Sunday, October 25, 2009


We arrived Pocono vacation house in the middle of the heavy rain in Friday afternoon. Everybody was so happy, loud and excited. We laughed, drank, and ate. It's such a precious time, we had so much fun exploring the vacation house.... Sues (Chien, Jade), Hangs (David, Anchi, Frances, Lisa), Lius (Alex, Mandy, Vincent, Gina), Guo Yi, Pings (Weili, Li-Jen and his wife), and us (Zonson, Lizzy, Hsi, Wei-Ping, Terry, Ying-Kuen, Mom, and me).

Saturday was another stormy and cold day. After the busy morning I went to the small house to paint the lake side in the afternoon. Right after I sketched the scene, it started pouring so all the colors and objects disappeared from the scene. I could not but use my memory and imagination to finish the painting. It was quite an experience and I was thinking that Brigitte's workshop in December may help me deal with this situation.

The sun finally came out in Sunday morning, so everybody went to do their favorite things (state park, outlet store shopping, cooking). For me, I went to paint 2 small paintings by the lake. It's so nice, peaceful and beautiful, perfect scenery for field study. I was frozen to death after 2 paintings, but the paintings turned out to be good, at least they captured the autumn-mood.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pennsylvania's autumn

It's been a busy trip, Hsi showed me to a few nice places around her Yardley neighborhood (Lognwood Garden, Grounds for Sculputre, New Hope). Autumn colors were everywhere here: yellow, orange, red, purple in the middle of faded green composed a very beautiful scenaries everywhere. Though there was no time for me to sketch and paint, I was busy taking picures with the new Nikon camera.

Finally I took a break from the grocery shopping on Wednesday afternoon and did a quick pastel painting of Hsi's side yard in the sunset. I was pleased with the results. On Thursday early afternoon, I did another quick painting of the barn house next to Hsi's house. It's not bad either. It's quite a relief because I did the paintings.

The relatives have arrived one by one for the family reunion. Thursday morning was Anchi, then the Sun's, and finally it's Ying-Kuen. Friday was Lisa and Frances. Got to shift the focus to the family reunion for a while before I start painting again.

Friday, October 16, 2009

All ready

Packed the carry-on baggage for tomorrow, and then went painting right before lunch, just to use up all the paints before I leave to Pennsylvania. It was quiet at McClellan. I like the quietness so I can focus on making a good painting, but I still like to paint with a group so we can learn from each other. I think I have made some progress in handling the colors of the intertwined leaves/tress. In another word, less muddy. But I need to work on the forground. it's too dull.

Took pictures of my 2 summer paintings to test the Nikon D90 settings Ying-Kuen made for me. (Mission Santa Clara at left, and Picchetti Winery at right).

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A good painting day

I went to McClellan Ranch park to paint with Brigitte today. It's very relaxing because there was no need to worry about the work or the weekend chores. I did two good paintings, and I think I've finally gotten the idea of toning with the warm background and letting the transparency show through the finished painting. Jim showed me how to handle the lighting of the middle ground trees. It's a good painting day :)

Ying-Kuen took a couple nice pictures of my paintings with the new Nikon camera so I can post them here. Talked to Hsi about the family reunion, as usual she is the gate keeper, responsible and thorough. I even fixed the dinner, can't believe myself!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Last working day before my sabbatical

I've been planning for this sabbatical for months, and today is my last working day before my 7 week sabbatical. Think about this... I will be heading to the east coast for the beautiful fall colors and the family reunion. I can't describe how excited I am. I will be busy in the next 7 weeks, but I have no complaints. I don't even remember when I was this excited last time :)

Well, guess what: I left the car key in the car after I drove to work this morning, so the car battery died when I was ready to go home. I haven't had this mistake for years, I cannot understand why I made this stupid mistake today?!:) Thanks to AAA who came to jump the car within 30 minutes.

I painted a still life (3 apples) tonight, just to prepare myself for Qiang Huang's workshop in January.