Saturday, May 31, 2014

"Metal World (Day 3)"

First of all, I want to thank sooooo many friends wishing me happy birthday. Various kinds birthday cakes have overwhelmed my FB. Someday I will do a birthday cake painting. I should have more than enough reference photos. Thank you for making my life so sweet.

So far for how this painting goes, I think I have exhausted all I know about painting. Now I have entered my "pushing envelope" stage. Obviously, I will get more details on the white cup in the front and I will add more stuff in the foreground. The painting will naturally move into a more realistic look. That is not the direction I want to go. I want to keep the painting painterly, but offer more dramatic effects. Let's keep on going.

Friday, May 30, 2014

"Metal World (Day 2)"

When I was meditating in my retreat last week, I thought about my art. This a couple of years, I have been traveling, teaching, learning how to manage business, and trying to make ends meet. I did many small paintings and demoing significantly. The market is not bad, and my family and I are surviving in this tough world. However, what I really want to do is painting some serious paintings. I did some before, but they are sitting in the galleries and not moving. As a practical person, I concern about the market. Can I really afford to do this? On the other hand as a late starter and serious about progress, I should not be satisfied with a mediocre accomplishment. I need to aim higher. Even this kind of painting may not selling, but I  will learn significantly, and I will not regret what I did in this life. Just like this meditation retreat. I may meditate in my house for 1 or 2 hours. Why bother using 10 days very valuable time going through 10 hours of agony everyday? Now my experience has told me. the effort is very well deserved. I am entering a new dimension.

Yesterday, I started this serious painting project. This painting is 16" x 20". I will work on this one for several days. I want to push as many envelopes as possible, using utmost what I know, and explore whatever unknowns, and document my journey. If you have suggestions, please let me know. I appreciate greatly you help me to grow.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

"Warm light cool shadow" --- Sold

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Coming out of Kaufman TX in heavy rain, I came back to the real (or the unreal, both are correct) world. I had a wonderful time of this 10 days Vipassana meditation course. It is way beyond my ability to describe what I have experienced in this retreat. In a nutshell, I will say it is not a religious ritual, even it is not a way to relax. To be more exact, it is an expedition and sightseeing. Like climbing a mountain, we worked really hard, but the scenery on the way was spectacular. 10 days is way too short for this trek. What I have seen was just the tip of an iceberg.  I realized there is another dimension of human life, and we do have the ability to live happily, peacefully and harmoniously. I will go back to do it again in the future for sure. Vipassana means "seeing things as they really are". Nowadays it is no longer a foreign word, It is getting so popular, so many people practice it, and it brings so much positive energy to the mankind.

I was so amazed how successful the meditation center is operating. There is not a trace of commercialism. The center was run by all volunteers and provides free lodging and food for hundreds of participants. No donation will be accepted if you have not participated at least one 10 days course. Coming out with so tremendous benefit from the course, everyone are more than willingly to support the center either financially or provide services. Everything worked so efficiently and no waist. I feel it is almost the Utopia I have been looking for.

Now I have restarted my regular life. Today is for my Austin mentor class. I did this small painting as a demo.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

"Demo at Lindale 2014 3" --- Sold

This is my favorite demo painting so far, and all the students thought the same way, right? I usually push the envelop a little when I do my third demo for my workshops. I told all the artists that I have used two days to establish my rules, but on the third day I show how all the rules are made to be broken. I enjoyed very much painting the old clock and Moroccan tea pot. The brush washing container and some of my paint tubes gave me more color sense.

I have come back to Austin now, but can only be home for a couple of days. I have a very significant event I will participate soon. This trip is not for my art of painting, but more importantly it will be for my art of living. From May 15 to 26, I will be meditate in an isolated place experiencing my life (and pondering about my death as well). I have been trying to getting into this kind of meditation a few times but failed due to many reasons. Now this time, I get in. Am ready for this serious and painful spiritual exercise? Of course not. But I have made up my mind.

This world is mainly driven by human desires (mainly greed and ego). We learn all the tricks trying to survive. Sometimes we are forced to carrying on wrong deeds, but we have no choice. We are not able to communicate the most important issues, like religion and politics, except preaching to the choir.  Because we think our way is right, and other ways are wrong. To avoid arguments, we must rely on a compromised way we called democracy to balance, or (in many cases) simply beat the hick out of others if we consider we are stronger, richer or more privileged....  I will ponder all of these issues in the dark for ten days, and hope coming back as a better person. I have to say I don't recommend my spiritual path to everybody. It is a private journey. I don't remember where I heard this poem:

If you want to get the plain truth,
Be not concerned with right and wrong.
The conflict between right and wrong
Is the sickness of the mind.

Monday, May 12, 2014

"Demo at Lindale 2014 2" --- Sold

This is the second demo. I really like the small block with the letter "T". This is another piece of antique I got on the road.

I know nowadays I might have shown you too many demo paintings, and I probably teach way too many workshops. I hope you don't get bored by seeing my demo after demo. This is my life now. I have no complain about it. I am not free from the control of the almighty money, but I do enjoy my limited freedom. I am sneakily improve my art. You may have seen progresses of my art in my recent demos in comparison with my older ones. Life is not ideal, but I will grow steadily.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

"Demo at Lindale 2014 1" --- Sold

Left Mt. Pleasant, I have arrived at Lindale, TX. On the way here I stopped by a few antique stores. I have picked up a few interesting props, like the small shaker in this painting.

My workshop here started yesterday. Thanks to Maureen Killaby for putting this workshop together, and thanks to all the artists for coming and painting with me. With my first demo, I painted Apricots the first time. It was fun.

Friday, May 9, 2014

"Demo at Mt. Pleasant 2014 4" --- Sold

The last demo at Mt. Pleasant was this high key one. This experiment has been with me for quite a few workshops. I have been thinking hard on how to progress more on the color scheme. dramatic effects come and go. I believe I will make it and my dream painting will come.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

“Demo at Mt Pleasant 2014 3" --- Sold

The rose is really in bad shape for this demo. She is beautiful but too shy. I spent a very short time painting her before she collapsed completely.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

"Demo at Mt. Pleasant 2014 2" --- Sold

I want to thank Linda Pepper and Mt. Pleasant Art Society for organizing this workshop. Thanks to all the artist for taking this class. This is the demo I did on the first day. I really like the silver pot and blue vase.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

"Demo at Mt. Pleasant 2014 1" --- Sold

Driving 4.5 hours, I have arrived Mt. Pleasant, TX. I did this demonstration to all members of the Mt. Pleasant Art Society before my workshop starts.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

“White in Color"

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Continuing my exploration, I did this one. It has very similar color scheme of my yesterday's painting, but I adjusted the value a little. I feel the most important part is that I pay attention of colors on edges. Very high chroma color can be used along the edges creating so much drama. I am so excited.

Well I must step on the breaks now.  I will teach two workshops in Texas starting tomorrow. I may apply my experimental results on my demos during these workshops. You will see.

Friday, May 2, 2014

"White in Dark"

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Having been back to Austin for a few day and swamped in all kind of chores. However, I did manage using my fragmented time to paint. On the foundation of high key painting I have established previously, I want to go further. For this project, I have absolutely no local color in the setup. I had a small white jar against the white background, and the jar is in shadow completely. All the colors are contributed by the light sources and environmental reflections. The goal of this painting is to show: 1. Using dark color to present light objects, and 2. Using intensive colors to present white objects. Is this called Impressionistic?