Blog

Displaying: 1 - 37 of 37

Tribute to Whitney Houston

February 25th, 2013

Tribute to Whitney Houston

Watching "The Bodyguard" in the movie theater, my English was still very limited to understand every piece of the story back then. But I was so moved by Whitney Houston's beauty, talent and emotion expression, especially the song "I Always Love You"! Her singing stuck into my head forever...

I did hear the music of National Anthem before. After the movie, I had found out Whitney Houston's incredible powerful voice in the recording of that song. Her Welcome Home Heroes concert with HBO for the soldiers fighting in the Persian Gulf War and their families made the whole nation feel proud of her. Her concert gave HBO its highest ratings ever after that! Many records of hers not only rocked the music world, and also introduced me into her music world! Since then, I realized I became a fan of hers. I started paying more attention to other kinds of music besides classical, like jazz, blues, etc..

We lost a beautiful artist, a talented singer, and a great performer who had had left countless heartfelt songs behind. As such an inspiration to me, I was honored to able to create this painting of Whitney Houston as as an American icon, for remembering her and her legendary voice for the people who love her all over the world...

More stories at: http://originalartstories.blogspot.com/

Chinese Moon Festival II - A Classical Poem and Homesick

September 30th, 2012

Chinese Moon Festival II - A Classical Poem and Homesick

Today is Chinese Moon Festival! Please visit my original work with my original story at: http://originalartstories.blogspot.com/2012/09/chinese-moon-festival-ii-classical-poem.html

Happy Mothers Day - The Red Shoes

May 13th, 2012

Happy Mothers Day - The Red Shoes

This painting was inspired by "The Red Shoes", which was first introduced to me by my mother. To me The Red Shoes has become a symbol of a career woman who has devoted her life to her job, or made some sacrifice in life. I painted this piece with my love for my mother. I slowly understand her more and more day after day. Happy Mother's Day!

Inside and out Mom and I are so different, only one thing I have in common with her - a fast walk. She is outgoing, can make friends everywhere she goes through a very short conversation, rich or poor, old or young, higly educated person or without any education, even in different cultures, sometimes without language communication...

She was beautiful and talented in theater arts, dancing, singing and acting. She was chosen to be an actress in a couple of movies when she was very young. Then she became a principal opera singer (western style) preformed on the main stage for a couple of years. Her beautiful voice and emotional expression touched millions of audiences back then. In her late twenties, she went back to school to learn to be a journalist. She remembered people's names and phone numbers instantly (she never needed an address book). Also being an excellent ball-room dancer, she could grab the important information she needed for her report the next day, whenever she danced with the VIPs.

In her career, she always tried to focus on the arts. She wrote, edited thousands of reports, stories about so many artists, including our national treasures and international famous ones, published and broadcast that reached millions people in China and overseas, through newspapers, magazines, books, radio and TVs etc.. Back in the 1960's, she was one of a very few female journalists to interview the most famous Russian (Soviet Union at the time) ballerina Maya Plisetskaya when preforming in Beijing, China. That was before I was existed.

After my father suddenly died in an accident when I was ten, it was not easy for me to see her world from my perspective. Quickly I learned how to take care of myself. No matter how late I tried to read my books to keep myself awake, not many nights I could see her before going to bed. Instead of having a regular breakfast like most people, I saw her notes left on the dinning table "food in the refrigerator" constantly. So many times I needed her signatures on my home works, but I had to learn how to fake them. How many important decisions the school teachers wanted to know our parents' opinion, I had to pretend my owns were supported by my mom. How could I bother her much, since her night light on her desk was on all the time, sometimes till I went to school. Instead of drinking coffee, she just chewed the coffee beans to continue her overnights work.

Definitely, my mom had given me the most freedom and encouraged me to gain knowledge differently. I could often see the outstanding national and international performances, movies, art gallery openings because of her job. Not always knowing how to appreciate all of them, but there was no textbook that could have taught me such a variety experience. I so much looked forward to the summer vacations, I studied hard every day for my travel allowance, which I received if I could get straight A's. I got chances visited most of provinces and major cities in China. My mother helped me to build up my strength for the exploration and adventure I love in life, and I continue my traveling to see the world she has introduced to me...

She has been retired for many years now, but she still writes, and travels even though her health is not in a good condition. But she must watch news every hour, must read newspapers ever day... My biggest expenses used to be the international phone charge, listening to her endless interests of updated news, for which I never cared much, but I missed her and I had to learn how to deal with it. It was one of the greatest honors to become one of the most contributed women. Each of the contributor's portrait was published in postage stamps in China a couple years ago, including my mother's. Now, I feel proud of having such an extraordinary career mother, because I am part of her life, we all work hard and do our best in life.

Duplicated images problem

April 20th, 2012

Sorry that I lost some of your nice feedback/comments on "Mexican Door 51" which I loaded here yesterday.

I have noticed that there are doubled images each work I posted in this gallery. So, I sent a request to the technical support (usually they respond fast and great). But here is what I got from them not long ago:

"This happens if you have two of your galleries open at the same time in two different browser windows and are trying to edit both galleries simultaneously. You are going to have to remove all of the duplicates on your own or just delete the galleries and rebuild them. Sorry for any inconvenience."

1st of all, I never left the 2 different browser open when I upload my new images, or keep other opening etc. I learned a hard way when I just started loading my work began in the middle of June 2010.

2nd, I tried to delete one of the copy image by myself inside my own account, both of them were gone. So, I lost many nice feedback. And I have to reload my work again.

Today is Friday, I hope that they really can help me to find a better solution soon.

A Generous Bulgarian Artitst - Petko Pemaro

April 16th, 2012

A Generous Bulgarian Artitst - Petko Pemaro

Struggling through the whole weekend, finally I finished Petko's portrait based on the only one picture I have ever seen of his - his FAA avatar. I hope it could express my thanks to Petko who had made an eight minutes and fifteen seconds long animated slide show with a beautiful music of my oil paintings on Youtube. After I did a search, and I had found out that I was only the one of one hundred eighteen FAA members Petko made such a wonderful work for!

Being an artist, I really admire his great work through his FAA online gallery! His painting style is bold and energetic, really represents his passion and devotion to art and to other artists. Now, I feel that I have discovered his incredible soul is much bigger than ordinary artists. I do need some more English language to help express my respect, my honor and my great thanks to him!!

Here is the link of my animated slide show he made for me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXsfxo-O7cQ

View what other artists say about this portrait, please visit at: For Petko Pemaro

Alert - Be ware of online scammers

February 24th, 2012

I believe that we all should be aware of the online scammers from all kinds of perspectives. I hope this site has the best the security, because our personal information is stored there, especially because FAA has to keep our credit card information for automatic account renewal purpose. I just want to share this article which talks about an Australian woman who turns the tables on Nigerian scammers!

The following true story is about Nigerian email scams that have become nearly as commonplace as the Internet itself. But one Australian woman wound up in jail after turning the tables--to the tune of $30,000--on a group of con artists:

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/australian-woman-turns-tables-nigerian-scammers-175755518.html

More stories at: http://originalartstories.blogspot.com/

Not Black Nor White... - In Harmony

February 11th, 2012

Not Black Nor White... - In Harmony

I am pretty sure that I am not the only one Chinese female visual artist interested in studying on black people's face structure, skin tones and the expressions. Since my portrait paintings were uploaded onto the Fine Art America, I have got mostly positive feedback from the artists over the world. Thanks for that! Please view my portrait gallery at: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/xueling-zou.html?tab=artworkgalleries&artworkgalleryid=29949

Born and raised in Beijing China, studied and lived in Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, traveled to many counties in Asia, Europe and South America and now I have lived in Silicon Valley for over 11 years. I am always interested in different cultures, different people and different food, no political interest at all. America, is one of the biggest countries with multi-cultural identity and we all admire it. If we only could understand each other from the one universal language - Love; if we could treat each just only one race - the human race. But now in the 21st century, I would never have thought I could be so confused by the question of race in the art world. Here is where my confusion comes from.

Being FAA members, we all know that we can "Favorite" other artists' work, and make a "Watch List" for the artists whoever we like simply by clicking the buttons. One day, I received an email from a FAA member, from the portfolio photo I could tell that this talented artist was black. In the email, this artist was not happy and question about why I didn't have any black artist in my Favorite area. Back then, my favorite paintings were more than 30 pages, not mention English is my 2nd language, I am from a different culture. Some artists didn't used their face as the portfolio photos either. And when I see beautiful work, I just click the button, who would pay too much attention for the background? So, I explained to this artist. The email response back to me again was why I did not put any black artist on my Watch List since I was involved into some black people's art projects. Oh well, I didn't know my Watch List was so important and was being investigated. So, I took the wise advice and found a couple of my favorite black artists and added them into my Watch List.

OK, peaceful for a while. I just love to paint and contribute my artistic expression to the public. Interestingly I noticed a "Black is beautiful" ( I really believe so) contest was almost closed. I quickly added a couple of my portraits of black people to the contest. Very soon I received an "Urgent" titled email from the Contest Administrator who was white too, mentioning very politely that I wasn't qualified for this contest because I wasn't black. Sure, I removed my paintings since I might have misread one important rule "Black artists only". After, I saw a couple of Indian artists were still in the contest I wondered who are they, are they called black from their genetic anscestory? How odd I thought, that a white contest administrator would display a sample painting created by a white artist, for a contest in which only black artists were allowed to participate.

Well, rules are rules which human beings make, and we'd better follow them to help us not get into any trouble in our society. At the same time I think "wait a second," this is America which is one of the main countries to protect Human Rights and thinks of itself as setting a good example for the world. Do we have to continue purposely separating ourselves by race? We all know that we should learn from some miserable mistakes in the history, so why do some people still have the race division so strongly in their minds, even in the art world? But who am I, where should I belong to, do I have to only paint landscape which is the safest subject? Is that all just because I am not black nor white???

I've been around. I believe a majority of people can live together and get along peacefully! Please don't take my post the wrong way - I just want to share my little thought.

There is more stories about my art work at: http://originalartstories.blogspot.com/

Old Man and His Bicycle

February 7th, 2012

Old Man and His Bicycle

This is one of my first paintings from when I started almost 10 years ago. I aimed to capture the old Beijing culture with an old man and his bicycle.

Typically the retired people enjoy hobbies like carrying pet birds in cages to nearby parks for a morning walk, Chigong, chat, chess game with others... Often they would carry small radios to listen to their favorite channels playing Chinese operas, traditional novels or historical stories. Afternoons would pass with a nap in the park or sitting out enjoying sunlit porches.

My painting expresses a moment typical of a day like this in Beijing where I was born and grew up.

Please view a better image at: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/old-man-and-his-bike-xueling-zou.html

Also you can read more stories at: http://originalartstories.blogspot.com/

A White Peacock

February 6th, 2012

A White Peacock

This was one of my early oil paintings 9 years ago, based on my childhood memory. I would never have found a better way to express my feelings! That is why I haven't painted it over.

I remember that my father took me to the Beijing Zoo when I was about five one Sunday morning. There were about 20 peacocks that lived on a bird island with a hundred other birds, like crays, swans, ducks, etc... When we arrived, there were some parents with their children watching birds - especially the peacocks. I was told that the peacocks might open up their feathers when they saw pretty colors. Some parents would dress up their children with colorful clothes, but I only wore in my father's favorite color, sky blue. We both mentioned the same white peacock was our favorite. It seemed that white peacock heard us and turned around facing me, then opened up its feathers immediately. A lot of people clapped their hands for what they saw - the most glorious shining feathers opening up against the morning sunlight - like a Chinese fan. Of course to me as a little girl, it was the most beautiful and precious moment to experience joy with my father when he was holding my small hand...

My father was a great Chinese artist but died in an accident so suddenly when I was only ten. Since then my little world could never be balanced well and I decided not to touch any paint brushes when I was fourteen. I tried to hide my emotion...

Time flies! After decades, I had realized that I should not bury my art expression any longer! Finally I decided to start painting again! One day this white peacock appeared in my head vividly in the art class. Usually, we should tell our instructor what we were trying to paint, why and how etc... I could only follow my emotion on this canvas panel at that moment, It was the first time I used a palette knife, but I barely could see anything clearly with tears in my eyes till this piece was completed...

Or view a better image at: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/a-white-peacock-xueling-zou.html

Also you can read more stories about my art work at: http://originalartstories.blogspot.com/

Chinese Lantern Festival

February 3rd, 2012

Chinese Lantern Festival

Febrarury 6, 2012 is the Chinese Lantern Festival ( 元宵节, Yuanxiao Jie), which is a traditional Chinese festival since the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 221 AD). It marks the 15th - the last day of the Chinese New Year celebration.

Yuanxiao or Tangyuan is the special food of the Lantern Festival, which is a kind of sweet dumpling, made with sticky rice flour filled with sweet stuffing, and round in shape. It symbolizes family reunion, completeness and happiness. A traditional celebration of Yuanxiao Jie includes music, dancing, acrobats, and of course, the sight of brightly decorated lanterns everywhere. People play the Lantern Riddle game, trying to guess the answers to the mysterious riddles show on the lanterns. Of course, everyone snacks on Yuanxiao.

Mr. Eastern was one of the trustful advisers of Emperor Wu Di in Han Dynasty. On the 12th of the first lunar month, he heard a lady crying, ready to jump into a well and commit suicide in the garden. He stopped her and asked for the reason. She was Yuan-Xiao - a maid in the emperor's palace. She hadn't seen her family after she was chosen to work inside the palace. She missed them badly especially during the Chinese lunar new year. She told him that she would rather die if she couldn't have the chance to show her filial piety this life. Mr. Eastern promised to help her arrange a family reunion.

Because of his high reputation, many people came asking for their fortune. So, Mr. Eastern set up a table on the street and disguised as a fortuneteller outside the palace. But every one had the same prediction - severe fire accident on 15th lunar day. The rumor spread quickly, everyone worried about the future and asked him for help.

Mr. Eastern said, "On the 13th lunar day, the God of Fire will send a fairy lady in red to burn down the city. If you see a lady in red with green pants on a black horse on that day, you should ask for her mercy." Then, Yuan-Xiao acted the red fairy lady on that day. She was told to say to the people who came asking for her help, "Yes. I'm the messenger of the God of Fire and have come to check on the city and going to set up the fire on 15th. This is an order from Jade Emperor who watches from the heaven. I give you a copy of imperial decree from the God of Fire. You should go to ask your emperor to find a way out." After she left, people went to palace to report to the emperor the decree which was written - capital city was in trouble, fire burns in the palace, heaven fire burns all night long on the 15th. etc..

Emperor Wu Di was greatly shocked. He asked for the advice from Mr. Eastern. After pondering for a while, Mr. Eastern suggested, "I heard the God of Fire likes the taste of Tangyuan. Does Yuanxiao often cook Tangyuan for you? On the 15th lunar day, let Yuan Xiao make Tangyuan. Your Majesty takes charge of the worship ceremony and gives orders to every household to prepare Tangyuan at the same time. Also, please deliver another order to carry red lanterns and explode fire crackers in every household. Plus, inform everyone in the palace and the people outside the city to carry their lanterns on the street to watch the lantern decoration and fireworks. In this way, Jade Emperor could be deceived in the heaven to believing the occurred. Then everyone could be able to avoid the fire accident trouble." The Emperor Wu Di happily followed the plan.

Lanterns were everywhere in the capital city during the night of 15th. Everyone was walking in the street with lanterns, and firecrackers snapped and popped everywhere making a loud noise! It looked like entire city on fire. Yuanxiao's parents came to the palace to watch the lantern decoration. Yuanxiao made a huge lantern and wrote down her name on the outside of the lantern. The family happily reunited with her after her parents find her name. Every family was safe, and Emperor Wu Di had a new order that every household should do the same thing at the same night every year. Because Yuanxiao cooked the best Tangyuan. So, every 15th of the first lunar month, we call it Yuanxiao Jie - The Lantern Festival.

Please visit my Photography - China Gallery at:
http://xueling-zou.artistwebsites.com/art/all/photography+-+china/all

More stories at: http://originalartstories.blogspot.com/

The Colors of La Boca, Argentina

February 3rd, 2012

The Colors of La Boca, Argentina

Colorful La Boca grew to become an Italian (mostly from Genoa) district of Buenos Aires, Argentina in a very short time in mid-19th-century. It used to be the area where Italian immigrants arrived, and settled in the poorest of conditions. Their houses were built by the leftover corrugated iron and other waste found in the nearby harbour and industry on the Riachuelo river. In order to make the neighbourhood more interesting, they decided to paint their houses in bright colors by using the leftover paint from boats - hence the many different colours that can be seen. Where first a small river flowed, the area that now is Caminito had tracks installed, and when those were not used anymore, this developed into an ugly, abandoned part of La Boca. There were several museums with paintings portraying its hard-working inhabitants in the shipyards and on the docks.

Local artist Quinquela Martín painted the walls of the street, which now we know as Caminito (which means little path in Spanish) at the end of the 1950s. This area has become one of the prime tourist destinations in the city of Buenos Aires, with souvenir shops, restaurants and a thriving artist community.

The bright yellow, red, blue, pink, and green are the dominant colours in the houses. Several statues and works of art adorning the walls and sidewalks of this colorful street, mostly depicting either the women and children waiting for their sailormen to return. The street and restaurants were full of artists entertaining the many visitors, tango music attracts crowds to enjoy wine, delicious beef and watch such passionate dancers. How could it not become a most famous attraction in Argentina?

view the original work at: http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/xueling-zou.html?tab=artworkgalleries&artworkgalleryid=29955

More stories at: http://originalartstories.blogspot.com/

Dreaming Girls

February 1st, 2012

Dreaming Girls

"Dreaming Girls" is a very special painting to us. I created it in 2007 from one of the 10 photos my husband took during his business trip in Brasil.

Also, I was called a "Dreamer" by my girl friends since I was very young. I did enjoy dreaming all the possibilities I could have after I grew up. Though life has taught me to be more grounded since I left my home country, but dreaming helps me overcome many kinds of tough situations, and makes me believe tomorrow is going to be better! So I decided to paint it as a square canvas positioned diagonally to effect a diamond shape to remember who I was back then.

In 2009, I had a solo opportunity to display my paintings in a very famous multi-national company in Silicon Valley where I live since 2000. There were maybe over 20 pieces displayed, including "Dreaming Girls". As I expected there were certain amount of responses from the people working as technology professionals. But, at the same time, we were too excited to plan our 3-weeks-trip to Argentina. After the trip, we fell in love with the culture and people, keep going to travel in South (Central) America.

At the end of last year 2011, I joined the Google+, it allowed me to add all my contacts into my circle. So, I keep maintaining all my friends by posting the art work I create, or sending the stories I write. On January 6, 2012, I received an email from someone who had read my postings on Google+. It was from a lady who told me that she saw my "Dreaming Girls" at the company she works, and fell in love with it years ago, but felt she couldn't buy it as she was going through a personal tough time. She said in her email "I have thought about that painting from time to time but had forgotten your name to try to get in touch with you. All of a sudden I get this Google+ email notification from you and the name rang a bell - I'm so excited to have found you!"

It is very important for an artist finding a good home for the art we created! After she came to my home studio, I felt like we were old friends for a long time already. She told me she had been to both Africa and South America and also loved the cultures, and that is why the painting has special meaning for her too. Now, I am so happy for my "Dreaming Girls" has moved into a new loving home:-)!

view the original work here:
More stories at: http://xueling-zou.artistwebsites.com/featured/2-dreaming-girls-xueling-zou.html

A Dog and his Fate

February 1st, 2012

A Dog and his Fate

In May 2009, after travelling to the beautiful old city Salta in northern Argentina, we drove to Tilcara, a small pueblo introduced to us in a tour book for its unique architecture!

What amazed me was to see so many beautiful homeless dogs there. A young female tourist like us bought a bag of hot dogs to feed them, but they sniffed a second and walked away uninterested. From the eye contact, I realized they were not in need of food at the moment...

Every time I see there are so many spoiled dogs, those lonely eyes, expecting only love or a caring family are appearing in my head... Please look into his eyes and see if you get the same message as I did. I thought I should paint him, but I still can not... This was one of those dogs I captured, we were not able to bring them home...

Please view a better image at: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/a-dogs-fate-xueling-zou.html

Also you can read more stories about my art work at my new blog: http://originalartstories.blogspot.com/

2012 - the Year of the Dragon

January 30th, 2012

2012 - the Year of the Dragon

2012 Chinese Lunar Year is going to be the Year of the Dragon.It begins on January 23 this year and ends on February 9, 2013 (if your new baby were born during this Lunar year, we call him/her a dragon baby). The Dragon is the fifth sign, which consists of 12 Animal signs. The characteristics of the Dragon Sign are tempered by one of the five Chinese elements of Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth (like other 11 Animal signs). Every 60 years goes through a full cycle. For example, 1952 is the Year of Water Dragon, 2012 is the Year of Water Dragon again.

The Dragon is a creature of myth and legend. In ancient China, the Dragon is the imperial symbol, the sign of the emperor, or the male element Yang. The Dragon is the symbol of power and wealth. Today, it is the ultimate auspicious symbol signifying success and happiness. May the celestial Dragon bring great luck to everyone.

You can see there are a lot of dragon signs and symbols in China if you have visited the country. Especially, many beautiful stone carvings showing in the Forbidden City in downtown of Bejing.

If you would like to know about Chinese Lantern Festival 中国元宵节, please visit the story behind it at: http://originalartstories.blogspot.com/2012/01/chinese-lantern-festival.html. More photos at: my Photography - China Gallery http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/xueling-zou.html?tab=artworkgalleries&artworkgalleryid=47756. Thank you!!

The Spirit of the Sea - Pacific Voyagers

January 25th, 2012

The Spirit of the Sea - Pacific Voyagers

What a great inspiration! Unknown in advance, I had seen the Pacific Voyagers and seven boats at Monterey Bay, California!

August 13, 2011, late afternoon sun shone on the weekend Monterey beach. I saw some unusual boats, actually ancient looking boats, mostly like the boats made by Maori people from New Zealand, anchored to the beach in the bay.

I was so attracted by the beauty of those boats, and a couple of handsome sailors paddling people back and forth from the beach to the boats. I didn't want to miss this good opportunity, and started shooting...

A local lady chatted with me that these were Pacific Voyagers - a group of Pacific Islanders from Aotearoa (New Zealand), Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Tahiti, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Vanuatu, and Tonga. They started in April of this year, passing the Marquesas, and Hawaii on their journey.

Also she said that I missed seeing the landing, which was a traditional American Indian ceremony for welcoming friends from afar. A great amount of people watching and it was a quite emotional time for everyone...

The challenging part was how to create this incredible story, also a historical record on canvas(es) to pass the message through my artist's perspective, and to contribute to the community... Took me for almost a month.

Luckily, I was there, saw them, and took some footage... working through the ideas, overcoming all the difficulties, and they are finished now... Using a traditional style, to show my respect for these brave Voyagers who sailed ancient Polynesian vaka moana boats to renew their commitment to healthy ecosystems for future generations.

Please view a better image at:
More stories at: http://originalartstories.blogspot.com/

Better image at: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/the-spirit-of-the-sea--pacific-voyagers-ii-xueling-zou.html



Confess...

January 25th, 2012

Confess...

Please view a better image at: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/confess-xueling-zou.html

This is the story of how I was inspired to paint "Confess..."

When visiting the extraordinary ruins at Qoricancha (Golden Temple) in Cusco Peru, I followed a guy entering a huge gate into a quiet area, I found myself in the beautiful baroque church of Santa Domingo (I found out later). First I saw a statue of the praying Virgin Mary, illuminated and radiant in front of the alter; second, I turned around and saw many golden arches with painted angels near the ceiling. At the same time I realized that a few workers were doing minor construction. Third, I heard a loud voice in Spanish I couldn't understand, and turned back, there was an angry priest in a white vestment shouting and making hand signals to me. It seemed I could be sent to hell immediately if I stayed one more second. I ran out as soon, as fast as I could, and wondered if he was really a priest in his heart, or only by his job title...

Also you can read more stories about my art work at: http://originalartstories.blogspot.com

Welcome to join me

January 18th, 2012

Welcome to join me


JOIN ME at My Original Art Stories,

Google+
,

and FaceBook
.

Let It Go - New Year Resolution Number 1

January 4th, 2012

Let It Go - New Year Resolution Number 1

I have found Brooks Atkinson's quote to be quite inspiring and want to share it, view or read more at:
http://fineartamerica.com/featured/let-it-go-xueling-zou.html/, or at: http://originalartstories.blogspot.com/ Thank you!

Art Can Help To Heal

December 28th, 2011

Art Can Help To Heal

Dear friends, if you would like to know more, please check at: http://originalartstories.blogspot.com/

Have a Healthy, Happy and Creative New Year!!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2012

December 23rd, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2012

Hello everyone,

I have sent a Holiday Greeting to my mail list, including a 25% discount code if you want to purchase any print from my art work at http://xueling-zou.artistwebsites.com/. And I have sent as many Holiday Greetings as I can!

If you are not on my mail list, you still can get the 25% discount from my print purchase. Please check my original art stories, and you can find the code at: http://originalartstories.blogspot.com/, thank you all!!

You are all welcome to join my mail list by click the "Join E-Mail List" on my FAA homepage, and also you can fill in the contact form through my art stories blog at: http://originalartstories.blogspot.com/p/contact.html.

Happy Holidays to You All!!!

Sincerely,
Xueling Zou

About FAA Search Engine???

December 21st, 2011

About FAA Search Engine???

Now, I have some doubt about FAA's search engine. It makes me wonder if our hard efforts sometimes don't get seen.

A patron just purchased one of my works "Untitled 1" tonight, I am happy about it! And I was just curious why this piece of my works be noticed. So I did search through FAA by "Untitled", there only 5 pages came out. And my "Untitled 1" was not included.

I checked a couple of the tags in the artwork that was returned, some had "untitled" in, some not. Depends on my limited computer search engine knowledge, I feel that we should be able to expect a more consistent result and a fair shot at getting our art revealed in searches on the site. We are serious professional people and we all work hard at our trade. I hope that the web site can make their best effort to support us, thank you!!

If you are interested, you are invited to http://originalartstories.blogspot.com/, thanks!

Sincerely,
Xueling Zou

Share My Art Experience

December 20th, 2011

Share My Art Experience

I would love to share my art experience with you at http://originalartstories.blogspot.com/, thank you all for being very supportive viewers, love your encouraging feedback always!

Happy Holidays!!

Sincerely,
Xueling Zou

Wall Street Drama

November 8th, 2011

Wall Street Drama

It is the reflection from my perspective as a visual artist, please check it out, and leave your comment or view other's comment at: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/wall-street-drama-xueling-zou.html. Thank you!

Best,
Xueling Zou

Lucky Being Born in Autumn

October 21st, 2011

Lucky Being Born in Autumn

...
Autumn is it what I can't forget, because I was born in the season. I look forward and see myself looking back...

Today is my birthday, and I have never felt that I am so thankful and my life is so beautiful. I know that my mother was traveling, I could not reach her now. Though, I do want to share about everything in my life till today, and at this moment I finally I have realized that I am so lucky being born during autumn, this harvest season, with the richest and the warmest colors all over, this perfect whether, there was no hungry creature surrounded, what a perfect world... I should tell her how I felt at that moment, thank her for giving birth to me. I should let her know how lucky I feel about my life, which I went through with no smooth ride about my father suddenly left us in an accident when I was only ten, all my thoughts I haven't told her but now I would love to share with her...

Please read more at: http://originalartstories.blogspot.com/2011/10/lucky-being-born-in-autumn.html

4-Year-Old Talented Drummer

October 19th, 2011

4-Year-Old Talented Drummer

Sunday, July 17, 2011, I went to Los Altos farmers market. A beautiful blues voice and music attracted my attention. I walked close by and saw a young girl playing saxophone, and an older guy singing... I heard the drummer playing amazingly too, but could not see anyone there from the crowd.

Unfortunately, it was the last song, and the singer announced that the drummer was 4 years old. It was hard to believe, but it was true. It was around noon. I saw this little shy mixed boy was holding his mother's hand, standing under the Californian strong sun shining down on his head, while his mother was busy answering questions from other people.

I tried very hard to capture the boy's face, and imagined the bright future ahead of him... Sorry I didn't get their band's name, I am sure there are a lot of other people who know:-)!

Please view a better image at: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/4-year-old-talented-drummer-xueling-zou.html

Also you can read more stories about my art work at my new blog: http://originalartstories.blogspot.com/

Guatemala Impression II

October 19th, 2011

Guatemala Impression II

Guatemalan usually dress up traditionally for an event. Lot's of families could have more than 10 children. Some villagers still believe that taking their photos are bad luck and can steal their soul. Of course for me taking pictures of people is the most important part of my cultural experience, so I can remember and study the feelings and expressions from the different people.

Most of them would turn their heads away when photographed. This young lady was so curious about me as I focused on her, while she was playing with her ring unconsciously. Her traditional clothe was made from a piece of beautiful hand woven textile with many kids both boys and girls embroidered on. I imagined that she might be newlywed, just pregnant. I painted her after returned home.

Just learn about Guatemalan's head decoration called Chapin - for male / Chapina for female.

Please view a better image at:
http://fineartamerica.com/featured/1-guatemala-impression-ii-xueling-zou.html

And more work inspired from Guatemala trip:
http://fineartamerica.com/featured/guatemala-impression-i-xueling-zou.html
http://fineartamerica.com/featured/1-guatemala-impression-iv-xueling-zou.html
http://fineartamerica.com/featured/guatemala-impression-v--left-hand-1-xueling-zou.html
http://fineartamerica.com/featured/guatemala-impression-1-xueling-zou.html
http://fineartamerica.com/featured/1-happy-village-girl-xueling-zou.html

Also you can read more stories about my art work at my new blog: http://originalartstories.blogspot.com/



How can we make better digital copy of our original paintings to improve sales?

October 10th, 2011

What kind of the camera, lens, equipment or environment can help an artist make a perfect copy of an original painting to improve sales, if one does not have a professional studio???

I have taken photos of my paintings for years, but never can find a way to take a perfect copy of it. And I have noticed that I am not the only one here, so please share your knowledge, tricks or tips if you can help us to improve our captures, thank you!!

1) How to avoid the reflection if taking photos for your painting in the sun, especially for the oil painting with glossy vanish retouch? I even tried to used the Anti-reflection lens to help reduce the reflection, but it adding more blue color to each image.

2) How to show texture but avoid shadow overemphasizing the texture. Canvases have textures that look like pixels in the light (because the sunlit can never be 90 degree on the earth). I don't paint oils in a traditional way, some of my canvases are not 100% covered by paint after I finish painting. And the shadows of the paint are showing after taking photos in the light, etc.

3) How to avoid the fish eye shape? Most of the lens has the angle, so, the result can be different than the original painting. I try to avoid to take photos too close to the original paintings.

4) How to avoid the color change? I have tried to take photos for my painting outdoors, indoors, in the shade, etc.. and notices that the colors of photo can never be perfectly match the original paintings. And also, I tried to use different cameras in the same light and the same environment, the color result can be different too.

I am not I.

October 7th, 2011

I am not I.

My painting was inspired by the poem of Juan Ramon Jimenez "I Am Not I", translated by Robert Bly. Welcome to join my new blog at: http://originalartstories.blogspot.com/
Or please view a better image at http://fineartamerica.com/featured/i-am-not-i-xueling-zou.html

I am not I.

I am this one
walking beside me whom I do not see,
whom at times I manage to visit,
and whom at other times I forget;
who remains calm and silent while I talk,
and forgives, gently, when I hate,
who walks where I am not,
who will remain standing when I die.

Oriental Plum Blossom

October 4th, 2011

Oriental Plum Blossom

This piece was created on a recycled cardboard with natural organic materiel. It was a good experience, working with limited colors and not familiar materiel. Just want to share this idea with others:-), thank you!!

Welcome to join my new blog at: http://originalartstories.blogspot.com/
Or please view a better image at http://fineartamerica.com/featured/oriental-plum-blossom-xueling-zou.html

Castles Made of Sand - attached the lyrics

September 30th, 2011

Castles Made of Sand - attached the lyrics

The title of this photo came from one of Jimi Hendrix's songs - "And so castles made of sand fall in the sea, eventually...".

I took a photo of this little sand castle built by some kids left behind on the beach at Monterey, CA. It wasn't because of the wonderful light and shadow contrast, etc., rather because it reminds me that everyone has their own dreams since childhood. We all started building them up by learning and hard working. Some dreams will be left behind and washed away by time's passing. I wonder how many of the dreams each person can hold on to and never let them go.

Please view a better image at: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/castles-made-of-sand-xueling-zou.html

The lyrics of "Castles Made of Sand":
"Down the street you can hear her scream you're a disgrace
As she slams the door in his drunken face
And now he stands outside
And all the neighbors start to gossip and drool
He cries oh, girl you must be mad,
What happened to the sweet love you and me had?
Against the door he leans and starts a scene,
And his tears fall and burn the garden green

And so castles made of sand fall in the sea, eventually
[ Lyrics from: http://www.lyricsfreak.com/j/jimi+hendrix/castles+made+of+sand_20071547.html ]
A little Indian brave who before he was ten,
Played war games in the woods with his Indian friends
And he built up a dream that when he grew up
He would be a fearless warrior Indian Cheif
Many moons past and more the dream grew strong until
Tomorrow he would sing his first war song and fight his first battle
But something went wrong, surprise attack killed him in his sleep that night

And so castles made of sand melts into the sea, eventually

There was a young girl, who's heart was a frown
Cause she was crippled for life,
And she couldn't speak a sound
And she wished and prayed she could stop living,
So she decided to die
She drew her wheelchair to the edge of the shore
And to her legs she smiled you wont hurt me no more
But then a sight she'd never seen made her jump and say
Look a golden winged ship is passing my way

And it really didn't have to stop, it just kept on going...

And so castles made of sand slips into the sea, eventually..."

Also you can read more stories about my art work at my new blog: http://originalartstories.blogspot.com/2011/09/pacific-voyagers.html

Mayan Ruins

September 30th, 2011

Mayan Ruins

Tikal in its heyday ca 700 AD, was the capital of a vast Mayan empire. The Tikal National Park, in the Peten region in Northern Guatemala, comprises and area of 222 square miles or 576 square km. The park contains some of the most fascinating archaeological remains of the ancient Maya Civilization. Tikal is the largest excavated site in the American continent. Many mounds covered by a thick layer of jungle for over one thousand years have been left untouched as found by archaeologists. Restoration has continued since 1956.

Please view a better image at: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/mayan-ruins-1-xueling-zou.html

Also you can read more stories about my art work at my new blog: http://originalartstories.blogspot.com/2011/09/pacific-voyagers.html

Before the East Coast Earthquake

September 30th, 2011

Before the East Coast Earthquake

I just want to send my concern to the people who live nearby where the earthquake just happened at 1:51pm ET on August 23 on the East Coast. Of course, as people who live in California, we have experienced the earthquakes often, it is not something too special to us anymore.

Strangely enough, I received 2 unusual email from a FAA member who lives nearby where the earthquake happened the night before. Please see the attached the screen shot(or the copies of emails below). I am not sure if this kind of behavior is related to the East Coast Earthquake (I heard that animals may not behave usual before the earthquakes.), or if I am the only one victim?? It will be better for all the FAA members if we have the choice can block some unwanted emails, won't it?

I've noticed the attachment is not readable. So here is:

Subject:RE: art

------------------------------------------------------------------
XXXXXXXXX - 08/22/2011 11:23 PM:
------------------------------------------------------------------

I really am so mad you and I .........who at one time enjoyed art as one now......are not really ever even speaking of the art...!!!...I did feel a connection.......and now feel ......nothing.!!!.....did I do this.. or ......You.?.......just needed to say that.!! why,,,?


------------------------------------------------------------------
Xueling Zou - 08/22/2011 11:40 PM:
------------------------------------------------------------------

I am not understanding what you are talking about, XXXXX?

There is so much going on in my life now, I really don't have enough time to deal everything else, I rather to find a little bit more time for my own, and my work.

Take care! If I don't respond your email, please understand that I am TOO busy!

Best regards,
Xueling Zou

Also you can read more stories about my art work at my new blog: http://originalartstories.blogspot.com/2011/09/pacific-voyagers.html

------------------------------------------------------------------
XXXXXXXXXX - 08/22/2011 11:51 PM:
------------------------------------------------------------------
Message:OH .......I just sit on my ass...........and have no time........bull shit,,,,,,,,sorry..not real.....excuses are easy to come -up with........your art is cool.........but you are not...........I do not buy that.....sorry.!!


Venice Floating Farmers Market

September 30th, 2011

Venice Floating Farmers Market

This painting was created based on a photo I took by using my very first Kodak digital camera 12 years ago in Venice, Italy before I started painting. I finished this work faster compared to how long I had been thinking about it...

I can never forget about the fresh food (organic?) and beautiful scenery there, want to go back all the time...

Please view a better image at: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/venice-floating-farmers-market-xueling-zou.html

Also you can read more stories about my art work at my new blog: http://originalartstories.blogspot.com/2011/09/pacific-voyagers.html

The Spirit of the Sea - Pacific Voyagers II

September 30th, 2011

The Spirit of the Sea - Pacific Voyagers II

What a great inspiration! Unknown in advance, I had seen the Pacific Voyagers and seven boats at Monterey Bay, California!

August 13, 2011, late afternoon sun shone on the weekend Monterey beach. I saw some unusual boats, actually ancient looking boats, mostly like the boats made by Maori people from New Zealand, anchored to the beach in the bay.

I was so attracted by the beauty of those boats, and a couple of handsome sailors paddling people back and forth from the beach to the boats. I didn't want to miss this good opportunity, and started shooting...

A local lady chatted with me that these were Pacific Voyagers - a group of Pacific Islanders from Aotearoa (New Zealand), Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Tahiti, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Vanuatu, and Tonga. They started in April of this year, passing the Marquesas, and Hawaii on their journey.

Also she said that I missed seeing the landing, which was a traditional American Indian ceremony for welcoming friends from afar. A great amount of people watching and it was a quite emotional time for everyone...

The challenging part was how to create this incredible story, also a historical record on canvas(es) to pass the message through my artist's perspective, and to contribute to the community... Took me for almost a month.

Luckily, I was there, saw them, and took some footage... working through the ideas, overcoming all the difficulties, and they are finished now... Using a traditional style, to show my respect for these brave Voyagers who sailed ancient Polynesian vaka moana boats to renew their commitment to healthy ecosystems for future generations.

Please view a better image at:
http://fineartamerica.com/featured/the-spirit-of-the-sea--pacific-voyagers-ii-xueling-zou.html
and
http://fineartamerica.com/featured/the-spirit-of-the-sea--pacific-voyagers-i-xueling-zou.html

or read the whole story at: http://originalartstories.blogspot.com/2011/09/pacific-voyagers.html

(from my research, the sources are from:
http://www.pacificvoyagers.org
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/08/11/18687421.php
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/12/pacific-voyagers-expedition_n_924842.html#s328023):

"Our mission is simple: Use the wisdom of our ancestors, combined with modern science, to propel us into a more sustainable future, help heal our injured ocean, raise awareness, and to revive our cultural traditions of voyaging. Demographically, our crews vary. We have come together from many islands, men and women, young and older, to sail our seven vaka as one," the group explained...

Pacific Voyaging began when the world’s first seafarers set off in vaka moanas, ocean canoes, from Asia, most likely South China, in the hopes of finding other lands. They found New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago, and the Solomon Islands first. Thousands of years later, the ancestors continued their journey and within 2500 years they reached the more remote Hawaiian Islands, Rapanui, and Aotearoa, establishing communities at each location with the root crops, fruit seeds, and domestic animals they carried on their voyage.

Our amazing voyaging ancestors used only Mother Nature to guide them on their journey. Using only the sun, the stars, wind, waves, clouds, and wildlife as guides, they successfully sailed across the Pacific Ocean and settled our lands. This way of navigating was on the brink of extinction until one individual began to revive the artful skill. Pius Mau Piailug, a Micronesian navigator, afraid of his people losing this skill as a result of westernization, brought his skills to the Polynesian Voyaging Society. He, along with his protégé, HawaiinNainoa Thompson, began to revive the skill. In 1976, they successfully sailed the Hokule’a. Today, we continue reviving this cultural tradition. The crews on our seven vaka moanas learn this skill, honing the craft throughout their journey. We feel honoured to continue in the wake of our ancestors, learning from their ancient wisdom, and venturing forth into the future with a new mission of healing our ocean and a rejuvenated Te Mana o Te Moana, the Spirit of the Sea.

Also you can read more stories about my art work at my new blog: http://originalartstories.blogspot.com/2011/09/pacific-voyagers.html

Raining Autumn Leaves

September 30th, 2011

Raining Autumn Leaves

I've found Aileen Fisher's Rain of Leaves perfectly fits into my capture, simple and delightful. Welcome to join my new blog at: http://originalartstories.blogspot.com/

Rain of Leaves

It's raining big,
It's raining small,
It's raining autumn leaves
In fall.

It's raining gold
And red and brown
as autumn leaves
come raining down.

It's raining everywhere
I look
It's raining bookmarks
On my book!

Chinese Moon Festival

September 30th, 2011

Chinese Moon Festival

The Chinese Moon Festival (also called the Mooncake or Mid-Autumn festival) is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, fell on September 12, 2011. When the moon is at its maximum brightness for the entire year, the Chinese celebrate "zhong qiu jie".

Chinese culture is deeply imbedded in traditional festival. The Moon Festival is one of the most important traditional events, just like Christmas and Thanksgiving in the West.

The legend surrounding this occasion is about a beautiful lady named "chang er", who flew to the moon with her beloved rabbit named "yu tu" whose coat was pure white as white jade and they have lived there forever. Children are told the story of the moon fairy living in a crystal palace, who comes out to dance on the moon's shadowed surface.

The moon cake is the food for the Moon Festival. The Chinese families hold reunions together spending their evening tasting delicious moon cakes with some wine while watching the full moon. The legend, the families and the poems, you can't help but thinking that this is really a perfect world. That is why the Chinese are so fond of the Moon Festival.

The photos I captured are not a Chinese moon cake:-), I just love the Latin expression. Please view a better image at:
http://fineartamerica.com/featured/happy-luna-face-xueling-zou.html
http://fineartamerica.com/featured/happy-sol-face-xueling-zou.html

Also you can read more stories about my art work at my new blog: http://originalartstories.blogspot.com/2011/09/pacific-voyagers.html