Saturday, December 30, 2023

Painting Retreat in Sicily


At this New Year time, I want to announce a new event in 2024. Artist Suzanne Dougherty and I have organized a Painting Retreat in Sicily, Italy in the fall of 2024. It will refresh your spirit, mind, and body. Participating this retreat will be a great new year's resolution you can have. Please get detailed information at: Since we can only have 14 people to participate this event, please register as soon as possible. Happy New Year!

Friday, December 22, 2023

Step back to good old days


This is another painting I did during the holiday down-time. I followed patiently the steps of the painting wanted to take. No matter how slow and how far it goes, I stayed with it, witnessing the painting revealed itself gradually. The experience was amazing. I have heard whispering in my heart, which gave me guidance of what to do.

I wanted to paint the guts of radios for a long time. Making radios was my early year's obsession. I made a crystal radio when I was in 3rd grade. I still remembered the excitement when a voice came out of the headphone the first time. Later on, the magic of radio enticed me into the field of engineering and physics.

Similar to painting my previous still life, all the parts of this old radio do not have much of local color. The warm and cool light sources made the color play. The variations of the color temperature and value created the illusion of 3D forms of tubes, transformers, knobs, and so on. If the color relationships are right, the forms looked solid. Whether a painting works or not, the form solidity plays a very important role.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Albert Handell's Workshops


I hope all of you are enjoying this holiday season. Time flies. Soon the brand new 2024 will come. We all try to set up new goals at this New Year time. I really want to improve my art even more in 2024. What about you? If you are like me, I want to share an opportunity with you: The famous artist and teacher Albert Handel will come to Austin and teach two workshops, one in January and one in March. We still have openings for both workshops. If you are interested in learning from the master, please check and for detailed information and sign up.

Monday, December 18, 2023

Color of Achromats


I have been enjoying my holiday down-time for about a month now. I have done 4 paintings so far. I used to paint alla prima and try not to overwork, but this time is different. I allow the painting take the lead. I just follow my heart and simply provide whatever the painting needs. I did not set any time limit. On and off, this painting took weeks to this stage. I have posted it last time, but I have noticed afterward the perspective and color were still having issues. If a painting allows you keep on working without showing a down-turn, it is a good sign. Knowing your heart and sincerely following it. That is a holy moment. Through this moment, you touch the eternity. 

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Color Sophistication


Having done the "white on white" and "black on black" still lives, I decided to combine white, black and gray objects together into a single setup. I minimized the local colors so all the colors were generated only by the light sources, one warm and one cool. I vaguely knew, but realized strongly this time, we are practically colorblind when we just start to block-in colors on the painting. The reason is very simple: we make our color judgement by comparison with other colors, but we just did our composition drawing or wash we do have the reference we can tell the color. Developed artists have their experiences or formula, but I want to be accurate as much as possible. That is why measuring color numerically, and developing a color mixing mechanism to obtain the matched color will be helpful to demystify all the color mix gimmicks. I am working on a few methods to overcome the color ambiguity at early painting stages, and my recent paintings are my experiments to find a scientific approach. The problem is so gooey, it will takes me a while to get a sound solution. I will keep on trying, and share with you in my future teachings.

Friday, December 1, 2023

Is the camera black?


I have shown my "white object on white background" experiment two days ago, and this image is my "black object on black background" experiment. Now the question is: what makes us believe that the camera in this painting is black? The value range is not the answer, because I can zap the camera object with a super bright light and paint a very high key painting. Let me know your thought.