Thursday, April 24, 2008

A little perspective

I've had requests before to post different angles of my work with iridescence in them (and most of them do), but I've found it very difficult to capture with photography.

I usually photograph my work outside so that the natural sunlight brings out the richness of the colors (I still hear from collectors that the colors in my pieces are more vibrant and luxurious than in the photographs, so there's something to look forward to when you buy my work!). Although I can see the way the painting flashes from different angles, it never translated well.

So today I happened to look up at Death as a Maiden and noticed how indoors, with very soft and direct light from my skylight, that the iridescence was more pronounced. It's striking when seen from below, but I think you get the idea from my two views of the painting I've posted.

The pic on the left has duller colors because the pearl background is so reflective, it causes the camera to focus on the bright spot and darken everything else. The pic on the right is the opposite.

Anyway, thanks to Michelle Wiebe for her enthusiasm about the different angles. She's been asking me to do this for several of my paintings and I hadn't been able to do it successfully until now.

Invite Beauty,


Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Besides the upcoming Monte Carlo Unmasked event, I've also been honored with an invitation by the Scotts Valley Arts Commission to be a juror on the Scotts Valley Art & Wine Festival Poster Contest, and for the festival itself!

It's a wonderful opportunity as a respected local artist to support other artists and to make a great celebration of art and wine even better by encouraging a diverse aesthetic. I'm looking forward to meeting up with the other jurors and discussing what we love about each poster and booth entry. There's so much creativity and skill people have to offer each other!

Invite Beauty,


Shaken, not stirred

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

Mystical Buddha, fine art print on paper, 13" x 19"

I've been honored again with a request for my artwork for BALANCE4kids and Imagine's First Annual Monte Carlo Unmasked event!

It's night of comedy, gaming, champagne and music to benefit Imagine's Community Center, which supports and enhances the recreational opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities in Santa Cruz County.

The above two pieces, Face the Tiki and Mystical Buddha (print #4 of a limited edition of 100) will be available for auction at Monte Carlo Unmasked, but you can find your own wonderful tiki art and Mystical Buddha limited edition print in my shop if you can't make it.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

New from Ivan Chan Studio! Death as a Maiden

Death as a Maiden
Oil and acrylic on canvas, 18" x 24"
Finger painted

Please click on the image to read the description, see detailed pics, and to make an offer on this beautiful Original Finger Painting. (Inspiration from a work by Nikos Vasilakis.)

Ivan Chan Studio: Invite Beauty

Everyday Beauty: Hippo Lovers Unite!

Artist Extraordinaire Susan models

I love hippos. I know some of you out there are crazy about them, too.

Besides the Portrait of a Hippo print I offer in my shop benefitting the World Wildlife Fund, I also have a bevy of fun stuff printed with said dignified Portrait of a Hippo image--as well as the divinely inspired Sacred Blue Hippo--in my merchandise store, Everyday Beauty.

Check out the Hippo Section or click on the above pic to be taken directly to the shirt Susan's wearing. There are men's shirts, too, in different colors!

Thanks again to my lovely model and her photographer! (Now, wouldn't you look good in one of my tees, too?)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sneak Preview! The beating of her wings

I'm a regular contributor on DeviantArt which, despite its name, is just a plain ol' great place to share and appreciate various forms of art from people all over the world.

(If you go, please be aware that there is adult material in my profile and others, in the form of fine art nude photography, paintings, drawings, etc.).

Anyway, Nikos Vasilakis is an incredibly talented photographer based in Greece whom I was fortunate enough to find in the madding crowd that is DA. He's generously allowed me to use one of his photographs as a reference for my latest Original Finger Painting, which has also been inspired by the work of Pre-Raphaelites and Symbolists who had a thing for the femme fatale.

I'm experimenting with a different kind of background, which the sneak peek doesn't do justice--it's like mother-of-pearl and I'm enjoying staring at it quite a bit. There's a feeling of power when one has a new paint color to paint with--it reminds me of being given crayons as a child and feeling like I saw that huge expanse of WALL in front of me for the first time--and wanting to fill it up with drawings.

Invite Beauty,


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Shows comin' up!

I'm planning a few exhibits of my work in the summer, starting in May!

At the end of May, I'm happy to announce that there will be another show at the lovely Art Center in downtown Santa Cruz where last year's Doorways & Dharma event was held. Fellow artist (specifically fine art photographer, woodworker, and stained glass maker) Brian Carr of Brian Carr Studio and I had a blast that October and this year we've invited a few more artists to join us. More details as they're confirmed, and thanks again to Judy Ziegler of Cornucopia Real Estate for her generous support of the arts!

From May to July I've also been invited to exhibit at Children's Mental Health (County Building K). Can I just say what an honor it is that my art has been requested to be part of a healing environment for children? Meeting with two directors/curators of this beautification project was not only fun, it was affirming of the power of art. I couldn't be happier! There will be a closing reception--again, more details as I find out.

There's more planned but I don't like to let the blue cat out of the bag until I have some things firmed up. If you'd like to stay abreast of Ivan Chan Studio news, please subscribe to my newsletter, Inviting Beauty, and once a week you'll hear from me about my listings, sales, events, and more. (Your email address will remain safe and confidential, and you can unsubscribe at any time by replying to a newsletter with "unsubscribe.")

Invite Beauty,


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Featured on Feel Good Vibes!

Hi all,

Creation of Dreams' video featuring my artwork is itself featured on Feel Good Vibes!

Please check it out and let them know you enjoy the video!

Take care,


Tuesday, April 08, 2008

New from Ivan Chan Studio! Every Time We Say Good Bye SOLD

Every Time We Say Good Bye
Oil on canvas, 20" x 20"
Finger painted

This Original Finger Painting is sold and can be seen in my gallery, but please visit my shop for more Original Finger Paintings, limited edition prints, and collectible cards.

Ivan Chan Studio: Invite Beauty

Spotlight on See and You Shall Find Limited Edition Print

See and You Shall Find limited edition (3 plus 1 proof)
13" x 19" print on paper
Please click on the image to read the description, see detailed pics, and to purchase this award-winning image in my Etsy shop.
Ivan Chan Studio: Invite Beauty

Monday, April 07, 2008

Sneakier Preview! Jonathan and David

In the Internet portion of my research for this painting, I came across quite a few homophobic (and heterosexist) web sites and blogs.

I also found several sites for gay Christians that used the story to claim space for themselves in their faith. Who wants to be ostracized for being whom they were born to be?

This made me feel that making this painting was important.

I'm not here to argue scriptural interpretations or anybody's beliefs. I'm not here to justify anyone's orientation (it would imply that I think nature even requires justification, whether through a faith or science) or change someone's mind (that's not my responsibility).

I prefer to study and honor the many interpretations that have been offered. What I appreciate about Judaism and Jewish culture is the healthy fostering of debate (an old saying is, "When you have two Jews, you have three opinions") and questioning, especially of something sacred, in order to understand it better. Curiosity and intelligence are our birthrights as sentient beings.

Invite Beauty,


Sunday, April 06, 2008

Spotlight on Something Tiki this Way Comes

Something Tiki this Way Comes
Acrylic on canvas, 10" x 20" each

All three paintings are sold and can still be viewed in my gallery.

Please click on an individual image to read each description.

Sneak Preview! Every time we say good-bye

I think to say I'm a romantic would be an understatement, but a romantic I am and drawn to romantic themes such as forbidden lovers parting or thwarted (you'll find this the undercurrent in my Merman Series).

It's more the farewell than anything that tugs at my heart, so I seek these moments out in the myths and stories of cultures across the world.

One such story is from The Bible, and details the deep friendship (some would say intimate relationship) between the future King of Israel, David, and the son of King Saul, Jonathan.

There's a lot of controversy surrounding David and Jonathan's relationship, which is written in passionate terms that have been interpreted (all with convincing literary evidence) platonically, romantically, and erotically. It's these layers of meaning and different perspectives that make a story and image interesting to me on an intellectual level.

Emotionally, it's much simpler: good-byes break my heart, and the love between David and Jonathan offers hope and belonging.

Invite Beauty,


Saturday, April 05, 2008

Inspirational video featuring my artwork!

Thomas Sladek of The Creation of Dreams recently contacted me to participate in this inspirational video that combines art, music, and words.
The video is beautifully done--dynamic yet meditative music by Spin Artes accompanies images of my Original Finger Paintings and moving quotations from various sources of wisdom.
Please enjoy and feel free to share! The video will be archived on this blog and provided on my web site, too.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

New from Ivan Chan Studio! A River Runs through Us

A River Runs through Us, oil on canvas, 18" x 36"
Finger painted

Please click on the image to read the description of this Original Finger Painting from my Here Kitty Series.

Ivan Chan Studio: Invite Beauty