Friday, August 25, 2006

Newly from Ivan Chan Studio! The Quality of Mercy SOLD

The Quality of Mercy, oil on canvas, 12" x 16" SOLD

This Original Finger Painting is sold, but you can still see it in my gallery. It's also available as a Little Beauties Art Card individually or in the Serenity set.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I Space, You Space, We All Space for MySpace

Right, so it's the top-visited site in the U.S. and I finally succumbed to posting a profile on MySpace, which you can view here. I've got a kung-fu cool slideshow on my page that I wish I could import to my web site!

It was all a bit bewildering when I first started to set up my profile, but then it was smooth sailing. Well, after four hours--copying Insight to MySpace proved to be an ordeal, and now that I've done all that work, I've decided to post only in this blog (so you're in the right place if you're reading this) because of the problems with MySpace's blog. If I were the type to tear out my hair when I get frustrated, I'd be bald right now.

If you have your own MySpace profile, please don't be shy and g'arn, add me as a Friend!

When I have some more time (stop laughing) I'll fill in the other boxes: Interests, Movies, Music, etc.

Thanks for looking,


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Sneak Preview! Heart Listener

Sneak Preview! Heart Listener As yet untitled, oil on canvas, 12" x 16"

Here's the latest drying on my easel. If it looks familiar to some of you, it's because it's based on an earlier work I did called Blue and Green Pensive Avalokiteśvara (except that one was 18" x 24" and, well, blue and green) that you can see in my gallery, under Buddhist Series.

I've been wanting to experiment more with colors lately, especially as I further explore Odilon Redon's work (generally brighter and more abstract than the other Symbolists he's affiliated with), and also revisiting my Buddhist Series.

It's been an interesting cycle--I started with my Buddhist Series on eBay due to its local, non-Internet popularity, but it was met with very little fanfare. Now, as my work online has become known, collectors are inquiring in droves about my earlier pieces, and I couldn't be happier. I promise there will be more prints and psst! Greeting and note cards are coming soon, too (and not just of images from the Buddhist Series, but also from my popular Mermen Series!).

Thanks again for everyone's support, and for telling your friends and huggables about where you got that fabulous artwork: Ivan Chan Studio, of course!



Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Forbidden Fruit

It's interesting to me that in many ancient cultures, the snake was a symbol of wisdom--but what a bad rap it's gotten in the last, oh, fifty centuries?

Foundations don't merely shift, they can completely reverse. Earth's magnetic poles do it from time to time, why not the ideas that emanate from our minds? North to south and south to north again, cycling through civilizations and individuals inexorably. Nothing's permanent--not our beliefs, not our selves, not anything. The foundation we think is rock solid is just a liquid moving so slowly, it lulls us into a delusion of immortality instead of jostling us awake to impermanence.

So why is it that some people go through so much trouble to make steady this quicksand ground of being? Is Astroturf and asphalt so seductive that it must be laid over everything lest something unexpected or undesirable bloom?

Why is art dangerous? Why are stories threatening?

They, and those who create them, are purveyors of ideas. And ideas are the fruit of free thought.

The Man doesn't want you taking that bite.

Recently, I tried to ship artwork to a foreign collector and was confounded by the postal system. I could understand my box being oversized and thus requiring an extra charge equalling five times the modest amount I had charged for shipping and handling--eBay's shipping calculator leaves much to be desired, I've now learned--but what dropped my jaw was the clerk's apology that he couldn't complete our transaction even if I wanted to fork over the fee.

He twisted his monitor so I could read the screen: Fine artwork was forbidden from entering this country.

There was nothing I could do, outside of lie about the contents of my package (too late), and what if customs on the receiving end decided to open up the box and check its delicate insides? Would they destroy my painting or send it back? I didn't want to risk either, so other delivery services weren't even an option.

This saddens and upsets me, but it doesn't surprise me. The relative freedom most of us apathetically enjoy is probably under the same strictures, but we just don't know any better (the illusion of freedom, now there's a trick the powers-that-be can be proud of). What aren't we seeing, reading, hearing, tasting, and touching because somebody else says we shouldn't?

The trouble is, when censorship is good, it's even hard to wonder about what we possibly could be missing.

When censorship isn't so effective, there's trouble. Revolution. Otherwise known as a turning around of ideas, systems, structures, beliefs--in short, the world. Not reality, but the world: our perception of reality.

Here's to those who want to take a bite of the fruit forbidden to them, for the sake of beauty or knowledge or both.

And my apologies.

Take care,


Saturday, August 19, 2006

Under the influence

Here Kitty, oil on canvas, 24" x 36" SOLD

My latest offering, Here Kitty, shows my great affection for Buddhist art, especially between the 6th and 10th centuries CE in East Asia. The sumptuous robes, double auras (one around the head and the other circumscribing the entire body), and opulent colors make it hard to look away when I study my reference books and scour the Internet for information.

Add to that what I'm learning about Buddhist cosmology and symbology and it's the recipe for a life-long love. A many lives-long love if I get too attached! (Okay, maybe I was never meant to be a Buddhist standup comedian.)

Regardless, I do love the paintings and sculptures of that bygone age. I love the gold leaf, the deep red backgrounds, the drowningly blue, turquoise, and purple nimbuses--the ferocity and tranquility of the pantheon as expressed through colors, gestures, expressions, and instruments. I can see my soul through that artwork, once I catch my breath.

Other influences are the French Symbolists (and some English ones). I love the soft and striking sensuality of their work; lithe as a snake and thrice as meaningful. A friend introduced me to the works of Odilon Redon and my art has never been the same--this artist, considered the Father of Surrealism, made dark, monochromatic images at first.

Around the age of 50, he switched over into glorious color and his work was filled with joy and mystery, and no longer sequestered in a cave of melancholy. This saves it from being Romantic (not that I don't relish a good tragedy), and leverages his work for me as another signpost pointing towards the inner world less travelled.

I love both Eastern and Western art. This is the best road trip an artist can go on. There's just so much to see and do, and being under the influence here is a good thing.

There's nothing wrong with detached compassion and silent wisdom; sex, death, and religion. We're talking about being drunk on life itself, where love makes the concoction 200% proof and our vision and speech brightly clear.

Invite Beauty,


Newly listed! Here Kitty

Here Kitty, oil on canvas, 24" x 36"

Please click the image to read the description, see detailed pics, and to bid on this sweet painting!

Invite beauty from Ivan Chan Studio.

Sneak Preview! Pet your nirvana

Sneak Preview! Pet your nirvana As yet untitled, oil on canvas, 24" x 36"
When I receive a commission, I like to visit the place where my artwork has been invited, or request photographs of the space, or do both, so I can create something that fits seamlessly with the environment.
Recently, a collector commissioned me to do a triptych for her living room, and along with the beautiful furniture, flowers, and artwork, she also photographed her two cats which took to following her around (they can such curious creatures!).
Although both kitties are beautiful and I can't wait to meet them (despite my allergies), I absolutely fell in love with this one cat who sat with a shy dignity, tail curled around herself, as she waited for her lady to finish taking her picture.
She's a rescued cat and requires a big heart to love her, so I'm glad she's with my collector, and that I was fortunate enough to catch a glimpse of her in this photograph. This painting is dedicated to her, rescuers (go SPCA, volunteers, and adopters!), and the Buddha nature inherent in all of us that allows us to love anyone and anything, no matter what.
Take care,

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Newly from Ivan Chan Studio! Limited edition print of Mystical Buddha on stretched canvas SOLD OUT

Newly listed! Mystical Buddha stretched canvas print Mystical Buddha, giclee on stretched canvas, 12" x 18" SOLD OUT

This limited edition print on stretched canvas is sold out, but there are 13" x 19" limited edition prints on paper still available in my shop.
Ivan Chan Studio: Invite Beauty

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Newly listed! Sphinx NFS

Newly listed! Sphinx Sphinx, oil on canvas, 18" x 24" NFS

This Original Finger Painting is not-for-sale, but you can still read the descriptino of it in my gallery.
Ivan Chan Studio: Invite Beauty

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Sneak Preview! Sphinx-a-licious Makeover

Sneak Preview! Sphinx-a-licious Makeover
There's a quotation I've heard paraphrased and attributed to many people, but it goes something like, "masterpieces are never finished, only abandoned."

It's more than a quirky thought, it's an acknowledgement that, despite what other people may want to think, there are no "masterpieces" out there that sum up and act as be-all and end-all for any author, artist, poet, composer, etc. Any master knows that mastery is acceptance that you'll never learn everything, but that you're dedicated to keep learning. No sitting on any laurels, hear?

If you've been to my gallery or eBay store (and if you haven't, get thee to my gallery or eBay store go), you'll remember a painting of a sphinx I did a few months ago. The responses I've gotten have delighted me: unnerving, unsettling, and creepy, to name a few.

As an artist, it's wonderful to incite emotion in my audience. Even if it's disgust, I'm happy that you felt a response (or reaction) to my work. Like they say, the opposite of love isn't hate, it's apathy.

With Sphinx, I was originally very happy with what I had painted. However, with time, exposure to different influences, and life experience in general, I wanted to change the painting while I still had it. Don't ask me to explain the background, I can't; I'll ask you to feel it, though.

Another post, probably later today, when I make Sphinx available on eBay with detailed close-up pics for your purrusing pleasurrre. (Sorry, couldn't help it.)

Take care,


Monday, August 14, 2006

Newly from Ivan Chan Studio! Rapture SOLD

Newly listed! Rapture Rapture, oil on canvas, 16" x 16"

This Original Finger Painting is sold but can still be seen in my gallery. The limited edition (3) print is also sold out.

For more Original Finger Paintings, limited edition prints, and collectible greeting cards, please visit my shop.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Sneak Preview! An Azure Rhapsody

Sneak Preview! An Azure Rhapsody Rapture in Blue (tentative title), oil on canvas, 16" x 16" x 1.5"

Here's the latest drying on my easel! Between now and when (or if) I make it available on eBay, please feel free to send me an inquiry if you're interested in this piece.

Due to the frequency with which I create new works, I will avoid spamming my mailing list by posting peeks and freshly listed art here, first, and then sending out email weekly or thereabouts (depends on if my muse is taking a vacation or day trip) that collects what's been happening at Ivan Chan Studio.

Check back here or my web site often if you want to beat the crowds!

Thanks for all your support and interest.


Friday, August 11, 2006

New! Limited edition fine art print of "Dharma Bodhisattva" painting SOLD OUT

New! Limited edition fine art print of Dharma Bodhisattva, giclée, 13" x 19" SOLD OUT

The limited edition of five bold yet peaceful Dharma Bodhisattva prints is now sold out, but can still be seen in my gallery.

For more Original Finger Paintings, limited edition prints, and collectible greeting cards, please visit my shop.

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Newly listed! Reawakened and Witness SOLD

Newly listed! Reawakened
Reawakened, oil on canvas, 16" x 12" x 0.5" SOLD

Newly listed! Witness
Witness, oil on canvas, 18" x 36" x 1.5" SOLD

These two Original Finger Paintings are sold, but you can still see them in my gallery.

Please click an individual image to see it specifically.

For more Original Finger Paintings, limited edition prints, and collectible greeting cards, please visit my shop.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Sneak Preview! Cherry blossoms in summer

Sneak Preview! Cherry blossoms in summer As yet untitled, oil on canvas, 16" x 12"

Last week, a friend I hadn't heard from in 13 years surprised me with an email. Doing a search on the mighty mighty Internet, she had found me through my eBay store and reading my bio there, figured it had to be me. She was right and I was thrilled--we talked soon after (first conversation was over four hours), laughing and catching up. She's as beautiful, strong, and funny as I remember her. Her husband sounds great, too--can't wait to meet him!

My reconnection with her inspired this painting. It's spring in the picture, the celebrated season of cherry blossoms, and what was once dormant has awakened.

Stay tuned for when this piece will be listed on eBay, most likely within the next two days. Inquiries are always welcome, and a better photograph plus description will always be ready when the artwork is officially available (and you'll know when it's available if you're on my mailing list!).

Thanks again for everybody's interest!

Take care,


Monday, August 07, 2006

St. Sebastian sans arrows

St. Sebastian sans arrows

Well, I'm on a roll.
If you're on my mailing list, you're treated to special, sneak previews of my work like this latest painting of St. Sebastian entitled Witness.
You can see the finished painting now (and future new artwork) on the home page of my spankin' site ( as well as in my gallery (where you'll find a detailed description of the piece). Both sites are accessible to your right in the links section ("Invite Beauty").
Fully frontal and fully dried, the peek-a-boo period is over. Witness is available now before I put it up for auction on eBay, so I welcome any inquiries.
If I do list Witness, I'll post a notice in this here blog, as I will for all future listings, as well as send out a holler to those on my mailing list. See? I'm bringing it back home--sign up for my mailing list if you haven't already! Goodies await you.

Welcome to Insight, my sputnik contribution to the blogosphere!

I admit it.

I've been procrastinating posting to this blog. It's the beginning of another commitment, something else for my creativity to pit-bull onto until its jaws are pried loose by those jacks firefighters use to help people escape from elevators.

I'm mixing my metaphors and I owe pit bull owners an apology. Jeez, this is getting off to a bad start, isn't it?

Anyway, the way I start a painting or a story is by making a mark. Any ol' mark on the canvas, or a random sentence on the page. It's like taking a bite of the forbidden fruit or cracking an egg--you purposely ruin that static perfection so you can have wonderful, riotous creation.

It's working for me so far.

All the best,