What is the meaning of painting? To oil painter April Xu, painting is the best way to express her mood. All the subtle feelings coming from real scenes that happen every day motivate her to use brushes to show her love of the world. Meanwhile, she also thinks a painter should not only express their feelings but also honestly record social events. For example, the tragedies of the global pandemic and the 2020 Oregon wildfires made her realize that humans should revere nature, be modest, and respect it. She records these events by painting them to memorize them. Together, painting allows her to feel about her daily life, gain a deeper understanding of the world, and reflect on it in a unique way. Thus, Xu invites us to acknowledge the unexpected just as much as the quotidien, with subtle magnetizing power – a quality Xu borrows from one of her favorite artists, American painter Andrew Wyeth. However, Xu’s great-grandfather, who painted with Chang Dai-Chien – one of the most well-known Chinese artists of the 20th century - for over thirty years, remains her strongest inspiration.
Xu holds a bachelor degree in illustration and has exhibited extensively in Houston, TX, Portland, Eugene, OR, and overseas. She has received many fine art competition awards and was invited as a juror for art competitions such as the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Most notably, her work is featured in the collection of Princeton University’s East Asian Library. Xu teaches drawing and painting in Portland, Oregon, where she resides.