Sunday, April 10, 2022

Workshop reminder: May 16 -17 in Wayne


Teaching at Scottsdale Artists' School has given me confidence that I can go back my normal art journey. In May, I will participate the Plein Air Festival in Wayne, PA. I would like to remind you that I will teach a 2-day still life painting workshop right after the festival. If you are interest in getting a feel of my painting approach, this short workshop will be a good opportunity. Please visit the webpage: for more info and sign up. Thanks

Friday, April 1, 2022

Demos at SAS


I have finished my very first in-person workshop after my medical treatment. I felt very happy that everything went smoothly. I want to thank Scottsdale Artists' School for the opportunity and their special arrangement so I was able to cook for my special diet. I want to thank all the students for their support. I am grateful to my body, which educates me that human structure is much stronger than I thought. We are indivisible from the entire universe. If we can see through the illusive ego, we are actually Divine.  

Friday, March 11, 2022

A day of gray

 I admit I don't have much of experience of painting this kind of white flowers, so I struggled, but I did enjoy playing with the gray colors. Life is not always colorful, we had so many gray days. Sometimes, I feel depressed, and scared. They are all parts of life. We might not always feel happy and comfortable, but those gray days teach us. They are opportunities of learning. I say thanks to my gray days. 

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Eternal Glory


This painting has been done from the same bouquet of flowers for my previous floral work. There has been 9 days in between. I am so amazed that all those flowers did not collapse and die. I am even more amazed that most of them have even held their original shape for those 9 days without opening too big. The reason could be that they stayed in the dark most of the time because my studio is in the garage now. The existence of time is the biggest lie that we have believed.  The truth is that "Now" is eternal.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Life Manifestation


My obsession of painting flowers continues. I feel they really manifest the true meaning of Life. Beauty, freedom, egoless, and being at the present moment. They come and they go. They maybe short lived, but they exist forever.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Alive and Blooming

I named this painting: "Alive and Blooming". We are alive. We take this for granted until one day. Most people know it only theoretically, but some know it experientially. All those beautiful roses who modeled for me have passed away. They have demonstrated what "alive" means vividly in a very short period of time. However, we don't feel sad when those roses die, because we think flowers as entire species. Those individual roses have passed, but more will come. Similarly, if we don't emphasize too much our individuality, we will be a part of the eternity. 

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Sunflowers for Mary Alice


This one is a commissioned work for my friend Mary Alice. There is no cadmium colors in the painting. I am happy my painting momentum has come back. Painting is therapeutic. I feel very fortunate I have something I can concentrate on and over-ride all the other mental chatters. Painting is a cosmos event, the individual who puts colors on a panel is merely a carrier of the universal energy.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Water Lilies for Helen


I did this relative large painting a few days ago. As a matter of fact, I was not feeling well that day. Partially it was because I had some reactions after my medical treatment, and the other part was my mood was unstable with all the challenges I have been facing lately. I started to paint without think about the results, I decided to surrender my self conscious mind to the flow of my body movement and what ever my heart leading me. During the painting time, I have bad body sensations and negative thoughts coming and going. I aware of them but tried not react to them. I was very surprised to find that my body is a way stronger than my mind. The best way to live is just let the body lead and do not think.

This painting was done for a friend of mine. I am so grateful that so many friends around me have helped me, and encourage me to come out this hard time, and became more mature as a human being.

Friday, February 11, 2022

Valentine's Day painting sale


You know I have painted a few small rose paintings recently. Now the Valentine's Day is approaching, I would like to sell those paintings. I will charge $300 for each plus $15 shipping. The size of the painting is 6" x 6" unframed. You may see the image of the paintings in detail and their titles on my blog: I have 8 rose paintings available. If you are interested in purchasing, please email me as soon as possible. The availability will on first come first serve basis. I will send a PayPal invoice to collect the payments. I am sorry that I have announced this sale too late, so the painting may not reach you on the Valentine's Day. Although I am not a good business man, but I sincerely wish you all a happy Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Solvent Toxicity


Do you use solvent (or medium) in painting? I did, but I want to go solvent free as much as I can. I have put more info on my "Painting Safety" webpage. 

People who took my workshop have known that I like to use paper towel to wipe out the lighter area with gamsol. I tried the same technique with my today's paining without gamsol, and found out the result is compromised badly. I could not get the sanding out high light anymore. I reluctantly keep gamsol near my palette, but I put it in a small eye-dropper bottle so I don't have an open solvent surface to air. I may try Gamblin solvent free medium later. I also tried the water mixable oil with this wipe-out technique. I have not get a satisfied result yet. 

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Paint safety webpage

 I have just made a web page talking about the safety of oil painting. If you are interested to know how to identify the toxicity of pigments and the actions I have taken to be safer in painting, please visit: Thanks

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Water Lilies Study 020222

 I did this small water lilies study to investigate the non-toxic green color family. I want to get rid of cadmium green. It is not too hard this time. I used ultramarine blue, radiant lemon, radiant green, Azo yellow, transparent orange. The green colors in this painting are high value low chroma. So it is not too hard. I have enjoyed my today's painting.

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Rose study 012922


I have adequate amount of understanding (I think) about non-cadmium red color family, and also I get a little tired of painting individual red roses. I mean the result was not bad, but I felt I became a sort of handicapped in painting after I started to develop my non-toxic palette. Many skills I used to have are no longer working any more. It just like our physical body. We take it for granted until we get into a injury. I must be patient during this healing time. I use to be so picky about the difference between oil primed and acrylic primed painting surfaces. Now I just laugh, and let it go.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Rose Study 012722


The red rose opens up more, so I did another study. I have put transparent orange into radiant red created a much warmer and lighter red. I also use dark background this time. I used the water mixable burnt sienna and ultramarine blue made the dark. The issue with WMO is the viscosity. They are too sticky. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Rose study 012522


I don't paint many red roses, because they are so hard to do. Since I am working on my non-toxic red palette, I painted the today's study. I will say that the cadmium red light is a color that is very hard to replace. I use napthol scarlet as the replacement, but have a hard time to get the opacity and vibrancy. I used alizarin for the darks of flower. When I need opacity I put a little venetian red. For the high light I use radiant red. It might be slightly too cool. Anyway. the experiment went well, but not great.

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Rose Study 012222 Sold


After having a set of non-toxic colors for the yellow family, I moved on to investigate the red. I did this study using radiant red, napthol scarlet, quinacridone red, alizarin, venetian red, and portland grey deep. I feel I am in the right direction. Napthol scarlet still has some toxicity. I will keep on the research until I have a satisfied result.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Workshop Reminder


I have recovered well from my surgeries and soon I will start to teach painting workshops. On April 26 - 29 I plan to teach a 4-day plein air painting workshop at the Tallapoosa School of Art at Lake Martin Alabama. At this moment we have 2 openings. If you are interested in learning my plein air painting techniques, please visit: for information and signing up. I am looking forward to painting together with you.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Rose study 011822

 I feel satisfied with the rose study I did today. The paint opacity finally worked effectively. I did not use the water mixable oil today. I used regular oil but no cadmium and no solvent. The dark opaque color in the shadow was Portland Gray Deep and Transparent Orange to start with, then I add Permanent Orange and Hansa Yellow. The light yellow was Radiant Lemon. I feel Gamblin's Radiant colors have good opacity, and so does the Portland Gray. Now I have a set of non-cadmium colors to use for the yellow family. 

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Rainbow Roses

This painting took me more than a month to do. It was started around last Thanksgiving, and finished after last Christmas. So many things had happened during this period of time, visiting doctors, a surgery, relocate my studio, and holiday stuff. I was on and off painting and my mood was up and downs. Anyway, I have finished it. It works as a reminder to me what I have gone through. I was using regular oils for this one. Now the Beatles' song "Yesterday" is singing in my mind: Yesterday. All my trouble seems so far away. ...

Friday, January 14, 2022

Rose Study 011422


First, I want to thank all the friends who commented on my posts and provided me tips of using water mixable oil (WMO) paints and developing a non-toxic palette for oil painting. With this collective effort, we will eventually make oil painting much safer. My today's study is testing if  I can use WMOs on oil primed panels. Previously, I was using acrylic primed panels (or gesso boards). The result is not bad. I have not see major issues. My darks are WMOs, and the red, orange, and yellow are regular oil, but no cadmium colors. I still feel non-cadmium colors are all too transparent. I started using yellow ochre, but its opacity is still not as good as cadmium colors. I can not use brushes to paint because it gives a scratchy texture so the solidity of shape was destroyed. I have to use a palette knife to create the opacity I like. You can see that in the shadow area of the flower.  

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Rose Study 011222


I used the same palette I used two days ago, but introduced in Portland Gray Deep, and Transparent Orange. The opacity is still not ideal. Look at the petal on the right in shadow. It is rather difficult to make the color uniform. Can anybody tell me if it is OK to mix a water soluble color into regular oil colors? Thanks.

Monday, January 10, 2022

Rose study 011022


I have done another rose study today, I used ultramarine + burnt sienna (water mixable) for the dark under painting, then used paper towel and water wiping out the rose area. The colors for the rose were Hansa yellow, Indian yellow, Permanent orange, Quinacridone red, and White. They were regular oil colors, but there were no cadmium colors at all. I used Gamblin solvent free gel as the medium. No Gamsol this time. The result was not bad. The major issue was that the opacity was weak. The light area was easy. I can use white, but the mid value area is still weak. I may try some sort of ochre next time.

Friday, January 7, 2022

Rose study 010622 Sold


I have started painting again. I did this small study yesterday. I am experimenting the water mixable oil. I used ultramarine and burn sienna (both from Holbein) to mix my dark, and use my wiping technique with water to create the light shapes. Then I use regular oils for the color part. It feels the water mixable oil and regular oil go together OK, but I have no experiences and will know better in the future. If you are using water mixable oils, I will appreciate if you give me your advices. I am glad I did not use any mineral spirit for this study.