My uncle the artist

So did I mention that my uncle is a famous artist? He's won awards, written books, curated shows, exhibited around the world, and is hosting me for this weekend I'm in Houston. His name is Charles Liu, and his work looks something like this:

Returning Home at Night, 21 5/8"x30 1/8", Ink

You can check the rest of his work out here:

His ink and watercolor paintings form a fusion of traditional Chinese "shan sui" (mountain & water) paintings -- with a modern aesthetic. I've always wanted to hear what he thought about my work... and at the same time have been terrified as to what his thoughts may be. It turns out he's happy with the direction I'm going, and that my Chinese American upbringing has brought about an interesting fusing of different themes...

It's obvious by looking at his work that I've got a long, long way to go... but it's always heartening to hear that =).

I managed to wrangle a few weeks of art lessons from him when I was very young, and after almost fifteen years we sat down for another lesson today. I was especially curious about techniques with ink and rice paper -- for while I had gone to Chinese school as a kid, I had never taken any traditional Chinese painting classes.

So yeah, painting with ink on rice paper is HARD.

Here's my sad, sad piece.

Don't look at it too long, you'll start laughing and I'll start crying. Scroll back up and look at my uncle's work some more =)

It's cool though, I definitely want to experiment more with the texture and qualities of rice paper. It's tough to get a hang of, but it's definitely a technique I want in my toolbox for the future!

Alright, 'night all --

3 comments :: My uncle the artist

  1. *Have been reading for a while--found your site through stumbleupon last year sometime.*

    You uncle's work is incredible. As a watercolor artist I have always been interested in traditional Chinese painting--I hadn't realized that technique included ricepaper. HAving worked with rice paper for other things (not painting) I am not surprised that it would be hard to paint on. It seems it would take a very light hand and almost a dry brush--I use WAY too much water and paint, I believe, for rice paper to even be a possibility. SO I can imagine it would be hard to adapt to. I personally really like where your's went though I can see the trouble with over wetting.I think it would force you to use a very different style than normal.

    Thank you for the fascinating post--I love reading things that stretch my own artistic style.

  2. Your uncle's work is wonderful.

  3. Hi! I found your site at stumbleupon..These artworks are really cool especially the last one.

    Keep it up!:)

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