Yellow Rose, 12 x 16 Oil on Canvas Panel
One Monday, Lin showed me a frame that someone else had given her, and asked me if I wanted it. Hmmm---It was 12 x 16. Not sure that I had anything to go in it, but I thought I'd look.
This painting was lying on my shelf, half-completed for over 10 years. (On the back, I had written, Rose Study, November 1998, Marty Poole's class.) For some reason, I could never paint over it or throw it away.
The rose was blocked in, but the leaves were just sketches. The rose was rather clumsy and there were so many weird edges, e.g., the shadows were hard squares instead a soft fades. I think I kept it because I liked the purple and yellow color story as well as the shadow under the stem. The rose has an arching back, if you will.
Anyway, it looked vastly better when I popped it in the hand-me-down frame, so I decided I'd try to finish it by imagining how the rose looked originally. I did not have a reference to follow.
Because the whole project was no-risk --- free frame, old painting --- I could play and see what I could create.
I increased the contrast of the background and light falling on shelf. And I softened all of the hard edges on the rose. I had to create believable leaves. I played up the stem and space underneath it. I had fun seeing what would happened with color. I used pure color in places --- Cadmium Orange as a glaze in the rose's shadow, and Purple Lake in the deepest part of the background. I had fun imagining how the leaves might lie on the surface and how the light might hit them.
Net net, I learned that old things can become new, and to not avoid painting something just because I don't have a reference.
And that hand-me-down frames are a nice gesture. I will pass one along to someone else someday.