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  • Writer's pictureQinghong Wei, PhD

"Mother Mountain and Her Children"


A while back, a really kind lady in my community asked me to create a painting of our local landscape in a large format. I was both honored and intimidated by the request. While I'd got some skills in painting animals etc., landscape was an entirely different genre and I would learn as a beginner again. And I hadn't painted large ever since we moved to the mountains. Life was so chaotic and fluid. To keep up with watercolor, I painted at all the odd places and painted small. It actually worked wonders and enabled me to savor the joy of art making even during the most difficult days, and continue to grow as an artist.



After we finally feel settled here, nudged by my beloved community and genuinely called by Mother Nature, I felt this painting, however challenging it might be, was the right next step for me. After months of preparation, last week I finally got brave and created the painting.


It is inspired by one of my favorite local views. Instead of rendering it realistically, I wanted to express what my heart felt for these mountains, and that is abundant, vibrant, airy and magical.



The painting experience was both hard and inspiring. I painted for days, almost quit halfway but brought myself back and kept going. I learned so much. Yesterday I delivered this painting to my client, she and her team received it with great joy and enthusiasm. And that made my heart full. I am truly humbled, grateful, and inspired to keep going.  




I will share process photos below. If you have something you feel called to paint but not sure if you have the skills, by all means, go for it! The skills will be gained by doing it, slowly but surely!


Step 1. Light pencil sketch


Step 2. Wet the paper first and paint the background mountains and trees


Step 3. Wet the foreground paper and splash colors to create the ambient


Step 4. Paint in the deer


Step 5. Add more details to the foreground pasture and complete the final painting


Happily posing with my painting before delivering to the client. So much gratitude!




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