Category: Exhibition

The Year of the Pig

Pig paintings
The Year of the Pig

If you follow the lunar New Year, you know that 2019 is the Year of the Pig. The Flushing Town Hall (Flushing, NY) is hosting a really fun exhibition, the Red Envelope Show, that opened last night. This exhibition is an homage to the red celebration envelopes the Chinese community distributes during the Lunar New Year. As this is the Year of the Pig, I painted some cute portraits of pigs just peeking up from the bottom of six envelopes. There are almost 1,000 envelopes on display (and for sale) illustrated by myself, other professional artists, and local school children. Many envelopes (including mine) include a special gift inside the envelope for only the buyer to see. Don’t wait to see the show as it closes on Jan. 27. A special thank you to Bert Chau of @grumpybert who curated the exhibition. ⠀#redenvelopeshow

Opening Reception: SAT, JAN 5, 5-7 PM⠀
Gallery Dates: SAT, JAN 5 – SUN, JAN 27⠀
Gallery Hours: SAT & SUN 12-5 PM; weekdays.

Refilling my creative well

Chihuly at Biltmore

Summer is a great time to get out of the studio and refill my creative well.  For me, that means getting out into nature, taking hikes, and enjoying the neighborhood flowers.

Currently, I’m on a road trip with my eldest daughter.  While passing through Asheville, we took the opportunity to visit Chihuly at Biltmore, an exhibition featuring multi-media artist Dale Chihuly’s monumental glass sculptures. The exhibition is set throughout areas of the Biltmore House, gardens, and grounds. The gardens, in particular, make the perfect backdrop for Chihuly’s style — it’s organic, flowing, and gorgeous and seems to come from nature itself.

Chihuly at Biltmore 

If you have a chance to see the Chihuly exhibition, it’s well worth the time for just the gardens alone.  Also open at night, the exhibition sparkles with the light from the colored sculptures, reflecting onto the vegetation.  It’s an enchanting sight reminiscent of a magical fairyland. Don’t forget to get your tickets in advance especially for the evening viewings as they limit the number of viewers and it does sell out.

chihuly artWith my creative well filled to the brim, how will I use this inspiration?  In addition to Chihuly’s brilliant sculptures, I was enthralled by the lily pad pond.  All those overlapping oval and circles, and the variety of colors and shapes got my creativity flowing.  I have painted lily pads in the past (Lily Pad Lake, 23″ x 17″, pastel on paper, $800) but my realistic look has changed to a more abstract style. I took some photos and will use their inspiration to develop some new paintings. Stay tuned.
 
What have you done to fill your creative well this summer? Please share your inspirations and stories with me.

water ballet

Step by step, how to rework a failed painting

Rock Garden painting

Failed painting
Failed painting

Some paintings come easy, while others require a lot of work until I’m happy with them (or I throw them out).  My painting Rock Garden was one of my more difficult pieces.  On my first try, I ended up with this version.  It had the elements of a strong composition with a clear focal point but I just didn’t like it.  It sat in my studio for the last three years but I couldn’t determine a way to “fix it”.  

In the meantime, I finished another painting River Rock that I needed a companion piece to hang with it in an upcoming show.  The only panel I had in the same size was this failed painting.

Work in progress
Work in progress

 

I needed both paintings to share the same color scheme, so I created some new collage papers to better match the companion painting’s colors.  I like to add lots of elements at first and then simplify the final painting by painting over of some of the areas.  At left is the next phase of the painting/collaging process. At this point, it’s complete chaos and is going to require a lot of editing. 

The colors still didn’t match the other painting that well and I needed to get rid of the red, the bright yellow and the ultramarine blue.  I dug up some more papers and collaged them over these colors.  Next, I picked the areas to keep and those to cover up.  I needed a strong focal point and more areas of calm.  There was a lot of overpainting to do and still more collage papers to add.  The work also needed greater contrast so I add in the light yellow and dark gray areas to expand the value range.  Below are the two final paintings, Rock Garden and River Rock.  Can you find the areas from the original painting that still shows in the finished work?  It’s a little like “Finding Waldo”! 

Rock Garden painting
Rock Garden, mixed media, 20″ x 16″
River Rock
River Rock, mixed media, 20″ x 16″