I am elated that I finally finished this ambitious and complex painting (in comparison to my recent paintings.) I started Secret Garden over a month ago. While I painted, I listened to beautiful and soothing music. Here is an example - Relaxation Music: Chinese Bamboo Flute ft Piano [link]
The mellifluous music really helped me to have a calm and focused mind. I ended up enjoying every minute detail of the painting.
Secret Garden reminds me of the fond memories of sharing a secret world with a best friend. It's a place where you are free to share secret thoughts and feelings with each other. My twin sister and I shared that when we were young. It's a connection that conjures up old cozy comfort. This is a dedication to all our best friends; be it your spouse, your twin sister, your childhood friend, etc.
There is another significance to me in this painting. I know it's premature to talk about the new year. We haven't even had Thanksgiving yet. However, 2012 is a special year, because it's the Year of the Dragon. My father, who is 85 years old, my twin sister and I were all born in the year of the dragon. This is a celebration of the three dragons in our family. For those who are curious, the Chinese character on the red lantern means blessing.
The dragon is the ultimate auspicious symbol signifying success and happiness. May the celestial Dragon bring good luck to everyone in 2012.
Free floral brushes: [link]
Edit: Reference was used. I did not use my or my sister's likeness. As you can see, we look very different from the ladies in the painting.