Monday, August 29, 2016

"Amish Country"

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I did this one as a demo for my Falmouth at Cape Cod workshop. I took the photo at Lancaster County PA in early April. I want to thank Suzy Bergmann and Falmouth Artists Guild for organizing this workshop and thanks to all the artists for attending. Cape Cod is a beautiful place. I am so happy coming back.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

"Demo at Cloudcroft 2016 4" --- Sold

The last demo I did at the Cloudcroft workshop was a landscape from a photo. The brown house next to the white one was the place I stayed at Cloudcroft.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Upcoming workshop in Austin

I hope all of you have had a wonderful summer time. I have been back to Austin for a few days now, but tomorrow I will be on my way to New England. Although I am busy traveling, but I want to keep you posted what will be here this coming fall.

I know many of you are plein air landscape painters. Nowadays there are many plein air events all over the country. They are great opportunities for artists to show, sell, and win some awards. However to be successful in plein air events, you much have the skill of painting quickly. That is the reason we invited Hai-Ou Hou coming to Austin to teach a 3-day workshop on how to paint quickly. She has special tricks for finishing a painting in a very short time. Please check the detail info on the Hai-Ou's workshop webpage and sign up. We still have a few openings.

Friday, August 19, 2016

"Demo at Cloudcroft 2016 2" --- Sold

I am at El Paso airport waiting for my flight back to Austin. I like small airports better because they provide free WiFi while most bigger airport do not. My workshop at Cloudcroft NM went well. Made quite a few new friends and had wonderful time in the Lincoln National Forest.  My second demo was about painting metal in a low key situation.

Monday, August 15, 2016

"Demo at Cloudcroft 2016 1" --- Sold

I have arrived at Cloudcroft NM yesterday. It was more than 100F in Austin two days ago, but last night here was 39F. What a dramatic change. I want to thank Cloudcroft Art Workshops for organizing my class here again. Thanks to all the artists from Texas and New Mexico for attending. This is my first demonstration.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

"Mt Hood OR"

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I was at Hood River OR a few years ago. This painting was done from one of the photos I took there. My landscape painting is still at its very early stage. I don't have much of specific techniques to depict the subtle textures of the nature. My composition is still mechanical and lack of variation. However, I like this good starting point. This new path has potential for sure.

Monday, August 8, 2016

"Coconut Trees in Abaco"

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I have visited Bahamas twice and took many great photos. The painting I did today is from one of them as a reference. I had a lot of fun playing the colors for those coconut trees, and really enjoyed using my palette knife. My landscape painting is progressing. I have gained more freedom, and more dramatic effects start to show.

Friday, August 5, 2016

"Red Barn in Lancaster PA"

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This one I did from a ref photo taken at Lancaster Pennsylvania in spring. Although I paint this one from a photo, but I kept my approach similar to plein air. I know I still have a quite journey before I can reach the quality I want for my landscapes, but if I keep on doing this kind of small studies. I will be closer to my goal gradually.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

I will teach at Cape Cod

From August 24 to 26 I will go to Cape Cod in Massachusetts and teach a 3-day workshop at Falmouth Artists Guild. Different from most of my oil painting workshops, I will concentrate on landscape painting specifically on this one. It will be a perfect time to paint out doors in New England at this time of the year. We still have a few openings. If you are interested in my painting process, please check the workshop description at Falmouth Artists Guild Website and sign up. Thanks.

Monday, August 1, 2016

"Plein Air at Driftwood"

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I went to plein air painting last Saturday with a group of Austin artists. The day was hot, but I picked up a shaded spot. So it wasn't too bad. The building in the painting is an old Texaco gas station. I didn't think it was open. However the traffic on the road was quite busy. There is well known Texas BBQ restaurant nearby. Most of the people must be going there.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

"Louisiana Bayou Country" --- Sold

This is my 4th demo on my Black Mountain workshop. The reference photo was taken at Houma Louisiana. It was early spring, I used a large amount of grey and brown to depict the humidity in the atmosphere.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

"Demo at Black Mountain 2016 3" --- Sold

This is the third demo, high key with roses. I used to think that high key is not the way I want to go, because it can not present the dramatic light effect like a low key one can do with a strong value contrast. Now gradually, my high key paintings have reached a certain degree of maturity. I feel the abstractness and color temperature control have to do a lot to make a high key painting successful. I am getting there.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

"Demo at Black Mountain 2016 2" --- Sold

I painted my second demo a little tighter than my first one. I like the classical look. There is not much of color in this one, but the realistic prevention described the delicate craftsmanship of the clock and the brass candle holder. It makes the painting an elegant look.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

"Demo at Black Mountain 2016 1" --- Sold

My workshop at Black Mountain, NC started yesterday. I want to thank Sheryl Keefer for organizing and all the artists from Alabama, Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina for attending. This is my first demo. Somehow I moved more and more into the abstract direction.  Look at how many edges I have destroyed in this painting.  If you see I am going too far, please tell me. I am counting on you to check my sanity.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

"Demo in Atlanta 2016 3" --- Sold

I need to come out of the darkness. So my third demo was a high key one. I just love that Japanese lantern. I got this one really abstract. I have enjoyed the feeling of all kinds of textures.

After my Atlanta workshop, I drove northeast into the Great Smoky Mountains. I have arrived at Black Mountain, North Carolina.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

"Demo in Atlant 2016 2" --- Sold

Wow! it is so dark. I don't know why I like low key painting that much. It must reflecting my subconscious insecurity. The world is a tricky and mysterious place. I am holding a small candle to explore my way. I can see only a short distance in front. The vast and deep darkness challenges me. What should I do? Well, we have no choice. Let's keep on going.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

"Demo in Atlanta 2016 1" --- Sold

After some down time, I resume teaching workshops again. This one is my first demonstration painting at The Art School in Sandy Springs. I want to thank Laura Shainker and Donna Thomas for putting this workshop together, and thanks to all artists from Georgia, Alabama, and Texas for attending my workshop. I have introduced my 5 steps painting procedure in the first day.

Monday, July 11, 2016

"Rock Piles in Sedona"

I completely ignored the composition of this painting. It would make a better painting if I would of introducing more layers and showing more areal perspective. All of that was not my intention of this work. I forced myself NOT to paint intuitively, NOT following my "feelings". However I concentrate on this "research" to develop a system. My intention is still on "how to paint a pile of things", which is texture development. There are two treatments when we approach to the paintings elements: depicting and suggesting. For still lives, figures, and portraits, we depict more. However for landscapes we suggest more. Developing a suggesting technique is what I want to know.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

"Rock Piles in Yellow Mountain"

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This is my second painting in my "A pile of things" series. The scene is the Yellow Mountain in Anhui China. It has a pile of rocks and a pile of trees. I felt slightly better than my previous painting. The rock pile seems more solid and tree piles start to show more believable structures. My objective in the current project is the texture presentation. I am glad I can see tree trunks in the painting. There still has quite amount of ambiguity in my tree mass, but I have progressed.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

"Rock Piles in the Canyon"

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I have started a new project called "how to paint a pile of things". I know how to paint individual things well. So  still lives, buildings, figures, and portraits are relatively easy to me. However, it is hard for me to paint landscapes.  I feel it is very un-natural for me. I really don't have the intuition of landscape painting. Well my right brain is dead now. I have no choice but use my left brain. I analyzed, and find the problem is that I don't know how to paint "a pile of things". If I have to paint a tree, I feel I must render all leaves one-by-one. I need to develop a process of dealing with objects in a large quantity. That is motivation of doing this research. This is my first experiment. I don't rely on the mercy of happy accidents. I want to know why and how like a scientist.

Monday, June 27, 2016

"Silver Reflections" --- Sold

This is a commissioned still life painting. Very often I received emails from friends asking the price of a specific painting. And very often, I have to reply: I am sorry. The painting you are interested in has been sold. Now I have a new service for you - I take painting commissions. If you like a sold painting of mine, I can do another one using the similar composition. It will not be exactly the same as the previous one. Well it could be better because I am learning new stuff everyday.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

"Morning Laundry"

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I did this painting from a photo Song took during our last year's China trip. In the first morning we stayed at the Xidi Village, I saw a group of ladies doing their laundry at a small pond. The scene was spectacular. It was incredibly beautiful. I like the good old days. The life was more painterly then what we have now. Some day I might paint people with smart phones.

The China trip we have planned for this year did not make it. What a pity! We have postponed the same arrangement to 2017. Now we have much more time to think about it. If you are interested in join us in 2017, please contact Song to be on the list.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

"Future Star"

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Keep on going. Paint more figures. This one is my number 9 for this series. I have established my procedure. I am able to get a decent figure with adequate accuracy on proportion, anatomy, and perspective. I feel this is the first step, which is the study stage. Next, I will concentrate on the design to make the image more dynamic or dramatic.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Come and paint with me in July

June is my studying month. You have seen I am working on my Impressionistic figurative paintings. I have been taking notes, documenting my trials and errors, summarizing my learning, and figuring out methods and procedures. Soon, I will involve my new knowledges in my workshop teaching and share them with all my students.

Next month, I will teach 2 workshops. The first one will be at the Art School in Sandy Springs in Atlanta. It is full with a waiting list. And then the second one will be at Swannanoa Valley Fine Art League in Black Mountain, NC. We still have 3 openings. If you are interested in my teaching, please contact Cheryl Keefer for information and signing up. I am looking forward to paint with you.

Friday, June 17, 2016

"Young Artist 3" --- Sold

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My today's painting comes out smoothly. I have tried to keep the figure as loose as possible by avoiding unnecessary details. Painting children is rather pleasant. This young artist was observing what was happening right in front of him. He will be good at Plein Air very soon.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

"Drummer 3"

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I have followed the momentum of painting Impressionistic figures. This one is slightly easier than my previous one. I started to develop a procedure of this kind of work. It is rather different from my still life painting. When this procedure gets mature enough, I will share with you.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

"Poetic Colors"

Today, with my limited time, I did this abstract study. I started this one as a still life (you probably still can see it), but somehow I want to push it into a pure abstract direction. I have played with designs of geometry, color, value, and texture.  To many representational, especially realistic painters,  Going abstract is not easy. We are too used to following the visual world outside, but we don't know how to follow our internal world. Learning how to observe our subjective mind objectively will be very helpful to our art. There is freedom there, but we need to learn how to use it.

Monday, June 13, 2016

"Drummer 2"

10" x 8", oil on board, framed, $850 + shipping

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I have spent more than a day on this painting. Boy! painting figure is hard. Especially the face and hands. They got to be absolutely correct. Artist's license will not work. This is my second drummer painting. When I posted my previous one, many friends did not know what the figure was doing. This one should be self-explanatory.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

"Ring Man"

8" x 6", oil on board, framed, $750

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I have gained more momentum in figurative painting. I did another one today. For figurative work, I feel it is rather difficult to compose. Different from a still life, in which I can easily move the objects, figure is difficult to move because there is too much involved. In addition, I have a hard time to maintain the size of the figure. It changes a lot when I try to get the proportion correct. To solve the problem, I have stopped using pre-sized panels and canvases. I tape a piece of loose canvas on a board, and figure out my composition by cropping the canvas after the painting is finished.