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Oil Painter's Brush with Success


Most of his early work was commercial painting, but he has started to paint original works in recent years as the market has become more demanding and greater importance has been attached to creative works. "I don't think I am a factory worker, nor am I an artist," he said, explaining that his work seem to be somewhere in between. "Painting is not like factory work even if it is reproduction. It is freer. But I am not that obsessed with art either."

At Xie's studio, which has six apprentices and four painters, an ordinary apprentice-level replica is sold to a dealer for about 100 yuan, while a higher level commercial painting that incorporates the painter's own creativity can cost 1,000 yuan. Completely original works are priced at about 5,000 yuan.

It is a job that requires hard work as many paintings need to be sold to ensure a decent salary.

"It (painting) cannot provide you with a big fortune, but you can live on it," he said.

And for him, there are bonuses in this line of work. Improving his skills, taking part in exhibitions, and getting awards from time to time give him a sense of satisfaction.

He is currently busy with an original work, aiming to take it to a provincial art exhibition.

"I've had my works exhibited twice there. One more time and I will get the title of provincial painter," he said.

While he likes his oil paintings to be shown to others, he doesn't have a single one hung in his own house, where all of the works on display are by other painters.

"I never do that," he said. "When you look back to your paintings in the past, you will find something you don't like. You are never satisfied."

Source: China Daily

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