Monday, July 30, 2007

Stars on thars

Remember when you got a gold star for being a good student? Remember how good it felt?

Okay, when I got my blue star from eBay--meaning I received 50 positive feedback stars--I felt good. Great, in fact! I work hard to make sure that what comes out of my studio--from the paintings to the packages they're shipped in--are of the best quality. My customers (and the artists I have patronised) have respected and honored my efforts, skills, talents, and good business practices by giving me these stars.

I'm grateful. Thanks to everyone, from the very first to the fiftieth--you've made being an artist a wonderful and fulfilling experience!

Take care,


Ivan Chan Studio: Invite Beauty

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Framed limited edition print of Dharma Bodhisattva SOLD

Dharma Bodhisattva, limited edition print of 5

This framed limited edition print has been sold. Please click on the image to see other artwork in my Buddhist Series, including Original Finger Paintings, limited edition prints, and cards.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Art to fill your heart

This is a beautiful ACEO (Art Card Editions and Originals) by the very talented (and frequent reader of my blog), Michelle Wiebe.

I won this original painting (Delphinium Fairy) at auction recently and am absolutely stunned by the gorgeosity of Michelle's work! So much detail in such a tiny space--and I'm not just talking about lines, but such things as the detail of this fairy's face. Look at the eyes, the mouth, the tilt of the head, the magical curls of the hair. And then on top of that, there are the details--the delicate washes of color, the exquisite black lines that define...this photo really can't capture everything you see in the real painting!

Please check out Michelle's work through her blog (MW-ARTCO in the list of Artist's Blogs I've got going on the left)--from there, you can see her Etsy shop and eBay auctions. Well worth your time perusing!

Take care,


Monday, July 23, 2007

Little Beauties Art Cards: Reawakened Set

Little Beauties Art Cards: Reawakened
Set of 10 Cards & Envelopes

Please click on the image to read the description, see detailed pics, and to purchase this wonderful set of cards.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Reorganized surprise!

Have you visited my gallery lately?

I've just updated it!

Before, on the right side, you could pick from sets of my paintings--all of the Here Kitty Series, all the Koi paintings, etc.

Now, I've organized these sets into collections! For example, all of my work in series (Here Kitty, Buddhist, Merman, Tiki Series) are now in one convenient collection.

Please check out my gallery and if you have any suggestions, I'm all ears.

Take care,


Thursday, July 12, 2007

New from Ivan Chan Studio! Fugu! NFS

Fugu!, acrylic on canvas, 24" x 24"
Finger painted

Please click on the image to read the description, see detailed pics, and to purchase this whimsical Original Finger Painting!

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Sneak Preview! Mr. Brightside

In tiki bars you'll inevitably find a pufferfish (blowfish) lamp.

There's something whimsical and morbid about these lamps. The fish aren't endangered as a species, but the quirky idea of putting a lightbulb inside a blown up fish with its spikes out for ineffectual protection, it just kinda gets to me. (Plus, they put googly eyes on the fish because its own eyes are usually dehydrated or something.) Pufferfish lamps make me smile at the same time I say, "That's uh...sick."

But is it? I suppose it isn't any different from a leather sofa or heck, a sofa upholstered with the black and white hide of a Holstein. And what about the desire for faux fur? There's something to be said about nature's fashion sense that we should envy it so.

Anyway, apart from the whole vegetarian and vegan arguments, it's interesting how animals (people included) and plants are used in different cultures.

There's the human thigh bone trumpet used by Tibetan monks. Red food dye we use derived from beetles. Amazon Rainforest plants for medicine. Horns and penes for erectile dysfunction. The list goes on.

So is it really that strange that somebody would find a lamp made from a pufferfish beautiful? Or fun? I'm even curious if anybody eats the meat of this poisonous fish before it gets the taxidermy treatment. It's a delicacy in Japan (the neurotoxin gives you a neat tingly feeling but if the chef isn't careful, you could get enough of the poison to kill you).

Waste not, want not.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

New from Ivan Chan Studio! Face the Tiki SOLD

Face the Tiki, acrylic on canvas, 15" x 30"
Finger painted

This painting has been sold, but you can read the description and see a larger pic in my gallery.
For more Original Finger Paintings, limited edition prints, and collectible cards, please visit my shop.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Sneak Preview! Face the Tiki

This is a Marquesan style tiki, based on the tikis created by the people of the Marquesas Islands (related to the Maori).

Another tiki painting using these stylized features can be found in my triptych, Something Tiki This Way Comes (the yellow tiki with the blue background).

I really wanted to go more abstract with this painting--more expressive colors and lines, especially since the last painting was more controlled. I figure if I'm going to use a gooey liquid medium (made the gooier by the addition of a molding paste for luscious texture), I might as well cut loose and see what happens. I enjoyed a previous venture into this style with my painting of Chaos/Control, so heck, why not with tikis, since they lend themselves to this sort of playfulness and passion.

I also wanted to work on facial features that weren't European or East Asian, but more South Asian and Pacific Islander. It's a relief to work with a broad nose and thick lips--to delight in the features of all peoples (even if it's abstracted like it is in this painting), especially those that look more like me.

During my research in to tiki, I found a site that discussed the ta moko, or facial tattoos, of the Maori. (I find the designs beautiful, but have refrained from using them in my work because it's been expressed by the Maori that not only are each moko as unique as a fingerprint, but to copy or use them without their permission is considered theft. I can respect that--it's not an equal artistic exchange if they're fighting for recognition of their culture, history, and lands). One of the comments made by the owner of the site about a portrait of a Maori chieftain as compared to a contemporary photo of a Maori, were the "refined" features of the chief and the peoples of old.

What made the features more refined? A narrower nose and thinner lips were pointed out. Hm.

It's nothing new that we project ourselves onto what we see and I think a portrait of a Maori painted by an European will probably make the man look more European! So what passes as refined--versus what, rough? vulgar?--is in fact one of those prejudices that we don't notice or question.

I want to share the beauty I see in people, in everything, as they are: from their standpoint. Of course, I'm doing this through art--a roundabout but ultimately straightforward path to the deeper truth that at our core, we are gorgeous.

Thanks for being alive with me.

Take care,


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

New from Ivan Chan Studio! Unwritten Wishes SOLD

Unwritten Wishes, acrylic on canvas, 24" x 24" SOLD
Finger painted!

Please click on the image to read the description, see detailed pics, and to purchase this quiet Original Finger Painting.

Sneak Preview! Unwritten wishes

I'm going to take the advice of my friend, the talented artist Michelle, and take different shots of this piece to see if I can capture the iridescent quality of the gold paint I used for the background.

It's striking how walking past this painting can change how it looks and feels, and the passing of the day has the same effect.

I wanted a picture that had the emptiness I admire in Japanese paintings on gold leaf. Although I was tempted to add a water lily or lotus, I decided to hold back on it this time and introduce another element, the two strips of paper flying across.

In Japan, there's a festival known as Tanabata, which remembers two separated lovers who are allowed to meet once a year on the seventh day of the seventh month. The lovers are represented by the stars Vega and Altair and the river that separates them is The Milky Way. There's also a part about magpies that form a bridge across the river for the lovers to meet which sounds like a wonderful subject for another painting.

Derived from a Chinese tale and festival but taking on a different life in Japan, the Japanese write wishes on this holiday and attach the colorful slips of paper onto bamboo. The paper is later burned, or perhaps blown by the wind somewhere to make the wish come true.

I must be in a wistful mood these days.

Take care,


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Sneak Preview! Upon a shell

A close-up of my sketch for an upcoming painting in my Merman Series.

Influenced by Odilon Redon's various pastel paintings depicting the birth of Venus (Roman Goddess of Love), this sleeping merman floats in an oyster shell on a gentle sea.

Thoughts of what makes a pearl--a bit of difficulty handled with perseverance until ultimately, it becomes something of beauty and value--comes to mind.

More later,