Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"Pears in Purple" --- Sold

Click Here to Bid

Confucius said: "If I am in a group of three people, at least one of them MUST be my teacher". Now I am in a group of thousands of people. I felt very very fortunate. These a couple of days, so many of you commented on my previous post. I felt the love, support, encouragement, and care. I have learned so much from all of you. Thank you so very very much for your heart warming messages. I will keep exploring, researching, and sharing what I have  tried.

This painting I did yesterday, I did this one in front of several artists I mentoring in Austin. With this one, I balanced the realistic presentation and the abstract execution. I am in the mid-way. All the sages and wise people always teach the mid-way approach. I am learning.

This afternoon I have arrived at Landgrove Vermont. Feels so good to cool down. I will let you know more about this small town in the Green Mountains later.

Monday, July 29, 2013

"On the Red Carpet" --- Sold

Click Here to Bid

Yesterday, Song and I had a serious talk about my art. We sat in front my computer screen browsing through hundreds of my painting images. She told me she felt that my recent paintings are not as good as my older works, and some of her friends also felt the same way. Many of my recent works look unfinished and too abstract. I feel happy we had conversation like this, I agree with her and feel grateful that she kept my sanity checked. Painting really shows the artist's mental stage. We can't hide and disguise. I have to say my mind is not in a very stable and positive stage lately. Too many things happening. I have been traveling to too many places. I feel the stress and fatigue. I start to worry about future, and inevitably pay attention more on the commercial side of my art career. This is my third year of being a full time artist. Comparing with my previous engineering job, I do make less and work much more. I do not regret the decision I made in June 2011. I have been feeling happy being able to follow my heart and chase my dream. However, the real journey is rather difficult. The third year is really a test. I don't have the beginner's luck anymore. There will be more growing pain I need to endure, and more challenges need to be faced. I really want to thank Song and Jonathan for their love and support. They give me the courage to keep going.

I remember hearing a song. The lyric is like this:
"You do not know how to face it, but you have no way back.
You will stick to it until the last minute, for keeping the life going."

My today's painting is less experimental. Feels more like the good old days.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

"Cathedral Rock" --- Sold

Click Here to Bid

I took many photos in Sedona AZ. It is a little funny I taught only still life painting at this super beautiful outdoor place. I wish I did plein air there. This is my first painting of the red rocks of Sedona from photo. Let me know you like it.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

"Tibor Nagy Study 2"

This is the second study I did by copying Tibor Nagy's work. The progress is noticeable. My color gets cleaner, value gets brighter, and I felt a little bit freer in manipulating my paint works. My main goal of this study is trying to use simple and abstract paint works (including brush, knife, and whatever tools) to  suggesting abundant, busy, and complicated city scenes. At this moment, I am not there yet. I have not figured out a strategy to approach my task in a controlled manner. I simply "monkey see, monkey do", copying a piece of paint after another. I hope eventually I will get an "Ah Ha" moment, to achieve similar effects without copying the master.

Friday, July 26, 2013

"Tibor Nagy Study 1"

I want to do this a long time ago, but waited till this a couple of days I have a small amount of time I can control. Tibor Nagy is one of my favorite artists I want to learn from. I like his work tremendously. When I was in Scottsdale not long ago, I have seen his originals in the Legacy Gallery. I like his art even more. However, I don't understand his ideas behind his paintings, so I can't rationalize his approaches. In this situation, the best way of learning is copying the master's work, then develop your own approach. By copying other artists' work you immediately feel what is different between your own style and that of the other artist. So you are immediately in the new territory, and other peoples' success will guide you so you can pursue for long miles without getting lost.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

"Sugar Bowl from Sedona"

Click Here to Bid

During my Sedona workshop, I have bought a few props from a local thrift store. I specially like this white sugar bowl. On Tuesday, I painted this one and really like how it turned out.

I have a bad news to tell you. Yesterday around 11 AM central time, my email account got hacked. A bad guy in Poland broke in my account and sent out quite a few bad spam message. if you got a message from my email, but does not sound like me, please delete it immediately and do not click the link on that message. I found out of this a couple of hours later. I changed my password immediately. Now my account is back to normal, but I sincerely apologize the damage caused by my email account. I don't quite understand why people do this kind of bad things. The world is getting more and more chaotic. So be careful my friends.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

"Demo at Sedona 2013 2"

I posted this demo painting late. This was the second one I did at my Sedona workshop. Similar to my Phoenix workshop I used this demo as a step-by-step guidance to my students. Teaching is very different than painting. I try my best to improve my teaching skills to make sure my information is practical and effective. For the artist friends who have already taken my workshops, if you see anything I need to improve, please let me know. It will be a big help to me and my future students.

Monday, July 22, 2013


On the way back from Sedona to Phoenix, we stopped by a very interesting place called "Arcosanti". It is an experiment of a wonderful concept by renowned architect Paolo Soleri of architecture and ecology working as one integral process to produce new urban habitats. I heard about Arcosanti just very recently, and very excited to visit. Like many people who have sensed the problems of our current system, I have been constantly searching for alternative places where people can live sustainably. Obviously, Arcosanti sounds like one of those ideal places.

However,  the reality is the opposite. Arcosanti looks like an ran down modern ruin to me. Obviously, this project is badly lack of funding and resources. The place is deserted. Bare concrete structures are full of deteriorated scars. My heart sunk sadly. Arcosanti is not alone. I have noticed more often recently that many of sustainable living models have been smashed mercilessly in front of the concrete economical reality. I am wondering if the endlessly chasing wealth is the only workable way to survive in this beautiful planet.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

"Texas Yellow Rose"

Click Here to Bid

Came back from Sedona yesterday. I took today easy. I slept a lot and watched some TV. Song and Jonathan were very happy about our Arizona vocation. This rose painting I did it the night before I went to Phoenix, but didn't get a chance to take a photo. Now you have it. Please enjoy.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

"Demo at Sedona 2013 1"

Say goodbye to Phoenix, then say hello to Sedona. My workshop at Sedona started right after the one at Phoenix. Due to some issues of Internet connection at the place where I stayed, I posted my paintings late. This is my first demo. I want to thank Sedona Arts Center for inviting me back, and thanks to all the artists for attending. I am so happy to see the beautiful red rocks again at Sedona. Song and Jonathan are thrilled to visit this super beautiful place the first time. We have climbed on top of one vortexes and felt the supernatural energy of the heaven and earth there. While an Indian quietly played his drum and flute, we have entered a deep meditation.  When you start to forget the existence of yourself, you start to feel the real happiness.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

"Demo at Phoenix 2013 4" --- Sold

My workshop at Phoenix was a 4-day one. On the forth day, I did a demo that I didn't usually do. It was a landscape painting from a photo I took from earlier in China. I demonstrated my palette knife work, and recently developed skills of using grays. I have spent quite long time explaining how to get the perspective correctly. It is so important to have enough knowledge to manage perspective if you paint houses. This is a painting of a very old house. This is first time I did this kind of painting in front of many people. It was fun.

Monday, July 15, 2013

"Demo at Phoenix 3" --- Sold

I put my flower painting demo on the third day of the workshop. My approach to painting flowers requires significantly amount of patience. Slowing down and placing your stroke down with confidence is the key to give the flowers a fresh look.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

"Demo at Phoenix 2013 2" --- Sold

With my second demo painting, I did a step by step guidance. I picked a relatively simple setup to make sure all students can follow me. Everybody was happy about this approach.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

"Demo at Phoenix 2013 1" --- Sold

Today is the first day of my Phoenix workshop. I want to thank Li Hua Mahalik for organizing this one. Thank you artists from the Phoenix/Scottsdale area and all over for attending my workshop. It is very hot at this time in Phoenix, but we will create some awesomely cool art together. This is my first demo.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Yesterday, I have arrived at Scottsdale Arizona. It is very hot here. The downtown Scottsdale is very quiet. I have really enjoyed seeing great art in high prestige galleries in this town.

Monday, July 8, 2013

"When the life is young" --- Sold

Click Here to Bid

This is another rose from my father's garden. New life is coming out of the world everyday like this rose bud. I really like the phrase "coming out of". We did not "come into" the world (like an alien). As a matter of fact, we came out of it.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

"Everlasting Rose" --- Sold

Click Here to Bid

My father is no longer with us, but his rose garden is still there. He has been remembered by many neighbors as such a green thumb gardener. His roses had attracted so many photographers. Since he had been ill for many years, his garden has not been taken care for a long time. The roses have overgrown like trees, but I still found quite a few in beautiful blossom. I did this painting with one of snapshots I took in my father's rose garden. I meditate on those roses. Seeing through the illusive mortality, The Eternity is right in front of me.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Back to the USA

It was a great day in Beijing. Beautiful blue sky and cozy temperature. I left my birth place and flue back to the USA. I have arrived at Austin just a couple of hours ago.

I have received so many messages of condolence to my father's passing. I want to sincerely thank all of  you from the bottom of my heart. I feel so blessed that I have so many wonderful friends so dear to me. You give me strength to keep going.

My life will go back to normal very soon. I will leave for Arizona next week and teach two workshops there. I am looking forward to meeting you or seeing you again.

In August I will also teach two workshops. I still have some openings. If you are interest in attending, please contact the corresponding workshop organizers. The information is listed below:

Three-day basics of oil painting workshop
August 2 - 4
The Landgrove Inn
Landgrove, VT
Contact: Thomas Checchia

Three-day basics of oil painting workshop
August 8 - 10
Lake Granbury Art Association
Granbury, TX
Contact: Vickie Guthrie

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Last Glimpse to the World

On June 19, I started my 10 days meditation course in Kaufman TX. I have really enjoyed. It was a very special kind of life, After I have been forced to isolate from the outside world, I felt very wonderful. I only do three things everyday: eat, sleep, and meditate. My mind got quiet down. The cool breeze caressed the quiet meadow under the hot Texas sun. The bright full moon fell to the horizon in the deep blue morning. I felt I was in heaven. .... However in this peaceful tranquility, I didn’t realize that an horrendous emotional storm was at the verge.

On the third day in the morning. I was sitting quietly gazing my respiration. The course manager whispered that he needed to talk to me. I came out the meditation hall. He brought me the bad news: my father had just passed away.

I have to cut my meditation course short. I was not ready but must deal with reality again. After a short and busy preparation. I was on the 12 hours flight to Beijing. My life is just like that, from an extreme to another, high contrast and surreal.

My father’s passing was peaceful. I am glad he has been liberated from the eleven year of suffering of Parkinson’s disease. My father was wonderful teacher to me. He has manifested right in front me what the life really is. I have been pondering my own death, and I know my life even better. I want to thank him for all the good lessons.

This short stay in Beijing will end soon, and I will be back to the States tomorrow. Yesterday, I force myself to paint. This is my father 4 months ago. I didn’t do it as an art study. It is a portrait of the truth.