Featured Painting: The March of Time

My recent oil painting The March of Time was a chromatic piece, masking details with broad strokes, employing repetitive patterns to emphasis the underlying messages, and exploring the deep emotions with subtle tonal variation.

The painting depicted a wasted land – wreckage of houses in various degree of decay, scattered around a no-man’s land in spots where they once proudly stood but barely hanging on with ineffective supports of crutches and buttresses. This wasteland was the product of ruthless time, as manifested in the title; yet, it was hard not to think what humans, who once built and occupied those now abandoned structure, had contributed to this vast span of ruin.

The March of Time / 時光的流逝 / Der Lauf der Zeit
The March of Time
Oil on Canvas
24″ x 30″
Completed in 2016

This painting was selected to be part of the “Fresh Works VII” juried exhibition at Firehouse Arts Center’s Harrington Gallery in Pleasanton in May through June 2017, and was recognized with a Honorable Mention Award, by Juror Ryan Reynolds, Assistant Professor of Art at Santa Clara University.

Portrait Painting “Grandma”

If I have to summarize my career as an artist, I would say that the biggest achievement I’ve attained was the creation of my portrait painting “Grandma”.

Grandma / 祖母 / Oma, Oil on Canvas, 40" x 30", Completed in 2003

Grandma / 祖母 / Oma
Oil on Canvas
40″ x 30″
Completed in 2003

11 Paintings Completed in 2003  (part 2 of 2)

This painting, created during the time when George W. Bush was drumming up to invade Iraq, despite the series opposition from the people within and without the US.

At the time, I was reading Günter Grass’s fantastic novel The Tin Drum (Die Blechtrommel), and was struck by a passage depicting the a protagonist’s old peasant grandma, whose presence in the novel, though not frequent, but impressive, due to the wonderful depiction of the author of her at various phases of her long life – many layers of her skirts, her peeling potatoes, the heated bricks
she used to stay warm, again, underneath her layers of skirts.

I have painted several portraits of old women.  To me, they often can be categorized as sibyl, a word comes (via Latin) from the Greek word σίβυλλα sibylla, meaning prophetess. Old women are the personifications of mysterious wisdom and deep compassion, and the grandma in The Tin Drum was the personification of just that.

To generate a working-class and wise woman, I gave her a pair of large knotting hands and wrinkled face, and emphasized her stiff posture, against the equally thinly painted menacing sky, and somewhat comforting trees, whose monumentality again gave the grandma an air of a Greek goddess, all seeing, compassionate, and formidable.

This painting is part of my ongoing Apocalypse Series and can be purchased via a trusted third party vendor, ArtSlant, which also chose it as a Showcase Winner.