Sunday, September 30, 2012

Petal Light III (Finished!)

I stayed up late for three consecutive nights and finally managed to finish this one for the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society's Annual Member Show! I am quite happy with the wet-in-wet passage of the big tree stump behind the flower -- but it was absolutely scary when that whole area is wet, and thick pigments of French Ultramarine and Quinacridone Burnt Sienna oozing in amorphous shaped puddles, and I was frenetically trying to lift out some brighter passages within the whole mess of darkness... I did struggle back and forth about whether I should even leave the stump where it is before starting to paint this image -- or whether I should simply remove it and put in more foliage behind the flower. I finally decided the image has enough areas of foliage and the stump could potentially break the monotony of blues and greens, add a little muted warmth to the imagery, and decide to leave it in the picture. To contrast with the detailed flower, I decide to paint the whole area wet-in-wet, using only brushwork to hint the wood grains and rough textures on the bark. I'm really glad that I did it this way -- and on this difficult paper, because it did force me to totally loosen up and break away from my reference photo, and only concentrate on WHAT IS HAPPENING ON MY PAPER to make interesting shapes using light, medium and dark value patterns and warm-cool color contrasts. It is so liberating and I really need to do this many, many, many more times!!!  

Petal Light III, 
Watercolor on Fabriano Artistico 140# Cold Press Paper,10"h x 14"w, 2012 #50

I choose a dark copper-bronze colored frame to echo the warm rusty hue of the tree stump, and deposited the painting at the Rose Shenson Gallery of Triton Art Museum in Santa Clara. The show runs from October 4th to November 3rd, and the opening reception is next Saturday, October 7th from 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm. I will be at the reception. If you are in the area, stop by and say hi! 

Petal Light III, Framed (Frame Size 16"h x 20"w)


  1. Fantástico, unos colores muy cálidos. Saludos

  2. Gorgeous rich colors and the piece looks even more amazing framed.

  3. Amazing what the right frame can do. The painting was perfect ... now it's perfect+

  4. This is so beautiful Arena:) I love the frame, almost the same color as the stump. Must have been very scary to put a stump in there but you did a great job. The flower is amazing. Great job done!

  5. Your bravery paid off, and it looks wonderful framed. Thanks for sharing.

  6. It's beautiful, Arena and I agree the frame goes so well with the painting.

    Carrie Waller


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