Wednesday, February 28, 2007

New from Ivan Chan Studio! If Only NFS

If Only, oil on canvas, 24" x 30"
This Original Finger Painting is no longer available but can still be viewed in my gallery.
Please visit my shop to see available artwork.
Ivan Chan Studio: Invite Beauty

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sneakiest Preview! He's actually a melusine

A two-tailed mer-man or mer-woman is a melusine--but since I don't draw full tails in my merman paintings, you wouldn't be able to tell (except the posture might look funny).

This painting will be listed either tomorrow or on Wednesday.

Sneakier Preview! Merman's progress

The spots in the bottom right corner of this pic are reflections from the wet paint, but what they capture are actually my fingerprints ("finger strokes" instead of "brush strokes").
I went to a workshop yesterday on paint sticks, specifically the ones made by Shiva (Richeson), and learned that a brush cleaner/restorer from Winsor & Newton can be used as a solvent instead of turpentine for all oils! Wow. This changes things--more options for how I make my paintings, and perhaps a different look and technique coming up.
The cleaner was developed because they needed something gentle to clean the monitors attached to premature babies. It turns out (like Viagra) it has other uses, such as restoring brushes, removing dried paint from linoleum floors, etc. And it's non-toxic, non-flammable, low vapor, etc. Why even bother using a toxic solvent when something this wondeful is at hand?
Take care,

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Sneak Preview! A merman's wish

A sketch for a possible merman painting.
It's funny. I had thought I was nearing the end of my Merman Series, but I plan for this to be the biggest one yet (maybe 24" x 30").
These paintings express so much and I guess that's why they're still necessary for me to create. As for what they express, I have my own ideas (which I duly share in my descriptions once I've listed a piece), but once you've seen my art, or anything in the world for that matter--it's yours. Wholly yours--to play with, think about, feel for or against; to analyze into bits and pieces and to synthesize into a spankin' new invention or concept.
Right. Insomnia has its limits, so before I start sounding completely incoherent, I'll sign off here and thank you kindly for your attention.
Goo' nigh',

Thursday, February 22, 2007

New from Ivan Chan Studio! Flying Tangerines with the Stars as Blossoms

Flying Tangerines with the Stars as Blossoms, oil on canvas, 12" x 16"

Please click on the image to read the description, see detailed pics, and to purchase this piece of good fortune!
Ivan Chan Studio: Invite Beauty

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Sneakier Preview! Flying tangerines

Alright, this painting changed.

I seem to be venturing into surreal territory. Ever since that darn Floating Vase of Oriental Poppies with Fluttering Koi on Golden Pond painting.

Citrus probably originated in Asia, Southeast Asia according to some records. It has a long history of cultural significance in Asia, representing prosperity among other things. I think the recent Lunar New Year (not Chinese New Year, since other cultures, like Korean and Vietnamese, celebrate it, too) has had an influence on me, especially since this year I didn't spend it with my family.

The blossoms in this picture--they're like stars to me. I've also had the image of the new moon (Lunar New Year's Eve) and the first sliver of a moon with a star next to it, in my mind.

It all comes out somehow.

Here's to the exploration.

(Oh, and I would have listed this painting today had I not finished painting it in the evening, at the same time it started raining. Lost my opportunity to photograph in sunlight, which captures the colors much better than artificial lighting. It's supposed to rain for the rest of the week, but I'll see what I can do tomorrow. Thanks to those where watching for this painting, and remember, you can always contact me about a painting before it's been listed if you'd like to purchase it--I'll give you a nice discount for saving me the trouble of putting it up for auction!)



Tuesday, February 20, 2007

New from Ivan Chan Studio! Limited edition art print

Floating Vase of Oriental Poppies with Fluttering Koi on Golden Pond
Giclee, 13" x 19"
Please click on the image to read the description, see detailed pics, and to purchase a print from this highly limited edition (only one remaining!).
Ivan Chan Studio: Invite Beauty

Monday, February 19, 2007

Sneak Preview! Citrus is good for you

I'm not a big fruit eater. I mean, I like them well enough. I'll eat most kinds of fruit if they're placed in front of me, preferably peeled and seedless (I can be so lazy).

I think the only times I've ever really jones'd for them were when I was on a road trip through the U.S. and man, fresh fruit was scarce. Not to mention lettuce by any other name than iceberg.

Still, now that I have an abundance of fruit around me (certainly not as abundant as in the tropics, where they have some alien looking fruits), I don't eat them much if they're too much work, or I'll binge and eat them for a few weeks and then nothing for the rest of the year. I usually do this with cherries and watermelon.

However, recently I discovered California mandarins, which I guess aren't tangerines. Anyway, they're easy to peel and sweet as candy. I pop three in my mouth and I'm good to go for lunch. Where were these "Cuties" when I was growing up? Hm. Makes me wonder how genetically engineered they are, and I don't mean by cross-pollinating.

Well, they're tasty. And I've been wanting to paint oranges and other citrus ever since I saw Cezanne's oranges in one of his paintings. Yummy.

Mine's a different flavor, of course.

Take care,


Sketch du Jour update

As fun as these daily sketches have been to post, I'm having trouble keeping up with everything else I have to do.

So, rather than have this grate on my integrity, I'm going to stop the Sketch du Jour sketches and offer to post my sketches on a more random schedule. Thanks for understanding!

In the meantime, I've listed some artwork I had in my shop up for auction. It's a great opportunity to get the original Ivan Chan Studio artwork you've been eyeing, and some even have free shipping offers (check out the prints)!



Ivan Chan Studio: Invite Beauty

Saturday, February 17, 2007

New from Ivan Chan Studio! What the Merman Sees SOLD

What the Merman Sees, oil on canvas panel, 12" x 9"

Please click on the image to read the description for this sold Original Finger Painting in my gallery. To see available Merman Series paintings, please visit my shop.
Ivan Chan Studio: Invite Beauty

Friday, February 16, 2007

Sneak Preview! The waters

A little different than what I usually do--I've not painted a realistic face on this merman. I wanted something more universal, something caught on the periphery of imagination, not in its direct gaze.

The work went quickly on this (once my hands could take the strain of painting again) and I kept in mind what I had read recently about Monet being influenced by Japanese prints--which often had a dark foreground figure or object (like a tree) and a pale blue and pink background (like a distant landscape). This is yet another interpretation of that sort of aesthetic, mixed in with the themes I explore in painting mermen.

I've also been thinking about what it is that I do, and have been doing. I suppose it's part of my nature as an artist to do a bit of navel-gazing in the name of research--introspection does have its merits when you consider what artists can teach us about ourselves through the sharing of their personal explorations.

Anyway, I've had several professions (and still entertain a few now, just for the heck of it), and it seems two predominant focii I've had are communication and symbols. I don't think I'd be a code-breaker or code-talker, though, since I have very little patience for puzzles and riddles--but when it comes to getting a message across, or interpreting a sign, or translating something into an abstracted form such as art and poetry--I'm your man.

Some people would say that a healthy interest in symbols makes me the puzzle maker. Ah. Now that's funny.

Take care,


Sketch du Jour: Salishan

A sketch of my friend's border collie, who passed away about four or five years ago.

Such a smart, sweet dog.


Sketch du Jour: Li is for Lion

A friend sent a friend of mine this page from an old British children's book that he found in Italy.

I was so enchanted by the illustration I did a quick sketch of it.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Update on awards ceremony and solo exhibit

Hi all,

I've been notified that the awards ceremony for the public arts commission I received back in December will be on March 7 at the Scotts Valley City Council Chambers. More details on my web site over the weekend. I believe it's going to be a brief ceremony, since it's right before the council meeting, which begins a half hour after the ceremony. (Now what am I going to wear? I thought about uniforming my army of supporters in shirts from Everyday Beauty...)

As for the show up at the University of California, Santa Cruz, we're still in the planning stages. I've been offered several exhibit spaces including the restaurant at Kresge College (my alma mater!), the Women's Studies Library, and a few other choice locations. I do love food so maybe it'll be the restaurant. Over a decade ago, I worked in that joint when I was a wee lit major (oh, how far I've strayed. Or have I?). It's since changed hands several times, but what the heck--it's still got incredible views of redwoods and is a social place. We'll see.

I think it'll be fun visiting UCSC again. It's been a few years, and we've both changed.

Take care,


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Sketch du Jour: Flower sketch

For fun, I've left some of my notes on the side of the page. I got into this habit from doing science illustration, where field notes were extremely important (I don't bother with weather conditions, barometer readings, etc. but I probably could).

Anyway, it's just a method of keeping track of things--how long it takes to make a sketch like this, when I made it, what I'm sketching, where, maybe even how I'm feeling that day or while I'm drawing (usually blissed out, even when I'm frustrated).

Had a rough day on my joints--overworked my hands yet again and twisted my ankle (yeah, yeah, I should watch where I step, but then who would be pointing out the clouds to people?).

I look forward to finishing the merman painting by tomorrow.

In other news, I heard about a "bidding war" for one of my paintings I donated to a charity auction to raise money for a local school district. I'm sure I was blushing when people came up to tell me how much they liked my painting, and I'm just glad my work was part of a group effort to support art and music education. (Thanks to the principal who spied my painting and had to have it, and of course to the other bidders and admirers! Y'all bring a great big smile to my face.)

If you're curious about the painting I donated, it's Floating Vase of Oriental Poppies with Fluttering Koi on Golden Pond.

With gratitude,


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Sketch du Jour: What the merman sees

This is a very rough sketch for my next merman painting in my aptly titled series, Merman Series.
I'm working despite a recent injury to my wrists that flared up my tendinitis. Not fun, but not making art makes me cranky. No fun for anyone around me, in that case.
I've been asked to exhibit up at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and to discuss my work and how it plays a part in the formation of my identity. Hm.
Take care,

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Sketch du Jour: Cover girl

Three days! Three days I haven't posted on here, please accept my apologies. I'll catch up this weekend, but right now, my hands hurt too much for me to type or sketch, so I'll keep this short. Thanks for your indulgence.

This sketch is based off of Kamil Vojnar's illustration for the book, Lily's Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff, an extremely talented author! I worked on it for about ten minutes before I had to do something else, so this is all I got done, again with my masochistic pen instead of an eraseable pencil.

I've been thinking of another merman painting, so when I have a sketch for that I'll post it. I had planned on making the sketch tonight, but I have to be careful or the tendinitis in my wrists will flare up (I got it from doing sign language interpreting in a sixth grade classroom), so it's cold packs and maybe watching The Devil Wears Prada tonight. I'll make up for the missing sketches, too.

In the meantime, yes, you know it already: go forth, check out, and spread the word about my new merchandise shop! There are new Manifest Destiny magnets that I'm sure you or a friend would love to have (aren't magnets magical?)--they're great for fridges, memos, and as a reminder that our fate is in our own hands.