not bad rose paintings, but I only know the basics. This study will help me to improve.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

"Demo in Dallas 4" --- Sold

This is my last demo painting on my Dallas workshop. It is very seasonal. At this time I want to wish all my friends a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

This post maybe my last post of the year. I am going to a meditation retreat and will be isolated for 11 days. If you follow my blog posts in June, you may have remembered that I went to meditate but did not complete due to my father's passing. Now I get a chance to go back. It is the holiday season. Many people want to spend their vocation spiritually. In stead of as a regular participant, I will work as a server this time. It will be a very different experience for me.  In this crazy world, we all more or less lose our mind in this material oriented game. I have been dreamed to find my Utopia. I have failed so many times. I may have a chance next week.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

"Demo at Ada 2" --- Sold

This is another delayed demo painting post. I used this painting as a step-by-step guidance for students to following my procedure. I like the turquoise color pot. I feel most of my paintings are lack of good blue colors. That is one of the areas I need to improve.

Nowadays, daily life is getting harder and more complicated. After returned to Austin, I didn't get much time to rest. I didn't paint either. I have spent long hours on the Health Insurance Marketplace trying to get my application completed for the Obama care. However, the website is so bad. No matter how hard I tried (and how many Ph.Ds I have), I just could not get my application completed. I chatted and called many times as well. I finally get through this morning by phone. If you have similar experience with the Marketplace. Please call instead of using the website.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

"Demo in Dallas 3" --- Sold

This painting I did during my Dallas workshop, but did not post on time. Due to the bad weather and road conditions, I stayed in Dallas for 4 days, so I did more paintings. I enjoyed painting silver and brass. This one is another example.

On the way back to Austin, we stopped by Dallas again. My friend Kae took us the Meadows Museum in SMU. There is a special exhibition of Joaquin Sorolla's work including his famous painting: "Sad Inheritance" and "Another Marguerite". I can't believe I have seen Sorolla's paintings in such small and quiet place. If you happen to be near Dallas, please don't miss this great opportunity.

Another FYI for you: Master artist and my teacher, Zhaoming Wu will teach a workshop in Italy for this coming summer. Please click here for more info or click the widget on my blog.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

"Demo at Ada 3" --- Sold

I have three wonderful days at Ada. This is my third demo. This one has a very obvious "three value design": dark, grey, and light. Still life painting is not a process of copying nature. It is a very deliberate design process.

We left Oklahoma in the misty winter rain. The purplish grey sky overcast on dark silhouette of bare tree branches. We stopped by the school my son is in. Yesterday was his last day for the fall semester. Now we are in Plano, TX. We will have a gathering with a few old friends before we head home. Now I have completed my 2014 workshop teaching, and will have a short break. At this holiday season, I wish everyone of you Merry and Happy.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

"Demo at Ada 1" --- Sold

We left Dallas, arrived at Ada Oklahoma yesterday. I want to thank Charlee Lanis and East Central University for putting this workshop together. I really appreciate Loretta Yin for her hospitality and offering her place for us to stay. Thanks to all the artists for attending. This is my first time teaching in a university. ECU has a great art department. This is my first demo.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

"Demo at Dallas 2" --- Sold

This is the second day of my Dallas workshop.  The weather has improved slightly, but the road is still very treacherous. However, many artists have come to the class. This is the demo I did. I really enjoyed painting this one.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

"Demo at Dallas 1" -- Sold

Song and I drove to Dallas on last Thursday without any preparation for the extremely wintry weather. Friday morning we woke up in the dark, and found out the power was out in the hotel we stayed. The road was covered with ice. In spite of this bad weather, my workshop has started on Friday. Three very brave artists came. This is my first demo painting. The second day, I had more than 10 people attended. I want thank all these artists coming to workshop in this very cold winter. I want to thank ACA and Ann Rogers for organizing this workshop. Specially I want thank Kae Stuart and her family for offering her place for us to stay. Outside the house it is bitterly cold, but my heart is warmed by so many wonderful artist friends. I am so grateful so many people are supporting me and taking care of me.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

"Sunflower Study 5" --- Sold

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This is my last painting for this short period of time of my study about flowers. I will be traveling again tomorrow teaching two workshops in a row. For this short study time, I did 9 paintings. Although the time is short, but I am grateful I had it. My progress is noticeable. I feel so fortunate that I am an developing artist, but not a developed artist. We all know many "master" artists, or know their remarkable art works. However, there is a problem with them, that is they have run out of room for improvement. They can not get better. If you compare what they did ten years ago to their recent paintings, you don't see much of difference. Not mentioning that some of them may go down the hill as well. So it is very hard to keep growing for a developed or "master" artist. On the other hand, if you are a beginner, you are in a much better position. Your room for improvement is tremendous. If you work hard, you will gain much more significant progress than the developed artists can. Soon or later, you will be a master as well if you keep growing. So I want encourage all the artists who consider their work are not good enough at this moment. Use all the possible time you have. You will get better and better. I promise.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

"Alstroemeria Study 2" --- Sold

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Now I know the proper name for this flower: alstroemeria. Also I know now that flowers have petals, not peddles. Big thanks to the friends who letting me know. I am learning everyday.  Painting this flower the second time, I felt much better. I understood that using my usual spot light illumination for this kind of floral painting is not good, because the casting shadow is too sharp, which makes the edges of the shadow compete with the physical edges of the petal. No wonder Richard Schmid uses diffused fluorescent light for his flower paintings.

Monday, December 2, 2013

“Sunflower Study 4" --- Sold

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Now my sunflower has turned and facing us again. Through this relatively rigorous study, I feel I understood flower painting slightly better than before. I treat my painting exercises as research projects. It is very very left brain approach. I took note for every painting recording my problems, my trials, my tests, and my procedures, and my questions. I treat my brush as a surgeon scalpel. Accuracy is the key.  Of course, as an developing artist, I do paint intuitively. I have a "just-do-it" mode, and I use it quite often, but I have also a "research" mode. I want to use it more and more. Without it, I can hardly progress.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

"Pink Lily Study 1" --- Sold

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My flower study is getting harder. I painted this pink lily (I don't know exactly the name of this flower. It is one of the cheapest kind in my local grocery store). It is totally different ball game. I can't make it very painterly like a sunflower. I literally painted every peddle accurately with delicate color changes. Painting the edges is the key to make this flower believable. So far, this painting is the most time consuming among my recent flower studies.

Friday, November 29, 2013

"Sunflower Study 3" --- Sold

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I used an odd angle for painting sunflowers. I don't have much of experience of painting the backside of the sunflower. I dealt with mainly the stalk and sepals rather than the peddles. This angle is not as attractive as the front. I feel a little uncertain if I am on the right track. Rationally, I believe it is needed to keep my study as thorough as possible. So inevitably, I will encounter situations that may not be in favor of me. However concerning my business, I might have shot myself in the foot. As an artist, I want to be successful just like everybody else, but must I show the good side always? Well, it is a question, and I don't have a firm answer for it. I feel a little foolish today, but it may not be a bad thing for the long run.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

"Red Daisy Study 2"

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This is my second try of painting a red daisy. This flower is not as picturesque as a sunflower or a rose, but I get stubborn on it. I want to see if the ugly duckling can turn into a swan. You may have noticed that I have placed quite a few restrictions on my recent flower studies. The background is absolutely black and always a single flower. I used to have all the freedom, and my composition process is basically a "cherry picking" process. I turn to be painting similar things. Now, I have forced myself to confront unfamiliar subjects. I think my today's daisy is a little better than my previous one.

Happy Thanksgiving to everybody. I want to say THANK YOU. Your support makes my endeavor in art significant. I am so grateful.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

"Sunflower Study 2" --- Sold

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My sunflower study continues. This study gives me more opportunity to practice and understand more the peculiarity of the sunflower. I am working on different angle now. This angle may not be my best choice, but I don't want to paint the flower in only one angle. This angle is more challenge than my previous sunflower painting. I enjoyed specially painting the stem part.

Monday, November 25, 2013

"Red Daisy Study 1"

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Many friends commented and wanted to know what I did to fixed the image problem. I want to thank Andy, a friend who sent me a link to webpage addressing this image issue. I followed the guidance and changed my settings. I didn't download Google Chrome. If you have similar problem, please click the weblink above and change your settings as well.

The problem is not difficult to fix if you know how. I still have a few problems I still struggling and try to find solutions. For instance, I found recently that my blog widget that getting people to sign up for my painting emails is broken. After entering email address, you don't get a confirmation email, so the registration is incomplete. This is another Google problem. After Google Groups "upgraded" their stuff, my widget is no longer working. If you know the solution, I appreciate if you can contact me.

My today's painting is my first red daisy painting. I struggled. I am not in my comfort zone, There are issues, but I still want to share it with you.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

I have fixed image problem

I think I have figured out the solution to fix the image quality problem. On your side, do you see this image look better? I feel frustrated that the online tools are keep changing. You just managed how things work, then suddenly it has changed. You have to re-learn everything again. The world is a completely different place now. We all need to learn how to keep a peace of mind when you live in a place you have no sense of in control.

Face the Light --- Sold

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It happened again, the photo of my painting today is lousy on the blog because Google manipulated my image, and I haven't got enough time to learn how to fix it. This problem does not appear everyday. It seems happening if I use very dark background. To see a better image, please go to my Chinese blog. I am sorry for the inconvenience.

I have not done any small paintings for a few months. You may think I may quit painting small. No, I will not do that. Small daily paintings are my major exercises. It is a very effective way to learn. I am considering doing a set of small flower paintings so I can understand the anatomy of flowers much better. Another change I did is: I shorten the bidding time from 7 days to 3 days. So if you are interested to buy this painting will know your result much sooner.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

"My 2014 Desk Calendar"

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It is the holiday season again. As usual my New Year 2014 desk calendar has come out. I added on my blog a widget for it. You may preview all the images by clicking on it. I want to thank Jane Frederic and my dear wife Song for putting this calendar together. It has been a great year for me so far. Many things had happened. I traveled so many places, and made so many friends. My art is growing. This calendar is a brief documentation on what I did this year. I feel grateful for life and great appreciation to all of you who have been supporting me. Thanks.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

"Song's Portrait"

I have completed my painting project: Song's Portrait. This is my gift to my dear wife Song for her birthday today. This is my first time painting a formal portrait. The size of the painting is 24" x 30". It took me five days to paint. For the first two days, I knew what I was doing. I did her face and got the likeness. However on the last three days, I have exhausted my knowledge and skills. So I painted intuitively. I did her hands, hair, and dress. I really had a hard time painting her hands. I have not painted many hands, so I have used almost two days just for the hands. I finally got it. I am pretty happy about this portrait effort. If you are interested in my process, please check: Song's portrait painting steps.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

"AAU Portrait Painting 9"

This my favorite  portrait I did at AAU last summer. With the cool and warm light illumination, I got so many opportunity playing color. It is a relatively large painting (18" x 24") taken me three days to paint from live.

My current painting project is going well. It is the 4th day since I started. I am working long hours everyday and run into quite a few challenges. I think it will take me two or three more days I can reach to a some sort of finishing point. Different from my AAU time, I don't have much opportunities doing long term art projects nowadays. However, I try my best to do at least one or two more in depth paintings every year.

Friday, November 15, 2013

"AAU Portrait Painting 8"

After a couple of days of thinking, I decided to do a few large paintings for the rest of the month. I am still painting everyday, but I need to spend a few days to complete one painting. So I am going to post some of my old paintings you have not seen. Last summer I painted quite a few portraits at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Some of them I have posted, but I still have several I have not shown. So please enjoy.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


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I had a group of artists coming to my house yesterday, and this is the painting I demoed to them. The two persimmons captured most of the attention because I did not have many colors in the rest of the painting. You don't need to have many colors to create the impact. As a matter of fact, isolating color in a small area produces the strongest color power.

You have seen too many of my demo paintings. You know what, I feel a little lost as well and don't know what I should do next. Hiking on my art trail, I need to sit down on a log nearby, wipe the sweat on my forehead, and drink a little water. The persimmons not only have vibrant color for a painter, but also very sweet to a ordinary person. So I am going to enjoy this sweetness now.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

“Tibor Nagy Study 4"

I came back to Austin yesterday. From now on to early December, I will have a relatively long time at home. It is good time I will shift to study mode and hope I can have some progress in art. Nowadays, I have less and less time to learn, but I know many areas I need to improve. I am trying my best to use any of my fragmented time to move on.

This painting I did last month before the four workshops I have taught lately. It is a relatively large painting (18" x 24"). I wanted to see if it is possible I may keep the painterly style even with a large painting. I am still examine the marvelous paint work that Tibor Nagy did, and tried to achieve a similar effect. I used the monochromatic approach so I was able to concentrate on the paint application, but not color. This painting was done with both acrylic and oil. Different from my alla prima approach, I did 4 layers on this painting: acrylic darks, acrylic lights, oil for details, knife work with oil. You all know I did many small daily paintings, but I want to do more larger paintings from now on.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

"Demo at Montgomery 2013 2" --- Sold

This is my second demo on my Montgomery workshop. I feel rather happy with this one. I had a few very interesting props to paint with. I just love this delicate white plate and the copper pot. I had a lot of fun doing this one.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

"Demo at Montgomery 2013 1" --- Sold

Left Memphis TN, I have arrived at Montgomery AL. Quite a few old friends were waiting for me here. I am so enjoyed seeing them. I also enjoyed meeting many new friends. Another workshop started today. I want thank Sybil Dees for organizing this one. This is the first demo I did. Painting that wonderful blue glass vase was so enjoyable.

Monday, November 4, 2013

"Demo at Memphis 2013 2" --- Sold

This is my second demo at my Memphis workshop. Different from my previous post, the image looks fine. I want to thank all the friends commented and emailed to help me solve the imaging problem. I have not taken any action yet, but I will look into Google+ and see what is going on. It is so wonderful I have this supportive artists community on the Internet. I feel so grateful.

The Memphis workshop went very well. I hope all the workshop artists can practice what we have talked about and show progress on your paintings. I am on my way to Montgomery AL tomorrow. I will let Y'all know what is happening in the Deep South.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

"Demo at Memphis 2013 1" --- Sold

Today I started teaching a workshop at Memphis TN. I want to thank Sheryl Hipps for organizing, and thanks for all the artists for attending. This is my image of my first demo.

Now I have a technical issue. You see how bad the image of the painting is. It is not because I took a bad photo. I took a very good photo. I did some minor processing on GMIP. The image looks great on my Mac. However, when I uploaded the image on Blogger, it has changed completely. It became lousy like this. If you want to see a good image of this painting, please click my Chinese blog.  This is second time I have noticed that Blogger change my painting image. This is big problem, because I don't know how to show the genuine look of my painting on my blog any more. Currently, I don't know how to solve this problem. If some of you know what is going on and know how to fix this problem, please contact me. I appreciate it very much.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

"Beijing Tao_Ran_Ting Park" --- Sold

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When we were in China last month, we spent the last 5 days in Beijing. We had one plein air painting day, and it happened to be a Chinese holiday (the Moon Cake Festival). Trying to avoid the big crowd, I picked a less well know park, the Tao_Ran_Ting park as our painting site. It turned out to be a great choice. We saw most of the local people, not too many tourists in the park. They were doing their morning exercises, ballroom dance, and music instrument and choir practice. It was slight raining in the morning. I found this twin-pavilion with a small lotus pond in the front. The scene is typical Chinese. So I use it to place the end of our wonderful China painting trip of 2013.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

“Demo at Springfield VA 2013 2" --- Sold

I forgot to take a photo after I did my second demo on my Springfield workshop. A few days later I received this image from the workshop organizer Susan. I really like this photo. I feel excited because the color scheme of photo is different from the painting. It gives me a new vision of color design for still life paintings. I have not done many paintings with a background so warm. A great new opportunity to me comes.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

"Sketch in Lancaster"

It happened to be quite windy and cold for the days I visited Lancaster. Instead of painting plein air, I did a sketch in Beth's car. The scene was spectacular. The cows and horses were posing for me. The barns and silos provided the variation of shapes on the vast land. Nearby there were a single room school. During the recess time, children were chasing and playing. In contrast to their black dresses, their peach red cheeks and blond hair appears extraordinarily beautiful. I wave my Amish hat (I just got it from the tourist store) to them, but they just stared at me, wondering where this Chinese "English" coming from.

I have been back to Austin now. When I was waiting for my flight at the BWI, I did another sketch from a photo. I need ponder more. Is there a way I can have some Amish spirit in my work and life in this high tech driven modern world?

Friday, October 25, 2013

"Photo: The Amish Country"

After my Yardley workshop, I have spent 3 days in Lancaster, PA touring the beautiful Amish countryside. A very good friend of mine, Beth Bathe, has been showing me around. I have long for this  visit. For a long time I have been think about what kind of living style should be most suitable to me. In my bones, I don't like money, but I want to survive and live comfortably. I read about other people's experiences and tried an experiment of off-grid living in the Texas Hill Country. However, I saw so many failures. The main stream economy has run into problems after problems. I think I am not alone looking for alternatives. These a few days, I really enjoyed the peaceful, simple, and harmonious life in Lancaster county. I have seen the Amish wisdom toward technology. The way of living of the Amish has a strong impact to me. It has worked, works now, and will work in future. I will not feel surprise if the we run into major disasters, the only people who survive will be the Amish.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

"Demo at Yardley 2013 2" --- Sold

In Yardley, I stayed at home of the nationally recognized portrait artist John Ennis. It was so wonderful staying with another great artist. John and I discussed art and I have learned a lot from him.

This is my second demo at Yardley.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

"Demo at Yardley 2013 1" Sold

I been so busy and not able to get enough time to touch my computer for a several days. My Springfield   workshop went very well. After the workshop I stayed with a friend of mine in the Washington DC area for a day. My friend is an art historian. She wants to spend her ENTIRE life writing only ONE book. This book is SO esoteric that only 6 people in the ENTIRE world will have the interest to read it. Although both of us are in art, but the gap between our opinions is 7.85 trillion light years apart.  But you know what, we had such phenomenal conversation.  We like two aliens from totally different stars, full of curiosity to know the thought of the other species. We don't want to waste any moment for eating and sleeping.

After seeing goodbye to my friend, I rented a car driving through Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and arrived at Yardley Pennsylvania. I taught another 3-day workshop there. I want to thank Susie Morrell and "Artist of Yardley" for organizing this workshop. I want to thank all the attending artists for painting with me. This is my first demo on the workshop (sorry about the photo quality. I lost control sometimes).

The night before the workshop, Susie's family invited me to a great restaurant called "Washington Crossing" for dinner. We were right on the Delaware River. That great painting is hanging there, but I don't know who was the artist.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

"Demo at Springfield VA 2013 1" --- Sold

Arrived at Baltimore yesterday, and started teaching at Springfield, VA this morning. I want to thank Susan W. Johnson and Gloria Benedetto for organizing this workshop. I am so excited of meeting all artists attending. After my China trip, I have not painted still life for a while. This is my first demo on the workshop, and it is a warmup for my teaching of this fall

Monday, October 14, 2013

Li River --- Sold

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Continuing posting my plein air painting in China, this one I did at Yangshuo by the side of the Li River. Yangshuo is a small tourist town. It is very westernized, you see English signs all over. We took another ton of photos here. Be sure to check our photo website. It changes everyday.

I am on my way to the Washington DC area tomorrow. I will teach two workshops: one at Springfield VA, and one at Yardley, PA. There are still a couple of opening in my Yardley workshop, please sign up if you are interested in.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Painting in China Photos

One of the artists we went to China together, Beth Bathe, has created a website, such that all the China trip members may post their photos on it to share. Now it has loaded with huge amount of wonderful photographs of this trip, and the number of images is increasing everyday. Many of them can be great reference photos for painting projects. If you want see the photos of our trip, please click: Painting in China Photos. I also created a widget for this link on my blog. If you are interested using the photos in the specific albums for painting, please contact the owner of the albums for permission. It is very exciting to share what we have seen with all of you.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Workshop Announcement

Time goes by so fast. three quarters of the year has passed. I will be on my way of workshop teaching pretty soon.

Having said about workshop teaching, I want remind everybody that Song and I will offer our Austin based painting workshop again at the beautiful Anderson Mill Garden Club on January 7 to 10, 2014. Since I am both the teacher and organizer for this workshop, you may consider this blog post is my official announcement for this workshop. This one will be 4 days. I will cover both still life painting and my recent approaches in landscape painting. Please check Qiang's Austin Workshop for details.

Workshop teaching has been the major part of my art business. I have been doing my best to offer an informative, and easy to follow art education. I am so happy to see so many of you come to my workshops, and many took several times. Now my art is improving, and my business is expanding, but as a good problem, I have been led to a point that my one person operation (plus Song's help) has reach a limit. There are still more I should do, but I am simply out of skills,  time, and energy to do it. Many friends have been giving me suggestions, but I have not taken any significant actions so far. I really need to learn management skills and team up with other smart people to make the art education more effective and accessible, and gain more time to paint for myself. In order to bring art education and services to a higher level. I am looking for people I can team up with. If you have a proposal in the fields of communication (email) management, website and social media, event planning and travel arrangement, video and online education, business management and entrepreneurship, and other improvement you can think of, please contact me. Your proposal does not need to be formal. A simple email will do. But please let me know how to conduct it, and how do we work together. If your proposal is accepted, you will win a free seat at my January workshop stated above as my sincere appreciation. Then we will work together to make the project you proposed beneficial to everybody who needs art and a win-win for both of us.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

“Zhouzhuang Reflections" --- Sold

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I put my large painting projects on the back burner, now my today's post is another plein air in Zhouzhuang. This is the third one I did there. My second painting in the village didn't turn out well. On the second day we stayed, we started painting really early, around 6:30 AM. Our jet-lag was advantageous to us this time. It was still very hot and humid, 30 minutes later, we felt we need to take another shower. We picked a very popular sightseeing spot. Well, most beautiful place may not always suitable for painting (my excuse for not being able to paint well that day). In the middle of our painting process, a movie crew came suddenly. The place was packed right away. It was so crowded I couldn't see my scene. So I gave up right there. On the third day, we found a relatively quiet place. Only local villagers are around us, washing their cooking pot and mop in the same water. A group of old ladies was selling dry fish next to me. I felt very well this time, and this painting fell on my panel in a very short time.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

"A Boat in Zhouzhuang" --- Sold

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I was planning to show more plein air paintings I did in China, but I decided today to take a detour. I want to update you what I am doing right now after I returned to the States. Based on tons of photos I took in China, I really want to do a few large paintings. Since I don't have enough skills of painting large landscapes. I want to plan my effort prudently. First of all, I want to put color-mixing aside. The major issue of painting large is the design of my brush works, such that I can maintain the energetic painterly effect as I have been showing on my small paintings. I don't want to deal with the color mixing simultaneously. This painting is my small study before I paint large version. Only black and white were used for it. Like in photography, Black & White approach does have its own charm. I feel I am going back history and arrived at the good old days.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

"Zhouzhuang Afternoon" --- Sold

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You probably have been sick and tired of my sketches by now. It is time to show some paintings. This is my first plein air painting in China.

It was the third day after we arrived. Our group have just settled in a very elegant hotel in Zhouzhuang. This is a place you see very few foreign visitors. We were given a map of the village, but it is all in Chinese. I had to explain to all team members where we were, and where we would go. Even this high end hotel did not provide ice water. There was a refrigerator in each room, but its temperature had been set too high so the drinks inside were almost the room temperature. It was a hot and super humid afternoon. After taken my third shower of the day, I set up my Open Box M easel right outside of the hotel. It was considered as a demo, but I had no idea what I was doing. In my semi jet-lag sleep, I started to lay my darks. The perspectives were quite challenging (I thought I knew perspective inside out, WRONG!). There was a cat watching me at the beginning, then she got tired of my art and walked away. A street vendor was frying stinky tofu nearby. Perhaps, we were the only plein air painting group in the village (and it was very international). We had attracted quite an attention. Many local villagers and Chinese tourists took pictures of and with us, (as Mickey and Goofy in the Disney World). So we contributed quite a bit as a new attraction point to the Chinese touring industry. I got some comments on my painting. "You do houses all right, but you just don't know how to paint trees" said one of the tourists. Now the cat was back reminded me it should be the time to call it a day.  Many our team members painted as well, and they had done much better jobs than what I did.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Sketch on the way back

After about 30 long hours on the way. We are back to Austin this down. Deadly tired. Using my chopped time on the plane and in the airports, I copied more sketches. I have no control on my life, but I will treasure what I have. Two minutes here and two minutes there form my real art education.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Sketch in Beijing 3

I did more sketches in Beijing. The first one is from a photo I took from Zhouzhuang, and the other one is another copy I did from R. S. Oliver's work. I feel all artists should have adequate drawing skills. sketching is a good exercise and fun activity. Sketching is not only a big help to our paintings, but also a good art form by itself. I will practice this art form for sure.