Wednesday, October 31, 2007

New from Ivan Chan Studio! Between Heaven and Earth SOLD

Between Heaven and Earth, oil on canvas, 12" x 36" SOLD
Finger painted

This Original Finger Painting is sold but can still be viewed in my gallery.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Sneak Preview! Pelican on the wing

A friend and I were walking along the beach and spotted pelicans gliding in formation over the rolling waves. They never touched the water, and I've been told they don't scoop with their famous pouched bills while gliding--if they plan to catch fish, they'll dive for them (and that's dramatic to see, too!).

I've come back to this composition, at least thematically, twice before: the recent "Journey of a Thousand" and the earlier "Than Are Dreamt." There's something magical about it for me, something that rings true; it feels real if you've ever swam in deep waters, but there's an endless sense of mystery, and being, that these paintings elicit from me.

As with my merman paintings, I explore the idea of being in two worlds, sometimes caught and struggling, sometimes flying effortlessly and peacefully. I will come back again to this composition again, perhaps higher into the sky, and most certainly, deeper into the sea.

Take care,


Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Yes, there will be pictures!

Doorways & Dharma was an incredibly successful show thanks to the energy and generosity of Judy Ziegler, owner of Cornucopia Real Estate, and all the sponsors who joined in to make this not only a cultural experience, but a community event.

My gratitude for:

David of Chaikhana/Empty Boat, who served tea with the grace, knowledge, and wisdom that drew me to him and his tea shop in the first place.

Mark Malone, a sensitive guitarist whose ethereal music added another dimension of peace to the exhibit.

Center Street Grill, for their delicious hors d'ouevres that sustained both guests and hosts.

Pat Moore of Rivendell, whose presentation of gorgeous kimonos enriched our space further.

Marnye Livingston, an extraordinary photographer and bright spot in the world, who shared her skills and talents to document Doorways & Dharma for those who couldn't make it and those who would like to reminisce.

Christine Vollrath, a delightful, all-around helping hand who made everyone feel comfortable, welcome, and appreciated.

Ed Schaefer, a new friend whose support, mathematical curiosity (Brian's stained glass are intricate masterworks), and conversational skills made him indispensable and endearing (I think Judy either wants to adopt him or sell him a house so he'll be close enough to adopt).

Alex Dezj, a long-time friend whose encouragement made a difference when I was deciding whether to be an artist! Bringing his bud, Nelson the Chihuahua, was an added bonus.

My younger brother Leonard and his girlfriend Ruth, who were on a whirlwind trip up to San Francisco from Los Angeles and took a detour to Surf City just to hang out and see the wares. He treated to dinner (the sneak!) and enlivened our spirits with his indomitable (and raunchy) sense of humor.

Kenneth, whose stories about chickens are unforgettable, and who helped us clear out the Art Center in record time.

And to everyone who came to our show: a mighty thank you! Your ooh's and ah's, questions and compliments, time and interest were gifts. We are honored to have had the opportunity to share art, tea, and music with you.

Beauty is more than pretty, isn't it?

Take care,


Friday, October 19, 2007

Doorways & Dharma

Please join us for a celebration of art, tea, and music this Sunday!

For more information, please click on the image or visit my web site.

Ivan Chan Studio: Invite Beauty

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

New from Ivan Chan Studio! Journey of a Thousand SOLD

Journey of a Thousand, oil on canvas, 12" x 36"
Finger painted
This Original Finger Painting is sold but can still be viewed in my gallery.
For more Original Finger Paintings, limited edition prints, and collectible cards, please visit my shop.
Ivan Chan Studio: Invite Beauty

Sneak Preview! The Monarchs are coming! The Monarchs are coming!

Admittedly, this sneak preview is hard to see--the listing with its detailed pics will be much better.

This is a cousin to a previous painting, Than Are Dreamt. It's exploring composition, but also the themes of movement and mystery, perseverance and beauty. Compare both paintings and see what plays in your imagination.

As promised, the October colors are coming. These orange-red butterflies, the Monarchs, come through and rest in the central coast region of California from mid-October to February. They're on an intense, inter-generational migration that takes them all the way from Canada to the heart of Mexico.

It's never the same butterfly that makes the trip from north to south and back north again. The descendants of each generation continue the migration of their forebears, each generation surviving only a few weeks--except for the "Methusaleh generation" (named after the extremely long-lived biblical character), which is produced annually and lives up to eight months! (That's like you having kids that will live for six centuries.)

What a strange and beautiful world we live in.

Take care,


Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Guilty Aesthete Recants

Guilt, shame, and fear are monkey wrenches in our imagination.

It doesn't matter who threw the monkey wrench (somebody did). It doesn't matter that there's a monkey wrench stuck (we often find ways to keep it there--we might lose a favorite limb if we went in to get it out, right?). What matters, though, is that we remove it.

Have you ever heard these messages, either from yourself or from someone else?

"Who do you think you are?"

"The odds are terrible you'll succeed."

"You're being selfish."

"You think you're better than me?"

"Do something useful."

"How's your little ________ going?"

"You can't do whatever you want."

"Shouldn't you have a fall back plan?"

"I can't afford _________ to be a(n) _________."

"That's too expensive (and not worth it)."

"You need a degree."

If you've read my bio, you know that I experienced "creative anorexia" for over two decades before I started to make art again. I had to get over the idea that art and beauty didn't matter, that I needed to do something "important" like take care of people or the environment because heck, it's not like I mattered enough--or my dreams--to do merely what I wanted to do.

I exhausted almost all my other career fantasies before relenting and doing art. I'm stubborn, and I can resist like nobody's business. This isn't to say I haven't benefited from my exploration of other careers--they've certainly informed my present career and I'm much more effective and efficient than I would have been without the intervening years of experience I accumulated.

However, a lot of what I did was to avoid confronting the conflict of what I wanted to do, and what I was told was worth doing (and would make me a worthwhile person if I did it). The trouble was, I couldn't be satisfied and it was a long and miserable young adulthood.

Now I'm in my thirties. It's not too late, as evidenced by those older than me (Grandma Moses started painting in her 70's, Julia Childs became a chef in her 40's, the list goes on), to relent and live the life I've always wanted to live, without apology.

I love art. I appreciate beauty and I believe there's a purpose to beauty, beyond attraction and vanity. It inspires, calms, impassions, and more--but I don't need to justify it.

Without a purpose, beauty is still beautiful, and that's enough.

Just like us.

Take care,


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

New from Ivan Chan Studio! Trinity NFS

Trinity, oil and acrylic on canvas, 16" x 20"
Finger painted

This Original Finger Painting is not for sale, but you can read the description and see it in my gallery.
For available Original Finger Paintings, limited edition prints, and collectible cards, please visit my shop.