Linsen H. Ngai is a self-taught watercolor artist. She was born in Kiangsi, China and grew up in San Francisco, California. She obtained her B.S. in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley and her M.S. and Ph.D. in chemical physics from the University of Chicago. After retirement from scientific research, she now devotes her full time to art.

She started out by reading and studying Chinese art by old masters, especially paintings by Pa Ta Shan Jen and Jen Po Nien of the Ching Dynasty. She is also inspired by contemporaries such as Chi Pai Shih, Lee Koo Zen and Ching Zhi Fa. The main subject of interest of Linsen's earlier Chinese paintings was on birds and flowers. They were done on very thin, lightweight Hsun paper with Chinese ink and watercolor. The brush strokes, the simplicity of composition and the expressions were emphasized in all these paintings.

Autumn Reflections


As her skills matured, she began to experiment with semi abstract works where arbitrary shapes are used as the negative space. This technique is very different from Chinese paintings which usually have white (the color of the paper) or light color wash. The emphasis here is on color coordination rather than the true subject matter of a bird or an animal. The results are very unusual and quite striking. The Hsun paper is also used with this style of painting.

The landscape paintings are mostly done on 140lbs cold press paper. These paintings are either produced on location, painted from memory or utilized references. All the landscape paintings are grouped as realistic paintings where composition plays a major role.

A painting has to be beautiful. The artist believes that a painting has to please the eyes as music has to please the ears. Yet a painting does more than that. Through a painting one can hear or sense the music. The whisper of a gentle breeze, the roaring of the waterfull, the pattering of raindrops or the sweet songs of a bird. It is the hope of the artist that through her paintings she can convey to the viewers the beauty, the love and the tranquility in the world that we live in as much as she has enjoyed painting them.

Linsen H. Ngai lives in Great Falls, Virginia and is an active member of the local McLean Art Club, Vienna Arts Society, Potomac Valley Watercolorists and Fairfax Art League. She participates in many of the area judged and juried art shows and quite a number of her paintings have received awards and recognitions. Her works are showing in many area facilities and organizations. Her continuous solo exhibition is featured at the Oriental Regency in Vienna, Virginia.