Walking in Juifen

Joshua Lance
Sep 8, 2013 12:26AM

One of the great pleasures of being a new resident of an old country is that every place you go seems fresh and alive. Especially with this little mountain town by the coast called Jiufen. It’s a village about 1000 residents, an hour northeast of Taipei where old buildings, shrines and temples are authentically diverse and lovely.

I painted this scene from a photograph in one of the alleys. They were very cool to be in this, it reminded me a bit of Japan. That’s because this used to be a huge Japanese village when it was under control by Japan in the early 20th century. Much of its style and relics remain intact. I wanted to capture the energy of the scene. For the first time, I painted figures in the painting. I just wanted some human presence there, as humans were part of the scene as well. I painted three kinds of reds in this painting, as I’m loving the reds in my work.

When you paint a scene like this, you have to really enjoy everything about it or it will show up. You have to leave some things out and leave in the essential items, like the red lanterns, the trees on the top, the stairs, and the dark buildings. I’m learning how to control my lights and darks better. Most importantly, I’m learning how to have more fun and I feel more focused in taking my time, letting things unfold as they do. This is an exciting piece for me and I hope you enjoy it too!

Joshua Lance