by KELLY GUSICH | photos by Spark Photography 

Value and Composition

Keming Chen was born in Nanking, China, but when he was an infant, his family fled to Taiwan. These days, he’s been enjoying life in 92127 since 1989 and has settled in 4S Ranch. He’s noticed the smartly planned community. “No matter which part you live in,” Keming said, “you always find a couple of parks nearby.”

Utilizing those parks for his daily exercise, Keming also uses the surrounding beauty and peace as inspiration for art. Formerly a product and design engineer for color TV sets and an analog engineer in color image processing for companies like RCA and Motorola, he came to understand and become sensitive to color, value, and composition. Earning nine different patents during his career, this experience and education greatly helped Keming with his current endeavor: watercolor paintings. “I had been dreaming of drawing and painting for months before I retired,” he affirmed. The first class he took was a colored pencil drawing session. “A few weeks later, I took a watercolor class and found out it is more fun!”

As a child, Keming got excellent grades in art during his formative years, and he read art books in his free time. Now that he’s painting with watercolors, which he enjoys because of its transparency and flexibility, he has taken thousands of photographs – from his own travels and from others provided by friends and family (he is married and has three grown children) – and uses them to inspire his paintings.


Name: Keming J. Chen
Profession: Retired
Community: 4S Ranch since 2010
Hobbies & Interests: Watercolor painting
Favorite Local Spots: Linear Park and Patriot Park in 4S Ranch, Rancho Bernardo Library


Keming was surprised that one of his watercolors received first place in the 2014 City of San Diego Senior Art Contest, just one year after he began using the medium. He received the same ribbon in 2015, receiving Best in Show honors and having three of his paintings displayed in the fine art exhibition. “One of these three paintings, Boats at Harbor Island, received an award from the San Deguito Art Guild,” Keming smiled. “At that point, I had been practicing watercolor for one and a half years.”

These have inspired Keming to continue his work in watercolor painting, and the accolades keep coming. His Great Wall, China received a Juror Commendation award at the San Diego Watercolor Society in December of last year. Party Time received the Best Miniature Award at the San Diego Watercolor Society in March, and was sold. Keming Chen’s experiences as a local artist have allowed him to continue to paint his world, and ours, in many beautiful colors.

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