Expensive paint

During the springtime, I took photos of a tree peony in bloom and the flowers were an unusual shade of pinkish violet.. I decided to use as my next painting, however I could mix the color to match that color. … Continue reading

Happy Chinese New Year!

Today, is the beginning of the Chinese New Year, the year of the sheep. During the ten days celebration, often you will see the lion dances  perform but the dragon dance is less often  because it requires a team of … Continue reading

50 shades of grey in Watercolor

I just having fun with the title of my latest watercolor but seriously in watercolor  painting whites basically you are painting many shade of greys. The painting is inspired from one of my blooming white orchids. watercolor on arches paper, … Continue reading

Painting for the Chinese New Year

This year the Chinese New Year is on February 19, the year of the Sheep. Every year, I would celebrate this special occasion with a painting and this year is even more special because I was born on the year … Continue reading

My inner spring in winter

Today is the second day of extreme cold alert and with the wind is -32C. I haven’t set my feet out side since Sunday. However I have stock up enough food and art supplied and likely able stay in till … Continue reading

The joy of winter

The wonderful thing of being an artist is

although it is -27 C today but I can create my own spring garden. Well, at least on paper, “Spring Crocus “watercolor on arches paper, 18”x10”.

watercolor on arches paper, 10"x18"

watercolor on arches paper, 10″x18″

The accidental tour guide

henricks streetcar

Early Saturday afternoon, I was on my way to downtown, my plan was to pick up a couple of frames for my latest commissioned paintings. While waiting for the subway trains, a young man approached me asked me. He wanted to know the transit pass in his hand allow him to ride the subway all day. It was a day pass which allows him to use all public buses, streetcars and subway for the day. “Yes”, I told him, he sat next to me and explained it was his first day in Toronto; he arrived from India last night!
After we boarded the trains we continue our conversation, he came to Toronto to study engineering and he planned to go downtown to have a look of the city.

Without much thought, I invited him to come along and offered to give him a tour of the city if you like. He eagerly took up my offer.
For the next four hours, I showed him the different parts of the downtown, from the high end shopping area, to low end open market, big shopping center to underground mall. I took him for his first ride on the streetcar. Along the way we talked and I pointed out the historical buildings and took photos. We even made it to the busker festival, watched and enjoyed some of the acts.
Finally, after tea and desert in a small café in Chinatown we exchanged phone numbers and end our tour of Toronto.

buskers 2.

The last blue irises

 the last blue irises

This is my last painting of the year 2013

“The last blue irises”

I been in my studio for 23 years, I know many of the houses in the neighborhood well from my daily walk. Many of those houses each has a small land reserved for gardening and wherever I walk by I would connect the garden with the house and even its owners.

I am particular fond of one house near my studio: Each spring, a large patch of irises would spring up from a small garden by the side of the house. They were the old fashion irises, mostly blues but another one type was the mauve and white with yellow markings. On a sunny day I would make sure to walk by that corner to visit the little irises garden. I knew certain time of the day, when the sunlight behind, it was the most magical moment. Eventually the irises found its way into my paintings more than once

However I never met its owner. Until a few years ago, I wrote a note to the unknown house owner along with photo of the iris painting, express the pleasure the iris garden gave me.

Few days later, an older woman came to my studio. She was the owner of that house and it was her husband planted those beautiful irises. She told me the irises were the pride and joys of her husband. Sadly, he has been in a nursing house, suffering from Alzheimer. She was touched and I painted her husband’s irises garden.

A couple of summer later, I ran into her outside of her house, she told me she would selling the house as it was too big for her to live there alone. Shortly, the sale sign was up and within weeks it was sold. I never see the lady again, pretty soon the new owner moved in. the old house underwent a long renovations, the entire door and windows been replaced including the little irises garden.

Last spring was the first spring without the beautiful irises. They were replaced with some trendy tall grass!

My “ the last blue  irises” is dedicated to the man I never meet whom planted the irises garden which live in my heart and in my painting.