Featured Paintings

 

Around the corner

It’s a beautiful day in the neighbourhood. Inspiration is not necessarily found in distant places and many are outside our doorsteps. My encounters and interactions always have something to share with me, but only if I would be still and listen. The previous years since 2014, my work has been from around the Brandywine Region, but for the year in 2019, I have decided to remain closer to my studio, “Around the Corner”. What is “around the corner”? In my books, I defined it as anywhere within a 15-mile radius. But this definition is fluid, because nothing stays the same.

 
 
Plein air oil on panel, 10 by 8 inches

Plein air oil on panel, 10 by 8 inches

Sycamore Tree

We have driven past this tree nearly every other day since we moved to Kennett Square. It calls out for attention. I have always thought that death has taken hold of it, but I later learned that it could be a living sycamore tree. It is a beautiful tree with its light coloured bark against the dark background. It looks glorious when the sun shines its spotlight on it. I wonder how long it has been on this corner. Perhaps for nearly a century, it has been standing on Race and Cypress Streets. The latter on which cars zoom past at unnecessarily greater speeds than allowed. Red Clay Creek, where many of my paintings were made, is down the slope behind this tree. If only this tree and the creek could speak. Oh the stories they could tell.

 
Plein air oil on panel, 8 by 10 inches

Plein air oil on panel, 8 by 10 inches

The Open Field

I can see this open field from my studio window. Red Clay Creek is down a small slope behind the trees in the foreground, Kennett Legacy Field, which used to be a nursery for roses, is behind to the left, and the YMCA outdoor pool is to the right. Everyday this field seems to challenge me or it seems to dare me to paint it. But my mind saw a lack of interest. This was because I was not being quiet to listen more closely. It snowed the day before on the last week of winter. I went out to the edge of the field and painted. The first painting of this field had vibrant colours. I was please with what I painted but it did not feel right. It snowed a little bit more that night and I went back out to the edge of this field and painted over the previous day’s painting. I wish I did not paint over it because then I would have something to compare the latest one with. It was completely different from the previous day. Nature is never still and it will never stand still for anyone or anything else.

 
Plein air oil on panel, 8 by 10 inches

Plein air oil on panel, 8 by 10 inches

Red Clay Trail

Red Clay Trail runs along Red Clay Creek. The YMCA outdoor pool is to the left and Red Clay Creek is to the right. Kennett School is behind to the right. Every summer, the YMCA closes off its property to the public to run its summer camp for kids. When on this trail, I often ponder how shall I express what I see and feel of this secret feeling placed, my make-belief secret place. I like to call it Kennett Square’s secret Hundred Acre Woods. There is not much vibrant colours to speak of, but painting is not always about colour or painting exactly what you see but about how a place feels, and how the light drapes across the land revealing somethings that we have not noticed before. The same place or thing never seems to look and feel the same moment and each day. Nature is never still and it will never stand still for anyone or anything else.