Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Sketches du Jour: Yesterday, Today, and the Future

I'm so tired right now it's not even funny! However, I didn't want to leave everyone high and dry for my daily sketches, so here are some to tide you over until Friday (at which time I should be recuperated, but if not, I'll be promoting new products in my Everday Beauty line that I look forward to sharing with you (and remember, there's free shipping on orders over $50 from my new shop until February 14! Check the store or the banner below for details!)
Thanks again for your support and interest in my work!
Take care,

Monday, January 29, 2007

Sketch du Jour: Jump rope

A simple sketch that I really like. Perhaps something for my new shop, Ivan Chan Studio: Everyday Beauty?

Take care,


Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sketches du Jour: Vampire! And random lips.

I sketched this kid and to tease him, I added little vampire fangs. He got a kick out of it.

Those lips were sketched on a recon mission for lips. Mostly gestural, this was more note-taking than anything detailed.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

New from Ivan Chan Studio! Out on a Limb NFS

Out on a Limb, oil on canvas, 36" x 12"
Please click on the image to see more Original Finger Paintings, limited edition prints, and collectible greeting cards in the Here Kitty Series section of my store.
Ivan Chan Studio: Invite Beauty

Sneak Preview! Out on a limb

Ha! I'm early today. Or I just haven't gone to sleep yet and I should!
This sneak preview was very hard to photograph for a variety of reasons, but the most challenging aspect for me is the iridescence in the paint--a wonderful reflective quality like gold leaf (but with a twist), the green comes off blue unless I correct it, but then I'm curious how much of the iridescence isn't captured by the camera.

I did say I was planning on having a green background in a blue cat triptych that started with Deep Kitty, but until I get to that, or if I do, I decided to put the green in here. Hm.


Monday, January 22, 2007

Sketches du Jour: Sojourner Truth and Raven's Wings

I sketched these last year (it seems like I had so much time, or was frustrated more often, back then--sketching is a great stress reliever, besides being an image bank or visual reference builder).

I've been thinking of doing a painting of Sojourner Truth for a long time now; I've always admired her ever since I read her poem, "Ain't I a Woman?" on a poster a teacher of mine had in his classroom.

The raven's wings (the second wing is in shadows), with no irony intended, was a study for future work involving raven wings.

The two sketches are to make up for the one I missed yesterday.

It would be great to have new daily sketches in my sketchpad, and I do--but they're far rougher than before. They're the bare scratchings of an idea, more to get rid of their burdensome weight in my head than to put down a full-fledged concept. Where the concepts get worked out is on my canvas--it keeps my paintings lively, spontaneous, and fun. I like to surprise myself.

Thanks again for joining me on this adventure!

Take care,


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Web site re-designed!

Hi all,

Please check out my re-designed web site! There's a spankin' About page (used to be my Bio page) with new content that's a great place to visit often for info on events, awards, articles and more!

Many thanks to my awesome web designer!

Take care,


Ivan Chan Studio: Invite Beauty

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Sketch du Jour: Student

This is a student I once knew. Such a friendly kid! And he was crazy about my art--if I sketched anything for him, he wouldn't let the sketch go, but would instead hold it in his hand while he did everything from take tests to doing math!
He also had a peculiar habit of turning sketches I made for him of Star Wars characters into "action figures," i.e., he tore the sketch enough so he could make the "legs" move.
Maybe that was just another form of modern art?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Sketch du Jour: Sea Otter

Sea otter, Enhydra lutris
I was going to do a sneak preview of my latest painting (of a raven), but the night got away from me.

Actually, I went to a birthday party and spent the better part of the evening resisting the cakes (yes, plural). I was going to write, "resisting dessert," but aren't birthday cakes, despite whatever comes before them, really the entree of a birthday celebration?

Here's a sea otter to satisfy the loyal.

Invite Beauty,


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

New from Ivan Chan Studio! The Unity of Our Atoms SOLD

The Unity of Our Atoms, oil on canvas, 12" x 16"

This Original Finger Painting is sold, but please click on the image to see more in the Hippo Series section of my store!

Update on Arts Commission

Today, I was asked by a member of the arts committee that awarded me the public commission on Mt. Hermon Road and Whispering Pines if I'd trade my spot with another artist.

My artwork will be placed at the other end of Scotts Valley, near the town of Felton (where I spent many years--it reminded me of Cicely where Northern Exposure was set). A different kind of crossroads, but an entry and exit point for many commuters nonetheless.

The reason for the swap is because two girls were recently hit by a car on the corner where my art would have been placed (they're both recuperating and doing well). The mother of one of the girls wished for a winning painting of roses (her daughter's name is Rose) to be placed at that corner with the title (as yet unconfirmed), Stop and Smell the Roses. How could I refuse a request like that?

So my koi will swim further downstream (or upstream, depending on your perspective) than I expected, but it's for a good cause and now at least a piece of me will be in dear old Felton for at least a couple of years.

In related news, the awards ceremony will be coming up soon, I'm told. Y'all will be the first to hear!

Take care,


Monday, January 15, 2007

Sneak Preview! Pink Hippo

Here's the hippo that's been in my head (explains the migraine or tension headache I had earlier today that incapacitated me for a good few hours of precious sunlight). Again, I'm using symbols from East Asian Buddhist iconography (the halo, not the hippo) and aesthetics to get my point which, if it isn't apparent yet from what I've written about my Here Kitty series, is the divinity within all of us.

For atheists, what I'm talking about is the unity of our atoms.

Take care,


Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sketches du Jour: Les and Mo

I do my best to be on time and to do what I say I'll do, but sometimes I fall short of my own goals and expectations.
Here are four sketches--three that I owed (remember the Pinnacles National Monument trip and the sketches from there? Still forthcoming one of these days, but they're taking a back burner to other things I need to store in my hand's memory) and one for today. They're rough and I considered not uploading them, but I find them interesting because they're a map of how I see, how my eyes are gathering information.
I'm still debating the triptych idea, or a mini-series of three for the latest Here Kitty painting, Deep Kitty. However, I have two images in my head that I need to get out first before really knowing if I want to make the triptych. A hippo and raven are on their way, I believe.
Anyway, I had planned on finishing them today, but my attendance was requested at a 70's birthday party and I just had to go. When else would I get to celebrate such exuberance in color, fashion, and textiles--while not standing at my easel? At a 70's party doing the hustle and electric slide, of course!
I'm pooped. More tomorrow!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

New from Ivan Chan Studio! See and You Shall Find Limited Edition Print

See and You Shall Find, giclee on photography paper, 13" x 19"

Please click on the image to read the description, see detailed pics, and to purchase this highly limited edition print (only 3!).

Friday, January 12, 2007

New from Ivan Chan Studio! Deep Kitty SOLD

Deep Kitty, oil on canvas, 12" x 16"

This Original Finger Painting is sold, but please click on the image to see more from my Here Kitty Series.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Sneak Preview! Here Kitty #5: Red

Right, so I'm exhausted and the allergy medication I'm taking isn't helping.

This is a sneak preview of possibly 1/3 of a triptych. The plan was to finish all three tonight (red background, green background, and lastly, a yellow background), but then, the plan was also to have a sketch a day and to have landscape sketches from my trip to Pinnacles National Monument ready for my blog!

The best laid plans of cats and creative people, I tell ya! You never know when a ball of string will grab your attention or it's time for a nap. I may just beg your forgiveness now and get a fresh start with the Sketch du Jour. This is the "irrhythmic web log of my creative process," after all. Three cheers for irrhythmia! (Yes, I'm tired, medicated, and feeling punchy.)

Anyway, this painting--whether as part of a triptych or as a singular piece--will be listed tomorrow (Friday) afternoon in my shop. Please send me an inquiry if you're interested in purchasing this original painting directly from me.

Oh, in other news--I've been asked to contribute artwork to a charity auction! I'm honored by the request and will post more info as soon as I know.



Wouldn't it be loverly...?

Wouldn't it be great if today were yesterday and I had done my Sketch du Jour as planned?

Wednesday's sketch is coming, and I hope today (Thursday) will see the completion of my latest painting(s). We'll see how things go. I hear there's a cold spell coming and that our oasis here might even see snow!

Perhaps this will help knock out my allergies, which have been incapacitating me. A warm winter has brought with it a false spring, I believe, and the acacias are blooming, as well as a variety of molds and fungi, I'm sure. Ugh.

My sketches will soon get rougher and rougher; although I enjoy using my watercolor field sketch box, it will be easier for me to work directly in pen or pencil, with the occasional use of a wash (oh! I have this great water brush pen from Japan I'm itching to use! Hail, hail portability!).

Thanks for your indulgence and patience. Entertain yourself in the meantime with a stroll through my shop!

Sneezy wheezy,


Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Sketch du Jour: Tulips

I haven't gotten to the landscape sketches yet--where does the time go? Even though I'm a quick draw, I also need quiet of mind to do it, and lately my mind is like the proverbial monkey with its tail on fire. Busy, busy, busy, and my friends I'm sure will stop speaking to me before too long!

Here's a sketch of tulips in acrylic on cardboard. I have to say, I prefer painting with my fingers unless I'm using watercolors, but I keep returning to acrylics and giving them a chance. They're fun once I've put a gel retarder into them to slow their drying time, but without it, it's like trying to paint with glue! Which can and has been done, but that's beside the point.

These tulips are based on a photograph my friend Lilly took while we visited Butchart Gardens in Canada.

I miss Canada. Vancouver still calls to me.


Web site update coming along

The update of the web site is coming along, and I had planned for it to be up by last week, but now I'm thinking a better week to have it uploaded is the week of my birthday. We'll see how things go.

Thanks for checking in!

Take care,


Monday, January 08, 2007

Sketch du Jour: Dragon, boy, and orchid (landscapes for another day!)

A dragon (based on an iguana) for a girl I knew who loved dragons.

A sketch in colored pencil on cardboard, after David McPhail.
Dendrobium (orchid) sketched in watercolor pencil.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Sneak Preview! Kitty on a Cloud

This is a snapshot of my latest painting, which will be in the popular Here Kitty series.

I take my inspiration from East Asian artwork, and use the cats to communicate the idea that we all have Buddha nature (the potential to be awake and free of suffering), regardless of species. It's kind of St. Francis meets Siddhartha.

There will be gold in the background instead of the burnt sienna you see (I like using burnt sienna as a ground to "warm up" the gold). Further refining will occur, and I have two more kitties on this 12" x 36" canvas to finish, not to mention some other landscape details I'm considering (I do confess a weakness for blossoming cherry trees).

Take care,


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Sketch du Jour: Date

This is sketch of a date from one of those great Eyewitness books (they're visual dictionaries for kids but really, a treasure for anyone to have in their library).

Every now and then I break out the colored pencils and go at it.

Alright, back to working on my next painting...


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Sketch du Jour: Anonymous portrait and Darth Maul

I owe two Sketch du Jour drawings, so here they are! One drawn for the heck of it and the other drawn after several requests by kids. (Darth Maul has an entrancingly beautiful character design.)
Happy New Year to all!