Lust for Freedom


It’s been a busy month and a transitory one.  I started a new teaching position at a small school in downtown Taipei.  I work there four days a week so it allows me much time to paint and travel.  Sometimes you have to take a step back to gain perspective on things, and maybe there’s an easy solution to your questions.

And that brings up my latest painting which is my last from Danshui.  I will miss my views from my studio, but this is a respectable finale, then I’m content with it.  I started out just painting the basic shapes of the background with purples and greens.  I also loved how the sunset is orange and clean on the horizon.  I used brushwork for the sky and a variety of layering of blues and greens, weaving in and out.  I switched to a palette knife for the water as I always felt strong about when to use the knife.  Mostly it’s an emotional tool, when I want lots of paint at any given moment.  I also had to include the reflection of the sunset, which makes it all balance well.

My most surprising revelation is that I allowed myself to leave certain parts unpainted.  It’s a very Eastern way of looking at things, and I like the breathing room when artists decide to use this to enhance their work.  Compare this too music, it’s like the space between the notes.  It creates more mystery and dynamic.  I’ve used this before, but not as good as it is here.  Less is more works.  I even used the knife to scrape some paint and make a few marks in the sky.  It’s impressionism and modernism in one.  But aside from labels, this may be one of my most balanced paintings, due to equal treatment of brush and palette knife.   The result is “Lust for Freedom”.

I’m very proud of it and it may signal what’s yet to come.