Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Romance of Roses


The Infatuation: The rose has been associated with romance for centuries. Legends, fairy tales and folklore have evolved around this delicate flower. The names alone given to its fragrant blooms evoke romance. The desire to recreate its beauty has challenged many, whether by capturing its image with poetry, embroidery thread, photography, or brush. For those of us who have been smitten by the rose, that desire becomes a driving force in our chosen art form. So it begins, our romance with the rose.

The Romance: A rose has a language all its own. Its color may indicate passion, jealously, new love, or purity. As romantics, we can coax the emotion that we desire from our rose with any of the colors we have in our paint boxes. One of my great joys is to paint roses of unique color, against unusual background treatments and hues. Combined with other design elements, such as china, ribbon, lace, or berries, the romance of roses deepens our desire to represent its beauty in many settings.

The Courtship: A romance can blossom in any environment, but with a little creativity, it can be greatly enriched by its surroundings. So it is with the rose and the leaves by which it is framed. Deep, rich green leaves with undertones of purple, or ones marred with leaf spot and bug bites, give the painting interest, depth, and enhance the beauty of the rose. A faded leaf, a bulging bud, or angular stem gives each painting a uniqueness all of its own, but a dew drop adds the sparkle of a diamond! It is hard to resist painting roses on unusual surfaces or tucking them in surprising places. The courtship of a rose can be very heady indeed!

The Affair: Like any love, painting roses requires great care, patience, and at times, perseverance. But with desire and a little experimentation, we are ready to embark upon a great adventure full of whimsy and fantasy. Whether you are just flirting with the notion of painting roses, or are a serious suitor, you will enjoy the intrigue and mystery that your romance with the rose provides.

It is my hope that you won’t suffer the pain of pining after a faded love. Best wishes on a long and happy relationship.

Jeanne Downing

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