This painting took a very long time to do, not just because of the detail but because I had to steal time to paint amidst the madcap life of looking after a toddler, working part-time, frequent doctor visits, being sick and constantly deprived of sleep. With these various commitments and challenges, Tangled was painted because that seemed to be my day-to-day life—immobile, always working for others, always caught by circumstances and having little choice in the time and activities of the day. At the same time, I know a lot of women who have and are sacrificing careers, ambitions and so much of their own time for familial duties. In my experience, this burden for daughters, mothers and grandmothers is not just an Asian cultural thing.

In the world of the painting, imagine a dryad (or tree spirit) who’s chosen to take slumber at the bottom of a tree. Outside the forest, the world of humans, towering skyscrapers and cars creeps ever closer and closer. It may be better just to stay asleep.

Technical stuff: watercolours on canvas paper, A3 size (roughly 12 by 15 inches).

Featured on the front page on 16 November 2011: Dreaming

Janet Chui is a fantasy artist and illustrator working primarily in watercolours and mixed media.

View Full Profile


  • Rachel Williams
    Rachel Williamsover 3 years ago

    Brilliant and thought provoking. Well done.
    Rachel :)

  • Deborah Lazarus
    Deborah Lazarusover 3 years ago

    Wonderful work!!!!

  • MoonSpiral
    MoonSpiralover 3 years ago

    This is stunning, and really hits home for me. I think being a stay at home mom and trying to be a professional artist is a completely crazy path to follow sometimes. The creative impulse can be so urgent sometimes, and you have to put it on hold to cook dinner, help with homework, or breastfeed a crying baby. I get so jealous sometimes of young single artists that spend hours alone in their studio, never interrupted with “Mommy”. Tangled, yes, that about sums it up :)

  • michellerena
    michellerenaover 3 years ago

    Fantastic work Janet, I know exactly where your coming from, I’m a Mother of 6 children, I wouldn’t give them up for the world but a little ME time would be great

  • vivien styles
    vivien stylesover 3 years ago

    Although I am probably one of the lucky ones with a bit of me time. I can appreciate the hard work others do to keep their families. This is a brilliant representation and very thought provoking scene. Fabulous work

  • Lilaviolet
    Lilavioletover 3 years ago

    Outstanding piece of art! Love this fantastic work and your message, Janet!

  • jonolaf
    jonolafover 3 years ago

    stunning work , love the detail and words

  • Deborah Lazarus
    Deborah Lazarusover 3 years ago

  • DeborahZaragoza
    DeborahZaragozaover 3 years ago

    Congratulations on your feature Janet!!!

  • MoniqueGeurts
    MoniqueGeurtsover 3 years ago

    Wonderful work!!

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait