Monday, June 12, 2017

Visiting Bo Zhang's Studio







I've always liked Bo's monumental portraits as he works on them at the Palette and Chisel, so I'd thought I'd visit his studio in Bridgeport to see some more.




As Bo tells it, he first visited the Palette and Chisel around 1988 to meet Richard Schmid. But he did not know enough English to speak with him, and he did not yet realize that he could paint there.







Here's the studio.  The ceiling is low, but he has cut though it in several places -- and the daylight pours in.  He's still working on that painting in the center -- the set-up for the model is to the left.


















Here are two of his pieces that received recognition from the Oil Painters of America











Regretfully this model, one of my favorites, has moved on to a different career.














One might notice that mostly Bo paints young, attractive women.



This piece was painted as a two-hour demo in a gallery in San Francisco.






































This is one of my favorite pieces -- it's a bit melancholy -- and very Russian.

Bo's models seem to be contemplating eternity -- or, maybe that's just how it feels to hold still for twenty-five minutes.









A nice arrangement -- though my favorite detail is the Palette and Chisel chair -- which I've probably drawn about a thousand times over the past twenty years.




This is a commissioned portrait that Bo has  begun




I like the emotion of this painting -- though it does not feel as if the girl has ever played the instrument she is holding.












Bo, who has also practiced wood carving, has a collection of tribal wood carvings from around the world.


He seems to be something like an artist/priest.  He lives for his vocation - and like those three Tang Dynasty Buddhist sculptures seated in the main hallway of the Art Institute, his work offers peace, strength, and resilience.







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