Hi Everyone! I’m back from China and had a truly amazing time there! I've spent the last two and a half months in Shanghai and Beijing on the China residency program through the New York Academy of Art. We arrived in Shanghai first, and started painting immediately in our studio in the Fine Art College of Shanghai University.
|"Surrender," oil on panel, 9"x6," 2012|
|"Two Trees," oil on canvas, 8"x8," 2012|
I never know how a residency will influence my work and it can be a bit stressful when I first arrive in a foreign city if I put too much pressure on myself right away. Just before leaving for China I was told about animal spirit guides and that if you just remain open to it, they will gradually reveal themselves to you. That night I had a dream about meeting my dolphin animal spirit guides, which to me represented joy. Just a week later I was getting off the plane in Shanghai and the first thing I saw was a huge poster of dolphins. I continued to see dolphins everywhere, as fountain sculptures, in advertisement posters, even as inflatable dolphins sitting around in the grocery store. I decided immediately to buy one of these inflatable dolphins and to paint it. I did a couple self-portraits in my early days in Shanghai with my inflatable dolphin animal spirit guide lingering around behind me.
|"Self-Portrait with Animal Spirit Guide," oil on panel, 6"X 9," 2012|
|"Head Above Water," oil on panel, 9"x6," 2012|
I also became more and more inspired by all the mist in China. It seemed there were always billows of mist sitting in the mountains in China, and the air was always damp and foggy. I did “Seeing Myself Through the Fog of Misperception,” in the mirror in my bedroom in Shanghai, using a really limited palette consisting of only Cadmium Red, Yellow Ochre, Titanium White and Mars Black. I tried to make it appear as though I was being veiled by a subtle cloud of mist.
|"Seeing Myself Through the Fog of Misperception," oil on linen, 12"x 12," 2012|
Nearing the end of our time in Shanghai we had a group exhibition at the Shanghai 99 Art Center located right in the heart of the Shanghai gallery district. The show was entitled ‘Mutual Interests” and included work by Wang Chong, Harvey Citron, Cory Dixon, Megan Ewert, Laura Frazure, John Jacobsmeyer, Nicholas Sanchez, Cao Yi and Wang Yi. I was impressed by the large exhibition space and honoured to have my work exhibited with so many other great artists, both from The New York Academy of Art and from China.
|The invitation to our exhibition in Shanghai|