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.