Cathedral of Color

Cathedral of Color Cathedral of Color

‘Cathedral of Color’
oil on canvas board

It’s been a long winter, full of challenges. I have struggled within plenty. But my spirit remains strong. I vowed never to paint if I’m in a depressed state, for I know that it would reflect in my work. I will not put out work that reflects turmoil. That is not my purpose in my life or art. My vision is to paint to live and create a meaningful life and be close with nature.

Sunsets are very special for me because it represents a decisive moment where the light disappears into darkness. Maybe my job is to save a little of this light, to make it permanent on my canvas. Life is special and moments are valuable. The colors are so vibrant they represent something spiritual, like a cathedral.

Reflect on this: What’s special to you? What moments do you cherish in your life?

Time to fly into the sunset

Taipei 12.21.12 092 400x300 Time to fly into the sunsetI can’t get enough of sunsets in Taiwan.  I’ve seen incredible ones in New Mexico during my tenure there, but because I live on an island and I’m in a high-rise apartment, my views of sunsets are incredible.  I appreciate it at a whole new level without intrusion.  It’s like I’m having a personal conversation with the cosmic forces.


Maybe it’s this connection that fuels my creativity?

I’m not sure what it is, but sunsets appear to be the dominant and driving force of my aspirations this year.  2013 will go down perhaps as my most creative year of consistently strong paintings.  My body work as a whole has improved greatly over past years, not just one or two paintings, but many.  I’m not saying this to puff myself up, I’m always my best and worst critic, and my most honest.  I know the difference between a good painting and a bad painting, a great painting to an average painting.  Logically, I can’t explain it, it’s just something my instincts know all too well.  Living a mostly solitary lifestyle that any monk could appreciate probably has inspired me to create such dynamic paintings.  I always want my next painting to be my best.  Period.  I’m in competition with myself.  For that, I’m grateful.  The downside perhaps is that I’m such a perfectionist, it sometimes takes away the joy.  But I have learned more and more how to quiet that little critical voice in my head so I could paint my heart out.  If I mess up, then I try again.

Yes, it’s time to fly into the sunset and I’m ready for some more painting in 2014.

Talking to Sunlight Time to fly into the sunset

‘Talking to Sunlight’
oil on canvas


My personal art manifesto, pt 2

1980 01 01 00.01.282 My personal art manifesto, pt 2

(continued from pt 1)
Once that happens, humanity evolves into a higher dimension that creates a more desired reality that we strive for. But we must access that creative energy if we are to become “true artists”. It’s right there if we want it. To be human is to be an artist. To love and be a respectable global citizen of the world is something sacred to strive for. And once we realize we are connected by our creative energy, then we start to look at ourselves as “people without boundaries”. If the universe made us all, then we are all connected without boundaries.

Modern technology can easily become the scapegoat, but who created the technology to begin with? We did. And we could become its master, not its servant if we desire a positive shift in reality. Technology is not suppose to replace our human emotions, our humanity, our human desire for personal contact. Technology is not evil, but it can lead to the devolution of healthy behaviors. Just become aware of this one fact. Does technology help us become closer to each other or put stronger boundaries between us humans, that it makes us lose touch with humanity? Maybe we should pay more attentions to your emotions. Bruce Lee once said “Don’t think, feel.”

Failure is inevitable. Every successful, famous and non-famous person has gone through some kind of failure. We tend to look failure as a death sentence to our dreams. I’m quite aware of failure, and on some level, I fail every day. It may just be a 2.5 earthquake, so I don’t notice it very much. The point is to overcome failure by keeping it going. Keep your eye on your goals. Failure can be a great gift too. We learn and get better. Two steps forward, one step back. Perserverence, discipline and most of all, love what you do will get you through the hard times. There will be hard times, but you will always have yourself. That inner critic that says “you’re a failure” will mess you up good. Overcome it and be a master of your mind once and for all. Destroy doubt, adopt faith, accept love, be yourself.

This is why art is so essential to life. We all need food, water, shelter and human contact to live and prosper. Not everyone is meant to be a visual or performing artist, but art does serve an essential purpose in our society. To remind us we are human. Period.

Art reminds us that we are the same and different at the same time. Our personalities, appearances, cultures, habits all makes us uniquely different like snowflakes. Yet we sometimes treat each other like that’s a bad thing. Or at least mock, ridicule, and abandon people for the sake of being different. I’m short, but I’m still human. I have a small income, but still I’m human. By western standards I’m poor, by third-world standards, I’m rich. It’s all about perspective. Personally, I always feel rich because I adopted a living standard and lifestyle I am content with. As an artist, I always feel rich because I paint and live for that moment. I embrace my creativity. That’s my uniqueness. Art reminds us that our uniqueness in whatever form it comes in, is something to be cherished and rewarded, not abandoned or assimilated. A healthy society will recognize and reward for uniqueness. Art also reminds us about things that are easily overlooked and the irony and the truth our current society resides in. Art reminds us that despite all that our humanity has gone through in the thousands of millenia, we still breath the same air, have similar human needs and desires for family, money, sex, food, shelter and so on.

Art is like that “crazy uncle” that keeps coming over to family dinners despite how odd he may be. But we still love and accept him as part of the family despite his odd and unique characteristics. Art will go through changes but will never die. It’s part of our genetic code to create. Someone or something created us, so we are capable of creation too. Life equals creation, so cherish it. Respect it. Treasure it. And embrace your creativity. It’s all we really have. Life is an art, and we have the power to create or destroy what’s in front of us. Accept the fact we’re all artists in some way so we may have some purpose in our lives. It’s the best way I know how to live. And I’m not done creating yet. All I ask for is another day of courage and creativity. A new day for a new hope.