A Rose is a Rose is a Rose

by Emily Adams (MFA 2011)
Here in Giverny, the air has a floral scent. Morning glories and hydrangeas line the paths to our studios, where Clair Matins and the climbing Zephrine find their way up the sides of old stone buildings.

This is the opposite of the desert. Last week, I was in the Sinai Peninsula, where I spent some time drawing in the Blue Desert. In the 80s, artist Jean Verame made the actual desert landscape the canvas for an earth-art piece in honor of the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty. The blue paint was still visible on some of the rocks that he painted, flaking from decades of exposure to the sun. Perhaps it is in contrast to this barren expanse that the flowers in France seem extra saturate in color and scent.

Rose Study, oil on color print on canvas
(a study for the pieces I'm doing here)
I have been painting roses. There were roses in the monks’ gardens at the Saint Catherine's Monastery, roses in the early Byzantine-syle icons that have survived for centuries within the monastery walls, roses on the dress of a lady standing in line at the Egypt-Israel border, roses on the plastic-wrap of the airplane utensils.

After a long day, Steve, Wade, Cara, and Amber
relax amongst Rubens at the Louvre
Yesterday, instructor Wade Schuman took us all on a serious tour of the Louvre. In attempts to appease each of our druthers, we spent ample time with the Italians (fighting back the Mona-Lisa crowd in a valiant attempt to see the Veronese), with Rubens, with Corot and Millet, with Bosch and Memling, and the list goes on. I was, secretly, on a bit of a rose-hunt, finding it to be a most fruitful line tying together some of the most disparate of paintings.
Fra Angelico, Coronation of the Virgin
A decadent rose-wreath from 16th-century Spain (Juan de Arellano) and a 19th-century French still-life (Fantin-Latour’s fleurs share, to my surprise, some of the same subject matter as a Fra Angelico. Afterwards, exhausted, we rested our weary legs with the Greeks before heading back to the train.

Now we are back in the garden, preparing for our first critique, taking place in just a few days.
Gary, Jessie, Jason and Steve sketch at sunset in the cornfields

1 comment:

  1. Love it, love it, love it. The Academy ROCKS!