Object of beauty
Are you better due to us
Or vice versa

Their astonishing beauty and variety immediately bring cheer to the observer.  There are very few people I imagine who would actually hate the rose. Perhaps the thorns, but unlikely the rose. Many in my family seem to have a real appreciation of flowers. So it was natural for me to do some of my first paintings of these magnificent flowers. These are really exercises of me following a teacher on TV doing the same paintings.

But it spoke to a point of view I have had. I hear a lot of discussion about humans and nature and how we invariably seem to damage nature.  I found this to be too simplistic and an artificial divide.  We are for better or worse, part and parcel of nature. As part of the same system, we get changed by the system and we in turn change the system.

These flowers provide a simple example of that inter-connectedness. Most of the roses we see, have been bred to look that beautiful, by humans. We have changed the roses for the better; we have spread them far and wide.  But perhaps bees also changed them in the early days to have particular colors and particular shapes so they could propagate them.   

But we also have been changed by these roses. Our history has been affected by roses. Many babies were probably made because of the presentation of roses to the loved one.  Quite a few people make their entire living because roses exist. 

So really, is the rose artificial because another part of the eco-system (us) changed it? Or are we artificial because the rose changed us?

I did these paintings in the year 2011. I will look for the teacher's name and add it here.

Learning with Roses

People who love nature, see no better example of the beauty of nature than in flowers. And the rose has been part of royalty and romance for a very long time. The number of sayings and poems that involves the rose is legion.

“A rose by any other name smells just as sweet”, implies that character wins out at the end. “A rose is a rose is a rose” implies that character is immutable.

I am fascinated by history and ‘the war of the roses’ where two royal families fought for the English throne, shows how exalted a place these flowers had in our cultures.  We even now use the phrase ‘sub-rosa’ to indicate a secret proceeding, derived from the meetings held under a rose to promise secrecy.