Mar 28, 2007
Does Size Matter?

I once heard this saying, "If you can't paint, then paint big". I thought I am a decent painter so I didn't really care what size I am painting in. In fact, 80% of my paintings are under 16x20, and none are bigger than 5 feet. But lately I realize how important it is to paint BIG. Big paintings in a gallery always get the most attention. I really feel like I've just discovered an import universal law of physics or something.

Just paint big, and they will come.

Mar 10, 2007
What Makes A Bad Abstract?

Realism vs. Abstraction is a very touchy subject in the art world. As a rather traditional painter myself, I do have my reservations about many abstract paintings. There, I said it. Just the other day, I was having dinner with some friends. One of them gave us some invitation cards to an art show. The painting displayed on the card was an abstract painting of a few simple colors in a wavy pattern. Another friend Sage took a quick look at it and said "I don't like it. The colors and design are not working". She then turned to others for confirmation. My first reaction was a bit uncomfortable. It was almost instinctive. Even though I had similar opinions about the painting as Sage, I was not ready to criticize an abstract painting right away. It seemed more "politically correct" to hold back my opinions. But hearing her straight-forward comment, I did want to back her up. "I would agree with you in private", I said a bit jokingly.

In my mind, I can't help but ask the question. What makes a bad abstract? Can realistic painters like us criticize an abstract painting? I'd like to think so. I certainly like some abstract paintings, so I don't think I am prejudiced against the more expressionist form of art. But I still can't quite verbalize what makes me like or dislike a piece of abstract artwork as I can with a realistic one.

Feb 04, 2007
What Is The Right Price For Your Artworks?

Pricing my artworks has always been a tricky subject. I have all kinds of opinions, from "give them away for promotion" to "never underprice your paintings, it will give you a bad reputation".
I kind of took the middle ground and price my paintings at mid range. Luckily I don't sell my art for a living, so I don't really have to find that right price for my paintings. But I would love to know what is the right price.

Feb 03, 2007
Don't Over Do It

As much as I desire to create a polished painting on the canvas, sometimes I get surprisingly good paintings from quick studies. It is easy to over do your work. A painting could have vibrant colors and dynamic brush strokes, but from my experience, it's sometimes necessary to resist the urge to blend away the energy of a painting by over-polishing.

I did this quick study above in Italy. I decided to stop after a couple of hours. It seems logical to "finish" the painting by filling every single blank space on the canvas and making the transition between the colors more gradual. But it would make a far less interesting painting.