Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fire Dance (Very Close to Finish...)

Fire Dance, Watercolor on Fabriano Artistico #140 Cold Press Paper, 6"h x 6"w, WIP 7

I am currently working on two small paintings of tulips -- perhaps being inspired by the beautiful tulip garden cultivated by our Dutch neighbor that I can see every time I look out of the window facing my painting table. An artist is definitely aesthetically influenced by his/her immediate environment -- albeit some more than others -- but that perhaps is a good justification for our desire to surround ourselves with beautiful objects such as other artists' work?...

That aside, this particular tulip, "Fire Dance", paintings have taken me a long time to complete, dragging from last spring to this one. Numerous times I have seen it as finished, even framed it and showed it in galleries, and eventually after looking at it for a while, I would feel something is still missing, and eventually remove it from the mat and rework it some more. From the last WIP of it shown on this blog, I have followed some very good advice from fellow artists and softened the edge between the leftmost flower in the background and the background itself, linking the two together, as well as separating the center flower from the rest by darkening and neutralizing the flowers out of focus in the background. I've lost some beautiful passages of effects along the way, but I feel the whole painting does stand stronger this way, and it is very close to finish... I just need to think about how to define the front petal in the center flower better -- without losing the light on it. I need to spend more time staring at it and think than to actually move my brush at this stage...

How to finish a painting is a very personal problem that each painter solves in their own way, and may vary from one piece of work to the next. However, being able to actually "finish" a piece without rushing it through deadline or beating it to death by overworking gives a tremendous sense of satisfaction, as well as confidence to build on the knowledge gained in this difficult process and apply it to the next painting. Wish me good luck to pull it through, my friends...

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:


  1. nice work! such a nice artist you are :) I really loved all your art works

  2. Arena this is gorgeous! I loved how you softened the edges on the tulips in the background. I can't believe this is a 6 x 6!

  3. Surely this is a site well worth seeing.


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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