Valentine Project '22

Scroll down to watch the VIDEO SERIES "A Bunch of Roses"

... or click this link: Take me there! 

 Detail of "A Bunch of Roses", original 14" x 18", o/c


In this Post...

Pink Rose, photo by artist Roxanne Dyer inspiration for the ROSES 2022 art project

I begin each new year with a creative project that inspires me.  This year I decided on a painting.  Here's a look into my Valentine Project '22 and how it evolved.

Discovery.... Blanched daylight evaporated at the sight of these exquisite roses.  Winter is not easy here, alternating grey or sunny days, and always too short.  A brisk walk to the market suspends the biting temperatures especially in anticipation of such a discovery.  The plan was to complete a dozen works throughout 2022 with ROSES as the central theme. Resolved to paint from still life setupsas opposed to selections from my photo library, I was ready to begin.

It's easy to paint from photos, very convenient; everything is nicely set up in my small studio, the lighting is good and I can work anytime, night or day.  And it's a very meditative experience.  But... I remember long ago, while at university, we always painted from life.  There is no question, in my opinion, artwork is most "alive" when we paint from life.

So, how does that work with such delicate objects?


Pink Roses, photo by artist Roxanne Dyer inspiration for the ROSES 2022 art projectGetting to know my subject...  I arranged the roses, studied and photographed them in different light, enjoyed their scent very much, and thought a great deal about "how" to paint them, and mused with what sort idea or thought they could be presented.  There were lots of photos taken.  Fresh roses have a profoundly ephemeral quality.  An important aspect of its beauty is this painful fact, and that like with all living things, it is fleeting.  This notion was so unpleasant to me many years ago, I actually disliked having fresh flowers around.  Thankfully, thankfully I'm over that.

So, what's the solution?  The setup for this painting took 2 days to prepare.  When I'm knocking bits and pieces around to create "the perfect tableau" they need to be resilient.  And since fresh roses cost a fortune, I succumbed to the charms and convenience of lovely but fake silk roses, at least to get the ball rolling with this collection of artworks.

I researched the works of great painters, my favourites, both classic and modern, Fantin-Latour, Monet, Renoir, Dennis Perrin, Margaretha Haverman, Jaqueline Kamin...


Study of a black & white silhouette and "effects of light" on a single bloom in its environment.

Single Rose, black and white photo by artist Roxanne Dyer inspiration, silhouette, for the ROSES 2022 art project
Pink Rose, photo by artist Roxanne Dyer, mood inspiration for the ROSES 2022 art project



Roses vignette.  Two days work... then I used another setup

Roses on a table, photo by artist Roxanne Dyer setup for the ROSES 2022 art project



Image of the final setup for  "A bunch of Roses".

Roses vignette, setup for a painting by artist Roxanne Dyer, ROSES Project 2022

A simple notion, these look tumbled out of a vase onto the table.  The idea helps create a subtle imagined movement within the boundaries of the canvas.  I like that.  Roses move forward into the light and the space into which they are held grounds the idea.  The background is articulated with blurred reflections and subtle illumination off a pair of receding candlesticks.



For this painting I begin with an oil sketch to outline the elements on the canvas, establish the values and express the highlights.  This type of method can be a very relaxing way to "get into" or begin an artwork when approaching a blank canvas feels daunting.


The SKETCH, Part 1/18


The SKETCH, Part 2/18


The SKETCH, Part 3/18


The SKETCH, Part 4/18


The Still Life Set Up, Part 5/18


The Palette, Part 6/18


The Underpainting, Part 7/18


Painting Impasto, Part 8/18



Painting Impasto, Part 9/18 



Painting Impasto, Part 10/18  



Painting Impasto, Part 11/18  



Painting Impasto, Part 12/18  



Painting Impasto, Part 13/18



Painting Impasto, Part 14/18 



Painting Impasto, Part 15/18



Painting Impasto, Part 16/18



Painting Impasto, Part 17/18



Coming soon, video 18 of 18.

Go to this link "A Bunch of Roses" Blog Post to see the entire video series presenting the creative phases of this original oil painting.

The artwork "A Bunch of Roses" was painted throughout February and March 2022; videos will be posted as they become available.  Stay tuned.

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