Saturday, 23 March 2013


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Sometimes studio work goes smoothly, but not often. I've been working on this painting on and off for a few months. At the offset, my inspiration came from the dark, luscious florals created over a century ago by painters like Severin Roesen. I was also hoping to capture some of the loose brushwork in Eduard Manet's roses which I studied in detail while in Paris.

I've declared "The scent of Roses" complete many times, but have returned to make adjustments. In the past my main concerns have been the shadows and the background, which have been various shades and colours but nothing could balance the strong image.Some artists don't like to rework their paintings and like Matisse prefer to keep the first version as a record. I think reworking a painting adds texture, giving the surface a sense of history and I rather like the effect. Today, studying the painting again, I decided the main problem was the composition and indistinct story line.

The original image was a simple bouquet seen from slightly above with stems showing at the top on an unusual angle. This composition was probably more suited to a square canvas. Today, I added a wine glass with ruby red wine to echo the roses and an open bottle of wine. Now the viewer can easily relate to the image. I also developed the flow of the composition by emphasizing some of the shadows and bringing some of the highlights down a notch.

This time I think "The scent of roses" is a beautiful rich painting well suited to an ornate steampunk type frame. I love the velvety depth of the red blooms and the looseness of the chocolate rose buds. The modern brushwork gives a unique touch and brings it into the 21st century. Love it, love it, love it! I hope you do too.

Cat # 12108 B - The Scent of Roses - Regular $145 (Posted as # 14 on Slices of Life Saturday 23 March)