Archive for the ‘art & painting’ Category

My First Train Ride to Independence

Author: robertinseattle

I was originally determined to go to Montreal to attend Sir George Williams University to go for my Master of Fine Arts degree. Dad has always promised that he would pay for our college when we finished high school. Unfortunately, Dad’s interpretation of going to college meant that he expected us to pursue a ‘professional’ career: lawyer, doctor, architect. But definitely NOT art! Ah – Chinese parents and their expectations for success!

I realized I had creative skills early on and never let anything hold me back in exploring my artistic skills. I was so blessed to have had an encouraging art teacher during my junior high school years and at the end of Grade 9, she awarded me with a scholarship for Grade 10 at the Nova Scotia College of Art! (I think it was Mrs. Williams?) She was one of the first people to ever acknowledge and praise my art and it truly gave me the confidence I needed to keep at it (especially during the generally unpleasant three years of my Junior High life). And she kept awarding me with another scholarship for the next year’s class until she gave me that scholarship for my first year of High School. So I also ended up going through high school art classes on scholarships each year until I was finally awarded a full scholarship to the College. (Dad would certainly never pay for any of my art classes!)

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Adventures Along the Way: Christo 1985

Author: robertinseattle

Wow! I still remember a weeks-long trip to Europe in 1985 with my friend and tech industry analyst, Tim Bajarin. My company, SpectraFAX, had just successfully developed the first color digital scanners for PCs (and MACs not long after) and Tim was helping to introduce me to many of his connections in London, Paris and Munich as part of our international rollout plans.

After several days in Paris meeting with potential distributors, we were up early one morning to head for the airport to hit the final leg of our journey in Munich. Everywhere we stayed on this trip, journalists somehow managed to follow Tim and leave messages for him at the front desk of every hotel. We were in the middle of the very publicĀ  Apple/Steve Jobs/John Sculley spat and everyone from the Wall Street Journal to the San Jose Mercury News wanted to hear Tim’s opinions on what was happening at Apple. (Jobs ended up getting canned from Apple at the time and Sculley consolidated his power base with the backing of the Board and that was the start of the Jobs-less era at Apple.)

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Starting to Paint Again

Author: robertinseattle

Painting a cloudscape…

Many of you already know that I’ve recently moved into a small studio to pick up where I left off over 25 years ago with painting. Over the past few years, I’ve given a lot of serious thought about the subject matter of my next series. I still enjoy the challenges in working with large high-realism pieces and the subject matter obviously has to be consistently challenging to keep my interest long enough to complete each painting and an entire series. My last real series revolved around coin-operated machines: pinball, parking meters, juke boxes, etc. I eventually settled on clouds this time around; they’re highly ethereal, they embody a lot of the abstract and, as such, present a fantastic challenge to put down on canvas.

So then a whole new set of questions came up: What kinds of clouds? What size of canvases? And clouds vary dramatically from one geographical region to another. I finally decided just to start with clouds in the Pacific Northwest, especially now that we’re heading into what appears to be an unusually warm and clear summer. Different regions and the time of day present another set of visual opportunities to explore. I’ll write more on this blog about the thinking process in my approach to painting cloudscapes.

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