Thursday, June 30, 2011

"my friend, Shirley"

8"x10", oil on canvas board

 This  painting is a  portrait of Shirley, a friend of mine, who is 91 yrs of age this year.

She is such a lovely, energetic little lady. Going to concert and theater, teaching piano, entertaining friends....Hard to believe her age.
Last year for her 90th Birthday, I made a small drawing of her as a gift. It was a three quarter view from a photo I had, and she didn't like it at all. Few month later she sent me a photograph and asked me if I could paint her from it, because she likes how she looks in the photo. This is the first portrait painting I ever did by the request and I will say that it was not easy.

I  do head studies often from the model since the art school till now here and there through 20 yrs of my artist life.
Many of them are quite successful to my eye. Also I don't mind whether the model likes or not how they look in my paintings.

I couldn't be spontaneous at all while I am working on this painting. First of all, I am painting from a photograph, not from live model.  I was just so concerned about the likeness and keep worrying whether she would like it or not.

I was so relieved  and so glad that I was able to pull this painting together and finished the painting,. without giving up!

Shirley was pleased with  her portrait!. Yeah!
She is going to give this portrait to her only son for his Birthday.

With this experience, I  truly understand the hardship of the portrait painters.

 "You lose a friend whenever you paint a portrait of a friend"..... by Sargent

Saturday, June 25, 2011

"Head Studies_Pirate"

Head Study I

Long Pose (2hrs)

9"x12", oil on canvas board

Head Study II

Quick Study (15min)

8"x10", oil on canvas board

These are head studies with the costumed model at the Art Center. Pasadena.
The model was "Tucker", who used be an assistant Animator at Disney. He said that he has a life-long hobby of collecting costumes, now he enjoys modeling wearing his costumes and creating characters.
I did two paintings of him.
The first painting took 2 hours.
It was almost time for the painting session to end in about 15 min. I wanted to go home.
Then I changed my mind and told my self "Let's see what I could do In 15 min".
So here is a second painting. I am so happy with the result.
No fuss ... That is FUN!
Feels like you are flying with the brush.

I have enjoyed the first painting, but with lots of efforts.
The second one was a breeze!! .........................

Tucker saw my second painting and was very happy too.

Monday, June 13, 2011


5"x7", oil on gesso board

Well...I had a luck painting fast with "Geranium".
I can't figure out why this painting took so long...many, many hours... so embarrassing to tell anyone or even myself!
It is "Irreconcilable Differences in Painting", composition, subject matter..... hard to be together.
I was not happy all the way along...up to this point.
It is all right now with me to be able to stop tackling.
From the beginning of the first completion, nothing much changed, very subtle...
Probably, others can't tell the differences.
Still wants to make the right side tomato little more saturated... I am going to leave it now, to avoid further resentment.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


5"x7", oil on gesso board

Once in a while, painting goes very well, quick and breezy. The first application of paint seems just right. This one was one of that rare occasion.
This geranium in my back porch is being neglected, regardless always have a few stunning Red blooms all through the year.
It is impossible to reproduce the natural, brilliant Red of this geranium, even with pure pigment of Winsor & Newton Oil.
Still quite happy about the result looking gorgeous in this painting.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

"Bougainvillea on Blue"

8"x6", oil on canvas board

I was trying to paint a BLUE painting with ORANGE focal point. Also make more abstract rather than copy the object.
Seemingly this is my artistic quest...
It is quite challenging for me and takes a lot longer to finish a painting up to the point I could accept when I make the painting this way.