Thursday, December 19, 2013

Emerging after My Long Period of Absence... Some Fall Colors in Winter, Some New Finished Paintings, and My Last Holiday Fair of the Season


Fall Colors, Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah,
 Watercolor on Arches #140 Rough, 12"h x 9"w, WIP 1

Finally painting again! From October to December the Atelier work turned out more demanding as the projects get harder, and I will finally start chalk and charcoal next semester! It has seriously eaten into my watercolor painting time, and the busy holiday fair season did not help either -- between getting prints and small gift products ready for the shows and doing my charcoal drawings from life, I did not have much breathing room in the past few months... Hence the lack of new paintings here and no update on my blog (shame on me...) -- but, no more excuses, I am painting again! Yay!



Quicken Aspens, Park City, Utah,
 Watercolor on Arches #140 Rough, 8"h x 12"w, WIP 1

Here's a couple of landscapes I have started in Carl Purcell's workshop the past summer (really? It has been so long?...) and like everything started during a workshop, they did not get finished. I've started five of them and the closest one is about 70% done, but none of these. Maybe it is just me -- I always feel quite rushed in the drawing part whenever I am attending a workshop, and was not quite happy with the hard-edged shapes of the foliage on all these tree paintings. To me, a foliage clump in a painting needs to have very interesting and well-designed but natural-looking shapes and a blend of hard, soft and broken edges to really make it look like "foliage" instead of just "choppy brush strokes", and mine in any of these paintings certainly did not meet the standard. 



Quiet Meadows, Sonoma Pasture, 
 Watercolor on Arches #140 Rough, 12"h x 8"w, WIP 1

Not to worry -- off to the faucet! Arches paper can really take some abuse and that's why we love it! When the paper is soaking wet and the half-finished painting is not completely erased but with a lovely ghost image left on the paper, I took out the reference materials from the workshop and started to lay in colors wet in wet. Then I let them dry -- and I've liked these altered images much more. Next step is adding more definitions on dry paper, which involves some serious thought process on designs. Busy paintings filled with various shapes and colors (such as these depicting woods, forest, undergrowth, etc.) really needs succinct silhouette of the center of focus and some quiet areas to let viewer's eyes rest. For example, all the foliage clumps in "Quiet Meadows, Sonoma Pasture" are too symmetric and similar in size, which  is a residue problem from the not-carefully-thought-out initial drawings during the workshop, and therefore needs to be redesigned. I will do some sketch to figure that out... 


Summer Glow II, Watercolor on Arches #140 Cold Press Paper, 5"h x 7"w, 2013 #81

Sold!

Here's a couple of paintings I've finished but never had a chance to share with you on my blog. The first one is a second version of "Summer Glow"... All because I was stupid enough to want to repair a small smear damage on the first one, and you know what happens next -- the repairs have completely damaged the first version and the only thing I could do is to repaint it... I should have learned my lessons of not messing with a finished watercolor by now... Sometimes I really wonder what I was thinking...





Soar II, Watercolor on Arches #140 Cold Press Paper, 6"h x 6"w, WIP 1


This one is actually finished and sold to a collector in England. I just did not have a good photo of it -- accidentally dropped my camera and broke it so now I only have my ipad as a camera, which is seriously not adequate to take images of finished paintings... (WIP photos, maybe, but not finished works, especially not when a piece is flying out and I may never get the chance to see it ever again...) So I will be posting the finished image when I get my new camera, I promise ;-)

Finally, since I did quite a few holiday shows this winter, and the holiday fair season is drawing to a close, I thought I'd give a shout-out here for my last fair of the season... It is a very cool venue: I will be selling my Watercolors, Giclee Prints, Holiday Cards, Calendars and MORE in the SF Bazaar Zoo Lights Event at San Francisco Zoo Entry Village Circle, located at Sloat Blvd. & the Great Highway this weekend (both Saturday and Sunday), December 21st & 22nd, between 3:00pm and 8:00pm. So if you find yourself in the city over the weekend, or want to take your kids to see the animals in the San Francisco Zoo under the evening lights, drop by and get some beautiful, hand-made, animal-related art gifts for your holidays!



Especially for this fair I have designed and made some holiday cards (yes, they are year-round good but I made this set of eight especially for the winter season). These little ones are printed on 3.5" x 5" sized Strathmore watercolor cards, and a set contains 8 different winter snow scenes, with name of the painting and my info printed at the back of the card. I have named it "Winter Wonderland" and will upload it for sale to my etsy shop soon, at a price of $20/set. I also have the same set of a larger size -- 5" x 7" for $25. Drop me an email if you are interested in having one!

In the mean time, if you have an image of a beautiful landscape, or a flower you like, or anything you might want to see painted, please email them to me at arena.shawn@gmail.com. I will paint them and post them here. From every 10 paintings I make from them, there would be a random drawing, and the lucky winner get to take a original back home for free! Interested? Then send me your photo!

You can now buy high quality Giclee prints of many of my sold paintings, both on paper and canvas, as well as some note cards with my paintings here:




3 comments:

  1. Beautiful work as always....Merry Christmas and all the best for 2014!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Merry Christmas Arena, glad your back!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Merry Christmas Arena, glad your back!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for taking time visiting and commenting on my blog! Your feedback and encouragements are things that keep me going with I am feeling down or frustrated... I will try my best to reply to every comment ASAP but sometimes life gets in the way and I am a bit slow in my response. I would like to apologize if that happens...

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