Chen Jian 陈坚
Painting done by professor Chen Jian
In 2019, our trip to Qingdao was led by our professor Chen Qian who is originally from this beautiful city. Chen Jian was born 1959 in the province of Shandong, China and came from a family of electrical engineers. He is a professor at The China Academy of Art but has also been a guest professor at The Guangzhou Academy of Fine arts and the Hubei Academy of Fine Arts. He is also the director of The China Artists Association and the Watercolor Art Committee. Below are some of his watercolor paintings.
During one of our critique sessions, our professor pulled out some prints of his watercolor landscape paintings.
I absolutely adore his use of color and brushstrokes in each and everyone of his watercolor paintings. They create such an amazing setting for the mood intended.
First Day in Qingdao, China （2019）
In my last post, I briefly introduced my experience in Qingdao. Our first night, we received a variety of new art supplies and materials for our time during Qingdao. Our school intended for us to spend everyday out of the two weeks painting outdoors, and our professor who happened to grow up in Qingdao took us to many inspirational places to paint. The first full day in Qingdao we spent touring the city, trying to find the perfect place to paint.
St. Michael's Cathedral, Qingdao (Chinese: 圣弥爱尔大教堂)
Photo of our departments graduate student group
Group photo in front of an art gallery at St. Michael's Cathedral (Graduate and Undergraduate Students)
Watercolor set we received from our department. Each color was handpicked by our professor, Chen Jian.
At the beginning of Day 2 (due to the fact that it was raining outside), we spent the morning in a lecture given to us by our professor. He showed us many of his paintings done in Qingdao to give us inspiration and an idea of what and how to paint outdoors. This is one of my favorite paintings done by our professor and the picture I took of the site at which he painted when I went exploring on day 3.
We spent a few hours each week giving each other critique. My favorite critique was when we all gathered around and our professor took one students painting and helped point out some changes that could be made to make it better.
Another fun critique happened for us graduate students late one night. As seen in the picture on the left is one of my paintings and on the right is one of my professors paintings. He put them up next to each other to show what I could do to improve my painting. Can you take a guess at what he was pointing out to me?
He suggested that I have more separation between the sky and water in my paintings as well and a clear foreground, middle ground, and back ground to help my painting have a better expression of space. (Head over to the gallery on my website to see more of my paintings during my time in Qingdao. You can find this one there too.)
Photo of our department with professor Chen Jian sitting in the front
Overall, I had a wonderful experience in Qingdao and I wanted to take some time to thank my professor who arranged everything that made this trip so very special. I was able to spend every day outdoors and in nature doing the very thing that I enjoy the most, painting. It was such a new experience being able to do this with a group of classmates, painting side by side with each other. I woke up every morning excited to go outside with my classmates and paint. As an foreigner whose main language is not Chinese, I was a little nervous about how this trip would go. I thought it would be hard to communicate with my classmates and I had a million different things going on in my head that could go wrong. But, it was the most wonderful experience of my life and in the end I was able to use the Chinese I know to communicate and have so much fun on this trip. I hope you enjoyed learning about another Chinese artist as well as about my time in Qingdao.
Until next time,