1. Lantern and Rose

Lantern and Rose

Lantern and Rose, Sennelier l’ecu pastels on paper, August 2006

Often a painting speaks to me well after I finish it, and I find that this process intrigues me.  It’s as if my subconscious had known all along the meaning of the piece.  Only after some time has passed does my conscious mind read the missive from his darker neighbor.

I snapped the photo on which this piece is based around the summer solstice.  There are only a handful of days when the morning sun filters this deeply into the bedroom.  The sun was so powerful, the pink rose so brilliant in its reflection, that the rest of the photograph turns black.  Pink on black was the idea I began to work with, and I wanted to emphasize the depth of the shadows between the petals.

And then there’s the lantern, normally a source of light, something brighter than its surroundings.  But not here.  For a few minutes, and only possibly for a few days a year, a rose can outshine a lantern.  I know that in a few days, this gorgeous rose will wither to a shadow of its former glory. Beauty fades.  The lantern will shine tomorrow, and the day after, whenever we command it to shine.  Yet, we choose to remember and cherish the beauty of the rose over the utility of the lantern.

Yes, when people ask us to recount our lives, that what we recount first are the Roses of our life…and only after we have caressed every faded rose to its full glory do we even mention the mundane lanterns of our lives.  Oh that in the glory of my halcyon days we backpacked around the world, and flew hot air balloons.

Yes, remember the Rose.


~ by Delfino on 2008/10/11.

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