Great painters must create masterpieces in order to be remembered by society and by history. They can’t just make ordinary paintings, and definitely should not waste their whole life on painting for commercial sales.  – Yim Mau-Kun

Realism is not about replication. It does not try to faithfully capture the subject like a camera. It is a process of extraction and distillation that requires creativity and tremendous skill.  – Yim Mau-Kun

Plein-air landscape painting is a process where natural (objective) beauty inosculate with artistic (subjective) beauty.  Natural beauty emphasizes “feeling” while artistic beauty focuses on “gusto,” or “fun.” If you concentrate on pursuing photo realism, then painting becomes a chore rather than pleasure.  – Yim Mau-Kun

I like painting people and have always preferred painting portraits from life as it is like conversing with life.  After all, is there anything more exciting and sophisticated than life itself?  Is not the ultimate expression of art the human form itself?”  – Yim Mau-Kun

The beauty of a painting lies in the composition, the artist image, the ambiance, the colors and skillful use of brushstrokes.”  – Yim Mau-Kun

A Painting Trip of Xiangxi (Western Hunan) China

Note: The article below recounts a painting trip to Xiangxi (Western Hunan), China in 1988, and is a snapshot of China at the time, roughly a decade after the end of the Cultural Revolution and Deng Xiaoping opened up the country, and right before the 1989 crackdown...

How to paint oil portrait from life

The portrait is a painting style that was established during the Renaissance and its earliest example was the Mona Lisa. Since then all major Western painters whose work featured people have been masters of portrait painting as well. Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and...

What to bring on a plein air painting trip?

I have written about the benefits of small plein air painting and how and why it can help improve color observation skills. Suppose you are totally convinced and would like to give it a try or you simply love to paint outdoors, what should you bring? Sure, you can...