Favorite Paintings 2019: Figures

I kind of think of myself as a landscape painter. But actually looking back at last year’s body of work,  I have done a lot of figurative paintings as well, these are my favorites. First is a painting from a hike to Gothic Basin in the North Cascades. That turned out to be a very grueling and difficult one for me, haha. But my friends and I some show powered through it.

North Cascades Hike

The next one is a painting from Plein Air Washington Artists annual paint-in; we usually start and cap the painting season with an indoor painting session and pot luck. It’s always enjoyable to reconnect with old friends and eat new members. We had a set up this time with multiple models sitting together, which is great for me since I rarely have the opportunity to paint 2 models at the same time.

Table For Two

Finally, this one is dear to me, because it was my 100th painting of the year! It is even more special because I did this back in my hometown where I haven’t visited in 10 years; of a scene that brought back so many childhood memories of celebrating the New Year traveling to that same beach. I painted this using some student-grade acrylics from my dad’s painting supply stash. 

Beach Walk

Anyway, that’s it, my favorite paintings of 2019. I think the paintings I really liked from last year not only have some technical aspects that I’m pleased with, but also are special in the context that I’ve painted them in. 

I have been painting in 2020 as well, tho not at the same rate as last year, haha. I’ll share some of this year’s paintings soon.

Favorite Paintings 2019: Republic

Going to Republic Washington Was the best painting trip of 2019. One benefit of joining a painting group is that you get to travel to places that you might not have thought to go to if painting by yourself. The small town of Republic is north and somewhat geographically center of the state of Washington. 

The hilly landscape is different from the rain soaked coniferous forests of the Puget Sound, but also different from the arid vistas of Eastern Washington.

I had such a great time painting there, I hope I could go back again. I even sold a painting! I never got to take a good picture of it, but here it is:

The people in Republic were nice and welcoming. One of the highlights was meeting this guy who was riding a mustang that he caught and then raised himself! A real life cowboy.

 When things get back to normal, a painting trip is definitely in the cards for me.

Favorite Paintings 2019: Arboretum Path

This was a painting done during a paint out with Plein Air Washington Artists group. I really miss painting with my artist friends. This path at the Seattle Arboretum has been the inspiration for many a local painter, including Jane Wallis's award winning painting

At the time I was still trying to figure out how to carry my painting setup on my bike. There's my bicycle with my painting gear, with another painting from the same day. 

It's been quite rainy during the weekends lately, so I haven't yet gotten on my bike to paint this year. The coronavirus has also made logistics a bit tricky with the bathroom situation, but I hope I get the chance to go bike and paint soon!

2019 Paintings Retrospective

I set out to do 100 paintings in 2019. It was a big challenge, and I just managed to do my 100th painting on December 30. I put together a highlight video of some of my favorites. Enjoy:

This was more of challenge than I thought initially, even though most of these were really small paintings. But I feel like I've really improved as an artist by taking on this challenge. I'm a big believer in brush miles; that your work improves just by doing a lot of it. And I've been quite gratified to hear some of my friends actually tell me that my art has visibly improved as they followed my journey on Facebook.

In addition to practice, I've also taken lessons from Jim Lamb, Darrell Anderson, gotten some great advice from Jamie Bollenbach, and even online critiques from Phil Starke. One thing I've learned landscape-wise is to not just work on making far things look far via aerial perspective, but also to try to make near things look near, with values, color, and even thickness of paint.

I'm trying to start blogging more regularly again; I think I'll start by talking about some of the works that I enjoyed the most from last year's series in the next few weeks.

Bridge over Sammamish River (sold)

This was one of my first attempts to combine my passions of riding a bicycle and paint plein air. Thanks to my friend Dan who bought this painting after seeing me post it on Facebook 

6x8 acrylic on carton panel

Father and Child

I’ve been painting again! I have sort of fell out of the habit of painting with only doing sporadic work  in the last couple of years. But this year I resolved to do at least 100 paintings. This is #27, ‘Father and Child’

I’ve been posting my paintings on Facebook, but thought I should start posting my work on here also.  So people can find it without having to be on social media. Unlike posting on Facebook posting on a website is kind of a lonely endeavor, you post something and wonder if anyone out there will ever see it. But I’m tired of this blog being stale, so here’s a painting for you :)

At the gallery

I am really honored, and to be honest, quite surprised that my work got selected into the Meadows to Mountains show that Plein Air Washington held this year. Being on the same walls as so many of the artists that I admire is quite the thrill.

Last year, my entry was rejected, and this year it was accepted. It could just be chance that this year's jurors liked my painting, and last year's did not. But I hope it means that I've grown as a painter.