Saturday, January 31, 2015

"Flowers in Cary" --- Sold

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I stayed one additional day at Cary. A group artists got together and painted. I decided to do a high key floral. I have not done much of white flowers. So I gave it a try this time. I started to like more about my high key paintings. I studied more of Richard Schmid approaches. I think this is a good direction. I feel so grateful that nowadays we have so many great masters we can learn from. When I do low key paintings I follow David Leffel, while I do high key I follow Richard Schmid.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

"Demo at Cary 2015 3" --- Sold

This one is rather classical. I spent a long time developing the silver tea pot. I have enjoyed the details in this painting.

I am honored to have another magazine article about my workshop teaching published. It is showing at the Feb/March 2015 issue of the "Professional Artist" magazine. I want to thank Kathi Ferguson for writing this article.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

"Demo at Cary 2015 2"

I don't know what those flowers are called and have no idea how to paint them. But they are in my setup. Go ahead and do it. Putting emotion and self consciousness aside, I see the shape; I see the value, I see the color, and I see the texture, slow down, observe more, and paint less. One thing at a time....

Here is my second demo.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

"Demo at Cary 2015 1" --- Sold

I am traveling again. This painting is my first demonstration on the workshop at Cary, NC. I want to thank Waverly Artist Group and Monica Linares for organizing this workshop, thank Beth and Howard for their hospitality, and thank all workshop artists for attending.

I know pumpkin is off the season, but I can't resist the temptation for putting that piece of pure cadmium orange on the canvas. It was a lot of fun of painting this one.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

"Dies Ranch" --- Sold

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There is a very old house not far from where I live. I did this plein air painting yesterday there. I must confess that I don't know how to paint trees. So it is what I got.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

"Elisabet Ney Museum" --- Sold

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This a couple of days in Austin, the weather is beautiful. I went to plein air painting yesterday, and this is what I did. The location is the Elisabet Ney Museum in Hyde Park, downtown Austin. This place is the former studio of the 19th century sculptor Elisabet Ney. I have not painted plein air often lately. I surely enjoyed painting there. I started around 3:30 PM, when it is close to the time I finish, the beautiful warm colors were showing on the limestone wall of this old building giving me so many color opportunities.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

"Vine Tomatoes"

I followed Richard Schmid's approach and did this painting. For a few years, I have tried many times painting high key, but for a long time I have not found the effects I really love. These a couple of days, I tried high key again and actuarially feel pretty good about this one.

Yesterday, I had an interview with American Art Collectors Magazine. In March I will have a show case at the Trailside Gallery in Scottsdale. I am working hard and trying to test the water of gallery presentation and high end collectors market. Having shown in galleries for quite a few years, I can't say I am satisfied with my performances there. Obviously the 40% and 50% gallery commission really put artists like me into a disadvantage situation. I am competing with many developed artists to get a share of that market. I have to price my paintings high, even myself can't afford them. In a nutshell, I must improve significantly to survive there. It is a totally different ball game than what I used to play before. So please watch my "reality show". If I fail, let it be. However just in case, I may have a chance.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

"Pavilion in Summer Palace (Day 6)"

Do you still remember this painting? I have mentioned that I was in the "mid painting crisis". So I put it aside and got busy of teaching my workshop at Austin. Now the workshop is over. I came back to it. I spent two more days following my intuition to improve it. I don't know if I have brought this painting to fruition, but I decided to call it done. I still have a lot of thinking about the issues with it, but somehow I found it so difficult to put more brush strokes on it.

The "mid painting crisis" makes me think about my entire art career. I am no longer feel that emotionally enthusiastic about my paintings like a few years ago. My friends, having followed my art for so long, you should feel tired of my dark background still life paintings by now. A style of painting is like a delicacy on the dinner table. No matter how delicious it maybe, if you eat too much of it or eat the same dish everyday, you will feel tired of it. My art has entered into a relatively quiet time. It is quite normal. There will be more time to think. Think as an ordinary human on how to make living, how to pay our debt, and how to make the family happy. I have chose this journey voluntarily. So I will keep on cultivating. Cultivating persistently, and do not think about harvesting too much.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

“Demo in Austin 2015 4" --- Sold

My workshop in Austin was a 4-day one. On the last day, I went beyond the still life painting and did this landscape. This one was based on a photo I took from in China two years ago. My landscape or cityscape is still in the developing stage. So much I don't know but I need to know. I try my best of learning a little bit everyday. It may not sure much of progress in a short period of time, but for the long run, it will make a difference.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

"Demo in Austin 2015 3" --- Sold

The third demo deals with flowers. Flowers cannot be copied, and they do not have too much room for correction either if you make mistakes. You must slow down significantly, observe seriously, and place down your paint confidently. After the paint is on the canvas, leave it alone.

You might have noticed that my website has changed. The url (website address) is still the same, but the content has changed. I am still learning how to design and improving this website. If you have suggestions, please let me know.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

"Demo at Austin 2015 2" --- Sold

This is my second demo, which I showed my step-by-step approach. Students followed me closely. This way of teaching has been proved to be very effective to pass on the information.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

"Demo in Austin 2015 1" --- Sold

My first workshop of the year started today. It is right at my door step. I want to thank Jane Frederick and my wife Song for putting this workshop together. As a matter of fact, this workshop feels like a family reunion. More than half the participants have taken my workshop before and come back multiple times. This gives me tremendous encouragement. I feel so happy to see that people really enjoy learning from me. Great thanks to all of you, new and old friends. This is the first demo. My brushwork gets more abstract. I hope this one give all of you excitement.

Monday, January 5, 2015

"Pavilion in Summer Palace" (Day 4)

Everybody have heard something called "mid life crisis", but has anybody heard about "mid painting crisis". The answer is No, because I just made it up. However, I am sure you have had this kind of feeling. When you do a new painting, especially a long term project and your experience of doing this  kind of painting is inadequate. You feel lost in the mid of the painting process. You have exhausted all your know-hows and have no clue what is next. This stage of the painting I call that "mid painting crisis". Now this painting is at this "crisis". I don't know what exactly I want to do, but the painting is obviously not done.

The "mid painting crisis" is the time to learn. It is the time to research. I will listen to what the painting wants to say. What my intuition wants me to do. I will compare my painting with other artists' work o see what is missing in mine. I will significantly slow down and preserve the good effect I have from going away. Do not take action blindly. The painting can go down hill very quickly.

It looks like I have to pause this painting for a few days because my workshop in Austin will start tomorrow. I will share my demos and come back to this project after the workshop.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

"Pavilion in Summer Palace" (Day 2)

In the second day, this painting has entered the color stage. I have the warm-light-cool-shadow situation. The colors were applied abstractly. My attention was on the design rather than giving the realistic presentation.

Painting keeps on going. However, all the necessary important issues keeps pile up too: finance is a mess, health is unchecked, the computer keeps on crashing, so many IT junk knowledges forced to be learned. Why life has to be so difficult and complicated? Recently I listened to this TED talk. I agree with the speaker. We are living in a very uncivilized era. But do we really have a choice? I am not sure.

"Pavilion in Summer Palace" (Day 1)

I started my first painting in 2015 on Jan 2. This is a 16" x 20", a landscape based on a photo I took two years ago in Beijing. This is the placement or drawing stage. I did my composition and value. The correctness of the perspective is crucially important.

I know many people are setting up their new year's resolution at this time. What is mine? To be honest to you, I don't have one. If you really insist that I must have one, I will say I will try to keep my painting discipline as long as I can. Living on this earth is very strange, There are more or more things get so important, so legetement(legal), so time consuming, and so complicated. They shout at me: Don't be stupid. You must take care of me first. Painting is not that important. It can always wait.

I choose ignoring all of those urgent calls. I will just paint, come xxxx or high water.