After painting roses for the last month I can see the universal appeal of the subject often said to be the world's favourite flower. People have been painting roses since ancient times with roses even being found in ancient Egyptian frescoes.
Henri Matisse perhaps summed up the popularity of rose painting when he said:
"There is nothing more difficult for a truly creative painter than to paint a rose, because before he can do so he has first to forget all the roses that were ever painted".
The rose as a subject has endless possibilities with it's vast array of colours from pink to mauve, coffee to caramel, palest iceberg white to deep crimson and all the colours in between, and such variety of forms with single, semi-double, double and English style blooms, floribuna, hybrid tea roses, miniatures, climbers and ramblers and on and on it goes.
The structure of a rose invites you in as a painter. The centre of the rose where the petals intersect presents an intellectual challenge of working out how it all fits together. The shadow areas between the petals reflect deep colours which often fade out to paleness at the edges offering the opportunity for seamless blending of colours. And then there are the petal shapes which although once again show so much variation they are distinctive as only rose petals can be.
Edgar Degas said "one must do the same subject over again ten times, a hundred times" and for me if this subject was roses I would be very happy to do so.