Studying Chao Shao-an I am always fascinated that he painted in such detail beetles of all sorts. Cicadas especially he is perfect at.
The antenae for one thing are always so stickly in his style but the legs also. Watching the way he almost absentmindedly creates the bracken and scrub undergrowth leaves you in no doubt that he really was the master of spontaneity and if you ever look at his paintings you'll see how you automatically study the point of interest and the rest is incidental mayhem youre aware of, but dont see directly.
This method of creating an unseen but seen environment is not as easy as it seems. The careful balance between the subject matters' weight on your impression of it and its relevance but unobtrusiveness of its surrounds is a well balanced recipe for make or break.
I painted this longhorn beetle because he did when he was alive. He died about a decade ago. But I always wish I could have had a one to one with him just to listen to how his mind worked. What he thought about. What inspired him to paint a snail in the rain.
All I can hope is that, perhaps, one day, a long way from today, someone may be inspired to ask me.