2023 Relaxation small oil painting series (1)

Initial thoughts

When I planned my fantasy art sketches, I also planned several smaller size paintings in order to balance the fatigue of larger size oil paintings. The goal for these smaller size paintings is relaxation. The color palette is simple. The brush stroke is loose and details are limited. I prepared five of them. Now I have finished two. I only paint the smaller size canvas when my time is not suit for longer painting session. I still want to finish my fantasy oil paintings first.

Cat nap time

The reference photo for this one feels relaxing enough. Nothing feels more satisfying than a good day time nap. Sometimes a good nap on a couch is better than the nighttime sleep on a bed. I swap the color of the cat so it can fit in the greenish background. It is early afternoon on a hot summer day. The orange cat is sleeping soundly on a window ledge under the shade of trees. Everything slows down. No rush.

Drying clothes

The color of reference photo for this one is greyish. But I really like the subject. I used to dry clothes outdoor or on balcony before I came to United States. I miss the smell of sun dried linen. As to the color palette, it could be orange buildings vs blue clothes or blue buildings vs orange clothes. I pick the first one because I am a little tired of seeing limited color in winter months. I need warm and vivid color badly.

Digital sketches

Again, the purpose for this series is relaxation. So all shapes are simplified and no overdone details.


These smaller paintings are great for limited time sessions. Currently, I am thinking my next practice should be “forgive myself and let it go”. I can’t stop fixing tiny details when I am about to finish one painting. It is the time that I need to accept my “unfinished” brush stroke or void canvas part or any other type of “imperfection”.

Hopefully I can manage it. 🤣

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My paintings are an outlet to express the imagination I have inside my head that I can not put into words. After trying many mediums, I always find myself coming back to paint and brushes. In my current artistic practice, I use oil paint and mainly create portraits of mythical creatures and animals transfixed in the shifting colours of seascapes and landscapes. There is a natural spirit and magic to these creatures and their energy draws me in. Choosing to paint these creatures as real living wildlife rather than abstractions, I use bold and vivid colours to express the imaginary intertwined with reality, finding magic between the seams. Using a saturated colour palette, I create bold and striking imagery, contrasted between foreground and background, subject and landscape, and light and darkness. Weaving their bodies and the surface of the landscape into each other through organic forms and flowing brush strokes, I find beauty, strength and innocence in these creatures that reflect my inner world.