Saturday, September 30, 2006

First Edition Limited Print of Rapture SOLD OUT

There are only three prints made of my Rapture painting, and presently, only two are available (I might even keep one, I like it so much--and miss the original). (Update: This limited edition print is sold out but you can still read the description in my gallery.)

I'd like to share with you the picture to the right. I took it so a collector could see what the sides are like in this print. The original had black sides, but the ultramarine blue is luxuriously wrapped around on the limited edition print.

What a temptation, to hold onto my work.

I.

Green with Environmentalism

Several people have been asking me when I was going to produce a line of greeting cards. Well heck, as soon as possible now that I know people want them!

It's always good to let me know what you'd like to see come out of Ivan Chan Studio, from a limited edition print to a greeting card to more mermen, I appreciate the suggestions immensely. Please don't be shy with your feedback and comments! Your wishes will never come true if you keep them the best kept secrets in the world.

Anyway, "as soon as possible" has been a few weeks due to my search for an environmentally-friendly paper to use as card stock. I'm interested in hemp- and kenaf-based papers (totally tree-free!), but right now I'm enamored with GreenPix, which has matching envelopes, from Red River.

GreenPix is made from 100% recycled post-consumer material (means it's paper that was actually used and recycled, not just never-used waste), the first and only one of its kind designed specifically for high-quality prints!

What surprised me when I received the paper sample was the smoothness and exceedingly white surface--two things usually missing from recycled paper--and how much I actually like a matte surface. All of my prints so far, if not on canvas, are on ultra high gloss photo paper, which is great for showing off luminosity and iridescence in my paintings. However, GreenPix's matte finish does a good job of bragging about color saturation!

Proofs done of Dharma Bodhisattva, The Quality of Mercy, Here Kitty, and Manifest Destiny were so rich and velvety they should've been made of chocolate.

Okay, I'm craving chocolate right now, but you get the idea. They look great. As I gear up to have these cards produced, I'm again opening up the studio for suggestions. Which paintings would you like to see on an art card? What combinations would you like to see in one set? I might just name a particular set after you!

There will be 10-12 cards (5" x 7" folded cards and also 5" x 7" note cards) in each box--but speaking of boxes, I'm going fully environmental here and doing without the boxes with plastic lids--and instead wrapping the cards with handmade paper. It'll be gorgeous.

So talk to me. The Little Beauties line of art cards from Ivan Chan Studio are coming soon--get your suggestions in and have a say about what your holiday and warm thoughts will be clothed in!

Best,

I.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

New from Ivan Chan Studio! Rapture print SOLD OUT

Rapture, giclee on stretched canvas, 16" x 16" x 1.5"

The limited edition (3) print is sold out. Please click on the image to visit my gallery to read the description of this blissful work.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

New from Ivan Chan Studio! Caught print

Caught, giclee on unstretched canvas, 11" x 8.5"
Please click on the image to read the description, see detailed pics, and to bid on this slippery piece.

I feel the need! The need for--oh, hello, officer

I was caught speeding a couple of months ago on my way to a friend's birthday party. I'm now stuck with the opportunity of taking driver's ed classes, but things have changed a bit since the last time I cashed in my law-abiding citizen chips.

This time around, I'm taking traffic school online. It's kind of neat. I'm using the FLASH version of the site, but I think the HTML version might be better. You see, they don't let you click the "next" button until they think you've had enough time to read each slide. The "next" button doesn't even exist in a grayed out sort of existence to tease you. It's just not there until it is, at which time, you've had enough time to read the slide and move on.

Besides discrediting my reading speed, which I thought was slow, I find the approach paternalistic. Sure, I got busted by an authority figure, but does that really mean I'm so irresponsible that I can't handle my own education? I admit, I did choose to speed, just as I had made choices that resulted in my tardiness (and presently, delays in creating new work). It wasn't traffic, time did not conspire against me and move faster (I was the only speeder in this case).

So if I decide to skim the slides and take my chances with the test (proctored at a local mailbox service center), isn't that my risk to accept--and take? Not that it was even a risk. I just read faster than they think I can.

We're ultimately responsible for ourselves. We're all self-taught--I can't imagine anybody else being responsible for our own learning.

Now I just wish I could teach myself these traffic rules faster. Damn technology.

I.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Sneak Preview! Reconnections



Constellation, oil on canvas, 20" x 30"

Constellation detail
My mother recently reconnected with a friend of hers she hadn't seen in fifty years. Fifty years! Her friend was living in Thailand and through the Internet, managed to track my mother down through alum associations that went as far back as elementary school in Taiwan.
I have been experiencing reconnections myself in the last two months--first a friend from high school, then a friend from second grade, and--initiated by me--a friend from middle school.
It's dizzying, reestablishing friendships--a path into the past. I feel oddly shaken by it all, yet more whole, and was inspired to make this latest painting in red and gold.
Each circle, or sphere, is etched with a design. The detail I've shown here (a rarity with my sneak previews) depicts something like a labyrinth you'd see from the Middle Ages in Europe. A variety of other symbols, both easy and difficult to make out, are scratched into the gold--I was influenced by tabernacles of Christian iconography where gold leaf was applied to a painting, then hammered, pressed, and scratched with designs to form haloes or to give glimmering depth to angels' wings.
I like that this looks like a constellation. I've always been fascinated by star maps, especially since I never could see the thing they were supposed to be--a crab? A hero? A princess? The only ones that made sense were the Dippers, but they were a pattern I was prepared to see. I wanted to connect the dots.
Take care,
I.

Friday, September 22, 2006

I owe, I owe, so off to blog I go...

I read somewhere that Henry Miller once opened his door and hollered, "I OWE EVERYBODY!"

For me, I share his cry--of frustration, humility, and gratitude.

It's frustrating because I was taught while growing up in the U.S. that you had to be completely individual and independent, that owing someone meant weakness and a lack of character strength. The truth is, we can't help but owe everybody--from our parents gettin' down to the anonymous workers who grow our food to the authors whose books we read or painters whose art we see in order to become "self-taught" (isn't all learning dependent upon our will?).

Sure, I would love to indulge in a pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps kind of belief where I can boast that nobody helped me get to where I am--but don't the gods punish us for hubris?

Speaking of hubris, the idea of owing everybody is also a humble statement. Besides being an acknowledgement that we're part of something bigger than ourselves, even if we were to be recluses mowing our own wheatgrass for sustenance up in the mountains, it's an acceptance of responsibility for any wrong we may have done someone else. I owe apologies--not requests for forgiveness, I wouldn't impose that on those I've trespassed--to so many people in my life that I offer now my sincerest apologies to those I've offended and hurt (and I hope they're reading this). If you think you might deserve a more personalized apology, hit me up--I may have been looking for you and haven't found you yet.

Lastly, owing everybody is an expression of gratitude. I wouldn't be here without all of you, past, present, and future; strangers and familiars and everyone in between.

Many, many thanks.

I.

Monday, September 18, 2006

New from Ivan Chan Studio! From Nomad 2 Dervish

From Nomad 2 Dervish, oil on canvas, 12" x 24"
Please click on the image to read the description, see the detailed pics, and to bid on this abstract piece!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Sneak Preview! Amazing grace

As yet untitled, oil on canvas, 12" x 24"

I recently visited the web site, Ashes and Snow. I was deeply moved by Gregory Colbert's work, and this painting, which had been brewing in my thoughts for a while, felt ready to be expressed in the world.
I am uneasy with my own abstracts. I don't understand them, to be honest. Not quite a dream, or a flash of realization, sometimes they are a thick essay of feeling. I usually obliterate them with a figurative work: something I can understand, a signpost that, even if I fear to travel to where it points, I can see its direction.
There was an upheaval in my life a few years ago that set me on the path of a nomad--not a lost wanderer, as some people conceive of nomads being--but someone with a restless route, moving with the seasons to survive, visiting safe harbors, and those that seemed familiar.
It wasn't until I allowed myself to commit to art did I stand still--and continue to move. Like the hub of a wheel, or the spinning dervishes of Sufism, I finally found my center--and I am reaching to touch it.
Take care,
I.



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Wednesday, September 13, 2006

New from Ivan Chan Studio! Dreaming Boy

Dreaming Boy, oil on canvas panel, 9" x 12"

Please click on the image to read the description, see the detailed pics, and to bid on this faraway image.

Ivan Chan Studio: Invite Beauty

Sneak Preview! Golden dreams

This is going to be another short sneak preview, more of an Ivan Chan Studio Unplugged glance at my easel before I prepare to list this painting tonight.

It's 9" x 12" on canvas panel with an acrylic ground of burnt umber (a rich, chocolatey brown) and the image and gold (which this photograph seriously does not do justice) done in oil paint. I suppose this qualifies as "mixed media" but since most canvases are prepared with an acrylic gesso, I don't know where the line is drawn.

I'm much more concerned with the creative process than I am of the categorizing process, but I'd like to help the painting meet as many people who are interested in its details, as well as the bigger picture.

You got it where?

Recently, I was at lunch with a friend who asked me, "How's it going selling eBay art?"

I've thought of my art as many things, but never have I thought of it as eBay art. I mean, what is that exactly? Is it on the same level as the sweatshop-produced prints shoppers can find at Bed, Bath & Beyond, Target, and Cost Plus? Or does it have its own peculiar pong that differentiates it from the mass of mass-produced art out there?

Okay, I can't verify that said prints from the above-mentioned stores were made in sweatshops. That's unfair of me, and I admit it. The truth is, those stores can have some nice, affordable stuff and surprising treasures (I do love Ross) to beautify a home, and I won't stand in the way of anybody inviting beauty into their lives (well, I might lie down in front of a bulldozer paving the way for a Wal-mart, regardless of whether Wal-mart sold prints or not).

I know eBay has a reputation for great deals. The kind people like to brag about. And why shouldn't stunning, original artwork be available at a great deal, too?

The Internet has made the fortress of art commerce into a cozy Renaissance Faire village so that all those extra things you didn't know you were paying for (or try not to think about) has been kicked out of the system and you get to work with, face to face--or computer to computer--the artist him- or her-self. Isn't this something to celebrate, even venerate? Email has saved us postage and allowed us to communicate almost instantaneously across immense distances. What has a venue--a medium, a channel, a marketplace--like eBay done for art lovers across the world?

This is not to say I don't like galleries, or that I don't respect what they need to do to survive in this business. It's hard, I know, and they do the work most artists don't like or don't know how to do, so they get a big thank-you, too.

What I am saying, however, is that we shift our thinking and give credit where credit is due. I sell through my web site and through eBay because the Internet in general and eBay in particular are places where I can connect with literally millions of people. That's a gift from the gods even in the largest of cities.

So if anybody asks, "where did you get that wonderful painting," please smile with pride and let 'em know: You got it from Ivan Chan Studio.

And the biggest thank-you will be from me to you!

Invite Beauty,

I.

Calling All Angels

An artist I admire, Gene Ha, lost his friend to heart failure on New Year's Day. His friend, Barry Winston, is survived by his 12-year old daughter, Brianna.

Barry's friends set up a college fund for Brianna, and Gene was inspired to help raise funds by auctioning his awesome artwork.

Please check out Gene Ha's charity eBay auction and help spread the word about this great cause!

Take care,

I.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

New from Ivan Chan Studio! The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect, oil on canvas, 18" x 18"

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

Ivan Chan Studio: Invite Beauty


Sunday, September 10, 2006

Sneak Preview! Hold your peace

The Butterfly Effect, oil on canvas, 18" x 18"
This painting is based on a line drawing I did a couple of years ago. I thought it'd be nice to have it in color (and make a few adjustments; am I ever really done with any of my paintings? Beware if you invite me over and own one of them--I might be tempted to "fix" something while you're off getting more tea and cookies!) so SHAZAM! Here it is so far.
I had a bout of food poisoning that knocked me on my tokhes for a day and a half (I can stagger to work with the 'flu, but food poisoning is like the Muhammad Ali of everyday illnesses--and don't let anybody tell you it's the stomach 'flu, because there's no such thing! It's just food poisoning of one sort or another! Go ask any doctor) and I'm still a bit wonky, so this painting may be radically different after I see it in the light of day.
I know artificial lighting was only recently invented in the even shorter course of our evolution, but I really am a night person and so I paint best at night and when I think I'm mostly done, I can't wait to share it with you, hence the bleary-eyed night photo sneak previews.
Does the lighting affect my art? Sure, but no more than my mood, what I ate for dinner, or whom I talked to earlier. I know my palette like I know a spontaneous friend.
Anyway, back to this painting. I'm pretty sure it's going to be titled, The Butterfly Effect, after the notion that a butterfly beating its wings on one side of the world can cause a hurricane on the other side: that is, a small change in one place can cause a large change elsewhere. It's a play on the yoga position the child is in, but also the idea that world peace begins with the individual--and ripples gently outward.
Take care,
I.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

New from Ivan Chan Studio! Manifest Destiny

Manifest Destiny, acrylic (and graphite) on canvas panel, 9" x 12"

Please click on the image to read the description, see detailed pics, and to bid on this thought-provoking new painting!

Ivan Chan Studio: Invite Beauty

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Sneak Preview! Manifest Destiny


Here's a sneak preview of my first acrylic painting since Burning Monk way back at the end of March (you can see that painting in my gallery; look under the Buddhist Series set at the right or enjoy a stroll down memory lane to the earlier paintings until you get to it).

It's an image I return to, and that first had its manifestation as a sidewalk chalk painting (promptly washed off by the city due to merchant complaints--it was done Downtown). I heard many interesting comments while making it: some encouraging, others disapproving, and oh yes, an apologetic warning by a sympathetic police officer.

Hey, I was in college, and it wasn't like it was graffiti that wouldn't wash off with the first dew! Regardless, I've always wanted to paint the image again (and do variations) so tonight, I finally did.

Influenced by pictures from the traditional game, Loteria, palm reader advertisements, and my own brand of humor, I don't remember the original one being at all political (it was more a spiritual smack upside the head if anything)--but when I finished and looked at this piece, I couldn't help but read a sign of the times.

Take care,

I.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

New from Ivan Chan Studio! Burning Blues SOLD

Burning Blues, oil on organic hemp canvas, 10" x 10" SOLD
Please click on the image to read the description in my gallery.
Ivan Chan Studio: Invite Beauty

Sneak Preview! Here Kitty 2

As yet untitled, oil on hemp, 10" x 10"
There's a store that just sells hemp products in my town and it's great--there's a surfboard that shows how hemp can replace plastic, paper products, clothing, bags, etc. It's amazing what this versatile plant can produce, and it makes you wonder why it's so maligned!
According to this store, the word "canvas" means "cannabis" in Dutch, but I'll have to check that out further; also, they state that the "old masters" (of Europe) such as van Gogh painted on hemp canvases, not cotton or linen ones!
It's always a hoot, uncovering potential histories.
Take care,
I.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Names People Play

Some of you may have noticed changes in the titles of my pieces. What was once Buddha Kitty changed to Karma Cat on Lotus and is now available as Here Kitty; Siren became Waiting Siren.
I'm usually uncomfortable letting people in on my process, only because it's like a surprise visit and I haven't straightened up my home (even as I shamelessly divulge the secret turnings of my cogs and wheels through no invitation on your part--other than your willingness to visit and read this blog). However, this online journal is called Insight for a reason, and I'm a man of my word.

So long as a piece is with me, it's mine and it evolves with me. As I live with my art, I begin to understand what I was expressing at the moment, and so the title has to change, as titles for me are part of the experience of a piece of art. I'm lucky I don't have children--they'd be tortured on the playground daily with taunts like, "The Kid Formerly Known As..."

For this proclivity towards nomenclature, I blame my love of words--although I promise to have a few Untitled paintings, maybe number others, and possibly get creative by only christening some artwork by its predominant colors. Why not? All names are entertainment.

Invite Beauty,

I.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Newly listed! Reawakened print

Reawakened, giclee on ultra high gloss photography paper, 19" x 13"

I'm so happy with this print I'm beside myself!

Please click the image to read the description, see detailed pics, and to bid on the FIRST in this limited edition print (only five!) from the popular painting, Reawakened (you can see the original in my gallery).

Ivan Chan Studio: Invite Beauty