Zhao Xinyu often paints women who are wearing different outfits and assuming various postures.

He believes portraits are the most difficult form of realistic oil painting, but he is very pleased to take on the challenge.

“Every time I appreciate other masters’ portraits, I am deeply fascinated by these outstanding paintings,” Zhao said. “Hence, the desire to create such portraits sprouts in my heart.”

A female model appears frequently in Zhao’s paintings including the Slow Pace of Life series and the Love of Sea series. She is Zhao’s wife.

Compared with other models, Zhao knows his wife well. She represents his ideal female form and is the main model for his paintings.

Zhao and his wife have shared weal and woe for years.

When Zhao graduated from Capital Normal University in 2008, he turned down an offer for a stable job at the university and courageously pursued the dream of being a professional artist.

Zhao achieved what he wished. But as a newcomer with little reputation and few connections in the art circle, Zhao suffered financial difficulties in the beginning. Fortunately, his girlfriend who is now his wife did not abandon their love on account of poverty. Instead, she worked hard and supported Zhao’s art with her salary.

“I am very grateful to her,” Zhao said.

Sometimes Zhao paints custom portraits for clients.

He doesn’t shy away from speaking about the commercialization of art.

“Nearly all artists wish their work is accepted by society and then becomes valuable,” he said. “It needs the influence of commercialization to achieve this goal.”

However, he says following your heart when you create is what essentially makes you an artist.

The Slow Pace of Life series is Zhao’s favorite. The series reflects the artist’s philosophy about life: in today’s quick-paced society, people should slow down and enjoy the happiness surrounding them.

The Quiet Time series has two paintings. Their backgrounds are different, but their layout and content are similar. In the series, a doll and a toy dog are standing with their backs toward the viewers and looking out the window.

“It seems that time stands still,” Zhao said. “I was moved by this picture.”

Zhao wants to create more works for the Slow Pace of Life series. He also wants to add new elements to his creations and try new painting techniques in the future.


Shu Pengqian

About Shu Pengqian

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Shu Pengqian is a TV drama and novel addict. Although most people think she looks like an introvert, she's actually really outgoing.

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