Most roses really thrive in the sun but my Spirit of Freedom was having none of this 92 degree onslaught! It’s really quite delicate. I had to shade it with my big green market umbrella and hope that those ponderous heads of tightly wound petals wouldn’t fall away from their delicate stems like a dried up umbilical cord. These roses seem shy, always looking downward. I think I would have named them differently, maybe Bashful Belle or Heavy Heart? No matter the name, I still need to keep my inspiration from frying in the heat!
This week I’ve been painting the lovely cupped rose that blooms outside my studio. It’s called Spirit of Freedom, a David Austin stunner. Beyond it’s sweet fragrance, I love the hypnotic experience of looking into it’s myriad of petals. That’s why I’m calling this painting Rose Mandala, a meditation circle. Ommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!
I’ve loosely sketched in the outlines of the form with oil mixed with mineral spirits.
Layering in some of the mid-tone pinks using a thicker bodied oil, leaving some space blank so my colors won’t muddy prematurely.
Adding some cool toned shadows and roughing in the background.
Beginning to blend paint where added highlights and shadows meet existing paint.
Trying to develop the fluid character of the petals.
Adding more depth to the shadows and further refining the petals.
Satisfied with the balance of the refinement and flow of the petals and the overall form of the rose.
The rose is a great deal more than a blushing apology for the thorn.
– excerpt from Rabindranath Tagore’s Fireflies.
Spirit of Freedom rose by David Austen that blooms in front of my studio (when not devoured by Mr. Antlers).