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Portrait Paintings

A Few Paintings and Stories from 2020

2020 has been unpredictable. The first half of the year was especially strange. Experiencing the complete lock down of New York City, and all the uncertainty of the near future made everything so strange.

Escaping from all that uncertainty–to my surprise–created unexpected opportunities, connecting me with artists from New York City and beyond.

The selected images on this post showcases some of the works that I created from January to June. The following are the excerpts from my Instagram posts:

January 3, 2020: This is the final product that transitioned me from 2019 to 2020. I finished it around 11:30 AM today.

January 26, 2020: Oil on Canvas – 30” x 24” – Daedalus & His Wings — This is the final view of my latest project. Sending huge thanks to Donato for the inspiring pose!

February 17, 2020: Oil on Canvas—27” x 48” inches: This is the final product. This project—which was executed from Jan 27 through Feb 14—brought lots of good personal memories. Besides my own stories, here are 5 stories that caught my attention in the course of 3 weeks: (1) Kobe Bryant and daughter Gianna died in helicopter crash, (2) The Coronavirus scare accelerated as new cases of the virus found in U.S. patients–noticeable number of people in New York City has been wearing face masks, (3) On 5 Feb 2020, Trump was acquitted on 2 Articles of Impeachment, (4) Pentagon diverted $3.8 Billion to pay for a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, (5) Bumble Bees are disappearing due to climate change.

February 28, 2020: I am about to check out “Countryside, The Future” exhibition at #Guggenheim. Oh. In case you are wondering, I safeguarded my latest portrait—still work in progress—from coronavirus.
Swipe to see how the painting developed today: I worked on the face and the hands, btw. PS: Seriously speaking, stay safe out there and remember to wash your hands often!

March 10, 2020: Painting slow and painting fast—After spending 2 weeks on my last painting—I need another day or so to finish that painting—I returned to paint an #allaprima to loosen things up a bit. I find it helpful to paint a long and short paintings concurrently and also drawing constantly—See my post yesterday for samples: As some of you might know from looking at my drawings, I am a big fan of quick drawings, especially line drawings.

April 11, 2020: Oil on Linen – This is my first finished portrait of my wife, one of the dedicated New York City Teachers, who has been teaching our New York City students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As some of you know, the NYC department of education unleashed distance learning to 1.1 Million Students, while continuing to provide FREE ‘Grab and Go Meals’ to all those in need. My hat goes off to teachers, the department of education, and supporting organizations.

This portrait was executed in 3 phases on the following days: April 5th, 6th, and 8th.

May 13, 2020: Oil on Linen, 10” x 8”, title: Raising Covid-19 — Here are the latest stats on Covid-19 (World) 4.3 Million+ confirmed Covid-19 cases, 292K deaths. (United States) 83K deaths—28% of the confirmed deaths in the world thus far come from the United States. I suspect comparing these stats among countries don’t mean much since the majority of the countries are not counting—or testing for that matter—the same way we are counting here in the U.S. No worries, though—We are still # 1.

May 28, 2020: As we welcome the return of traders to the floor of the NYSE this week, here is a painting to remember this epic week—a life portrait of my friend @dougholtstudios, a fellow artist here in New York City.

June 12, 2020: We have welcomed the reopening of New York City after so many weeks of being quarantined. Some states that had opened up first have been reporting increased Covid-19 cases, but that is no surprise. One thing is for sure: reopening of our economy will require relentless forward movement.

Here are the latest stats on Covid-19 (World) 7.27Million+ confirmed Covid-19 cases, 413K deaths. (United States) 116Kdeaths—28% of the confirmed deaths in the world thus far come from the United States. 

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Being an Artist

The Winter Holiday Season is the best time to sell art works, but I decided to save my energy and focus on getting ready for 2021. I am comfortable with the progress I have made in 2020.

Safest way to ship oil painting is in a wooden crate.

As you might have noticed, I have taken a break from posting my works on social media channels in recent weeks. I had been posting consistently for a while, but I took the break from all that is Digital and Social when the 2020 Presidential Election was at its full swing. The major social media channels had taken steps to prevent fake news and information from flooding the media, which I suspect also prevented my posts from reaching my audience. So I stopped posting. 

Following the decision to free my time from social media and all, I have been focusing on planning my 2021 painting projects and finishing 2021 projects.

One accomplishment worth noting: I upgraded my website. While my website functioned well and looked fine before, I have learned that there is a lot more that has to been done to connect my website to all digital assets and channels. For Example:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): When you google “je artist”, my website finally shows up on the first page.
  • Online Store: Securely sell my art works online: My works has been sold and shipped using my online store this year.

The entire process of getting the website up and running took a few months, mainly because I needed a body of work to put on the site. Having a website, without enough art works, made no sense. Right?

Another item worth noting is that now I have a pretty good handle on shipping my art works. All my works above $300 will ship inside a wooden crate that I make from scratch. After looking into various shipping container options, making my own crates made sense. It makes me feel safe to send my art works securely on well protected crates.

A sample shipping crate.

Some artists have the luxury to just to paint, but that hasn’t been the case for me just yet.

That’s all for now.