Thank you for your interest in this series of paintings, Eye on China. This online exhibition was started in 2018, and came to a halt during the 2020 pandemic. It was my intention to have a public display and open exhibition, but have decided to proceed with an online version of an exhibit instead, allowing me to add work as I desire, but also to fulfill other work demanding my attention. Progress videos and images can be seen in my blog posts and Eye on ART ED website displaying an ongoing look at my studio progress.
I began a series of paintings after taking photos while traveling in Western China in 2018. We visited several Tibetan monasteries and other areas of interest focused on China's minority groups. I was deeply moved by the things that we saw, but until I read the book "Leaving Buddha", I hadn't quiet grasped the enslaved lives that these monks endure. The book tells the true story of one Tibetan monk whose parents gave him over to the monastery when he was a very young boy. His search for truth, and through God's grace provided a new life, and his freedom.
My first trip to China was in the summer of 1992 which was a source of great inspiration for early works and studies in this subject, but regular travel to mainland China began in 2004. Living and teaching in Hong Kong from 2006-2010 allowed for many chances to travel and capture in photography images for this body of work. My last trip to China was in 2018 where most of the work seen in this collection were inspired from.
The body of work is completed in oil on canvas, or on masonite. I begin with a grisaille method but lose it as I layer and glaze. I enjoy the process of grisaille but use it as a drawing method as I do the foundation and layout of the composition directly with paint and brush.
Thank you for taking the time to view this body of work and to read about each piece as the descriptions are added. Hopefully, your interest in China has been heightened and you will consider following my studio work here:
With thanks, Laura Ury
A Touch of Blue studio
Eye on China, online exhibition
This progress photo shows you a general approach to my painting process. "Drawing" directly on the canvas with a brush and monochromatic color. Then, a selection of a simple value range or limited palette of colors to develop the 3 dimensional forms. Later, moving to a fuller palette. Then, using the glazing approach to intensify color and emphasis is used in layers. Details are added at every stage.
Preparatory sketches for paintings
Four Monks at Daqin