The symbol of love, the rose is also the symbol of struggle and suffering; of being brave and facing the dark. Look how it is used as a motif in fairy tales- the rose that precipitates the dark tale of the Beauty and the Beast; the prince who wakes the Sleeping Beauty has to find his painful way through a wall of briar roses, the young price who wishes to rescue Rupunzel falls on a rose bush and is blinded; the roses that bloom red and one white at the very end of suffering in the story of the Wild Swans. In my reading about those who faced the fascist regime in Germany it also became a symbol of resistance.
New work in progress, 6 of 8 . 30″ by 22″ conte and charcoal.
I had prepped Stonehenge paper for more ruins work and felt the impulse to do large portraits. I work on each enough to feel it has come alive and then move on to the next. I am determined to do 8 and then review them to decide whether to adapt them further.
As I work on these portraits I think of sculptures of saints on old cathedrals, I think of the churches blackened by fire and think about the story of Christmas in which the light of the world came into the dark as a child- and the dark did not overcome it.
At the end of July, I took a weekend workshop on abstract painting at the Vancouver Island School of Art. Our instructor was the kind and fascinating John Luna. We were taught 3 approaches for developing ideas for abstract work.
Being more comfortable with drawing materials, I often felt frustrated, though I found myself intrigued and decided that my summer goal would be 8 more paintings based on what I had learnt in the workshop. Here is a glimpse of what I accomplished. I am pleased I persisted despite being out of my comfort zone (working with colour, on canvas, with paint.) Some of these pieces feel resolved, some are not, but all of them are inspiration for more paintings.
I spent an afternoon doing a study from one of my own photos. I started off with watercolour and soon found a new respect for watercolour florals! Thankfully white gesso rescued the picture and I am not unhappy with the result. A bit more needs to be done, but that’s enough of experimenting for today!
Looking for inspiration I found this wonderful picture by Fantin -Latour: