Typhoon-inspired paintings from Taipei


Taiwan’s first typhoon of the year

“What do you mean I have off from work today?”
Yeah, the schools shut down and no work today. What to do?

It was actually nice weather for most of the day. The anticipation was exciting, it seemed like a holiday, not as if a disaster was about to strike. I decided to make some typhoon inspired art. Since I received a new grey color on my palette, I have been using it in my latest works. Grey seems to augment the other colors in the painting. Nothing dull about grey, it’s a mixture of other colors, so the harmony of the colors are still there, it adds a mysterious quality and mood to the whole painting.

In this painting “Before the Storm”, it was still warm and sunny with the clouds rolling in. The south side of the sky with mountains and a few homes. I’ve been focusing more on skies lately, which is interesting since I haven’t done much sky paintings since living in Santa Fe. Even in an urban environment like Taipei, I can easily paint these type of paintings because I live 15 stories up on a rooftop and have fantastic, amazing views.  I love the fact that I retained some blue sky and trying to add some personality to the clouds, making everything more authentic and abstract.  It reminds me of a style that I’ve seen in older paintings a hundred years ago, a certain kind of darkness and realism that’s not so common these days.

'Before the Storm' 7x10 in oil on canvas board

‘Before the Storm’
7×10 in
oil on canvas board

….then the storm hit, it was loud, explosive powerful, couldn’t get to sleep. This went on through the whole night.

Less than 12 hours later, I painted my post-typhoon painting “Recovery”. With just a few colors, several brushes and my palette, it was as simple set-up as you can get. I haven’t done a real landscape painting with mountains and a variety of depth in a while. Plus the river is in the foreground. The clouds were the real stars here, as they penetrated the purple mountains with a spiritual grace. I never captured clouds like this before, so I welcomed the challenge. Here are the results.

"Recovery" 24x33cm oil on canvas board

oil on canvas board

Life is like a typhoon…it has its sunny days and stormy ones. Sometimes you just have to weather the storm from within.