Glorious Pink Roses

This is a series of studies of a lovely pink rosebush in my backyard. I try to do one every day and do not spend more than three or four hours on them. Some were painted “en plein air” and some painted from reference photos. Each one had a unique challenge. The last painting is a large studio painting based on the studies.

In the beginning I like to keep the forms loose and very fluid. Finding the composition as I go along in a very organic way helps to portray the growing pattern of the roses and interlacing leaves and stems. The light was dappled and I needed an umbrella in order to see the image on my canvas.

“Pink Roses #3 oil on linen board

This next study was painted from a reference photo. I decided to zero in on the main rose in the middle and severely crop the rest of the photograph. Using a photo can be a valuable tool but you must be able to recreate the form rather than simply copy the photographic image.

“Pink Roses #4 oil on linen board
“Pink Rose Study #1
“Pink Rose Study #2

Working in a series painting the same kind of motif over and over can be a great learning experience. I feel like I really know the growing pattern and feel very comfortable with the forms because I have taken the time to “get to know this rosebush” .

I decided to use some of the studies to create a studio painting. It is based on the earlier plein air work and a photographic reference. Working on a larger size demands a different sensibility then the smaller works. I started off with a loose “grisaille” and then proceeded to move into the local color hoping to keep the same freshness of the smaller works.

Halfway through the painting. Concentrating on the left side adding local color and developing forms of the flowers and leaves. The right side is still very much a grisaille.
“Reverie” oil on linen (16×20)

I have been thinking alot about my visit to Italy a few months ago. I am so glad I had the opportunity before the pandemic took hold to see firsthand masterworks of art. I will always remember the magnificent art everywhere we went. The impressive masters of the Renaissance such as Michelangelo, Titian, Raphael, Botticelli and countless other lesser known artist all share one thing in common; the absolute knowledge of the craft of painting. the ability to draw and conceive in paint the illusion of reality within a formal structure. I wanted to “construct” this painting on the principles of abstract design and composition as much as representing reality. I think I achieved some of that goal.

NOTE: “Pink is the color of joy and youthfulness. For this reason, the pink color of a rose blossom represents young and innocent love. They also symbolize  gratitude, grace, and joy”

I hope everyone is surviving as best as possible during this very trying time. This moment in history will remain in our memory for years to come. Let’s hope a vaccine will be found soon for this terrible coronavirus. Let us also hope that the recent tragedy of George Floyd will be a call to action for the whole country and the world to treat each other with compassion, kindness and to respect all lives as holy.

In the meantime, stay positive, keep working and keep in touch. Jeanean


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