15 December 2007

last rose

Arches CP 300 gsm, 10" x 7". 90 minutes.

call it a sign of global warming, or a sign of the enormous fecundity of sonoma county soil ... jan's roses bloomed well into december this year. but she had to prune them back for the winter, and this was the last rose she harvested for a blossom vase in our kitchen.

i sat up until 2am painting it, naked on a kitchen stool with the ipod playing julie london and shostakovich.

the drawing came off all right, but i lost control of the background wash. my first attempt was a mixture of manganese violet, phthalo green and sepia hue (burnt umber and ivory black). whatever i intended by that mixture, the paint threw backruns easily and dried to hard edges. i had to do repairs, then add two more layers of an alternative black mixture. i wanted a cooler, deeper color but accepted this as an honorable draw.

the rest of it -- flower, stem and leaves -- came off quick enough; in fact i had to wait for the paper to dry.

the rose has long been a symbol of the passing of time. "sweetheart, go see if the rose that bloomed in the spring is still on the vine" begins a poem by ronsard.

here is to the end of the year, the end of the day, the end of much that was good and bad. into oblivion it falls forever, another drop in the eternal rain of time.

1 comment:

Nick said...

Excellent!!! Wonderful touches of intense color here and there, perfectly distributed. The hard edges work well...great floral! Listening to my homegirl JulieL, what would you expect?