How long have you been an artist?
I've been an artist since I went to University back in China. It has been 25 years since then. I went to Shandong University of the Arts and studied oil painting. I learned many different styles of painting but in my last two years of school I mostly practiced oil painting, so I majored in oil painting. Now I mostly practice realistic oil painting, but sometimes I'll do abstract painting, collage, and printmaking.
I was educated as a teacher so I learned all the different aspects for teaching. I got my MFA at Shandong University and taught at Qilu University of Technology. There I taught murals, decorative paintings, and mixed media.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
My childhood was very important inspiration for me. As a child, I grew up in the country. It was very rural. Later I went to Shengli Oil Fields, where my parents were living. It was all wetlands, it was very beautiful. You can see wetlands like those in my paintings. I think that was a expression for me.
How did you first become involved with the West Hartford Art League?
A few months after I moved to Connecticut, one of my friends told me that the West Hartford Art League was near my apartment. So I came to visit and saw a solo exhibit in the gallery. A year or so later I took my first class here. I've been taking classes here about two years now and have studied with Shauna Shane, Paul Batch and Dianne Zweig.
Where else do you practice your art?
I just received a grant from the Vermont Studio Center to be an artist in residence in September. It's an honor to get in. I'll be there for one month. I want to look for more opportunities like that because its really important for me to improve my painting level.
What is your favorite part of being involved in the West Hartford Art League?
I really like the exhibits and the workshops. . There are some high level workshops that I really enjoy.
What do you do with your time when you're not at the West Hartford Art League?
When I am not here I am mostly painting or learning English. Sometimes I go on hikes in search of beautiful scenery. The hikes are another source for my painting. And sometimes I listen to music- some music gives me inspiration too. There are lots of connections between finding the rythym in paintings and music.
Where have you exhibited your work?
I was just in the West Hartford Art League's CT+6 show, and I have had solo exhibits at Capital Community College, Farmington Vallery Art Center and in the Connecticut Legislative Office Building.
This interview has been edited and condensed for editorial purposes