I’ve been working on a new and challenging painting that started from my trip to Kyoto, Japan last summer. I visited this temple with bright orange columns and when I hiked all the way to the top in brutal 100 degree heat, I met this beautiful, young woman who was native to this land. She was as beautiful as Kyoto on a cherry blossom afternoon. Short, black hair on her petite frame and eyes that defined infinity of the universe. We hung out together for just a few hours, as we hiked and enjoyed the Kyoto sunset overlooking the majestic valley. We haven’t talked since, as we lost touch. But she left quite an impression. I knew that her photos would become paintings one day, you just know when you have that painter’s moment of truth.
So first comes the drawing from above, where I used pencil and charcoal to sketch out the details and provide enough lights and darks to help tell the story. Perhaps later I’ll go more in depth with that process, but for now, I’m previewing my oil painting. I will be finished tomorrow and posting it on my newsletter first. More details to come. Don’t forget to sign up! See you tomorrow!
‘Taipei 101 From the Bench’ oil on board 8.5 x 11.5″ 2015
I begun a series of “river” paintings from Daan Park which is just a 5-minute walk from my house. It’s a lovely river park where it’s between two bridges. A boring brown bridge and a more exciting red bridge. Plus, the most iconic symbol of Taiwan is very visible here. I have never painted it up close before. I went outdoors with my new pochade box that has made painting outdoors much easier. I just have to bring more tissues because it’s so easy to get messy. I feel like I’m carrying a small briefcase compared to lugging a large luggage like my french easel (which is still in my studio).
When I brought out my box to the location, I had to pair down my materials. Two brushes and 4 paint colors, the primaries plus white. It’s not rocket-science. The simpler you make your workstation, the more productive you can be because you cut everything out of the way and go right to the essence of the work. Then perhaps touching the work in the studio. I know there are plein-air purists out there that claim you must paint 100% outdoors. But I’m a bit of a perfectionist too and I’m sure most artists do a little touching up later, because let’s face it…you want your painting to look the best it can. And that’s ok. I’m already outdoors getting my composition, colors and light just right. What I do afterwards, well that’s my own special touch. And every artist needs that special touch.
This article was inspired by a conversation with Carolyn Edlund of the very cool blog Artsy Shark .
It started out as a normal conversation on Facebook as I was asking questions. She somehow was impressed with what I said and decided to write a blog post about it. And I’m very pleased how it turned out. There were many comments. To date, I’ve had responses about artists visiting places like Italy, Australia, India. Personally, I’m headed to Taiwan for a possible long-term relocation. But I want to commit at least a few weeks to see if it’s a good spot for me. I’ve connected with a few artists and read a lot about Taiwan. I heard many good things about its culture and landscapes. Boy, I can see myself painting on the beach now…but here’s a snippet of the article you can check out…maybe these questions you can play around yourself too. Tell me what you think!
Where in the world would YOU travel to make art?
If you had no obligations,
If you had enough money to live for six months,
If you could travel anywhere that would inspire you,
Where would you go?
What would you do?
What would you create?
‘Technocolor Jinhae Bay’ 7×7 oil on board