First spring roses

Ink & watercolor, 9×6″ (larger)

When I picked these roses yesterday evening, they were heartbreakingly fresh, new and beautiful. I put them in a vase of water in the kitchen, planning to paint them today. This morning I found them laying on the counter where they’d obviously been without water too long and looked limp.

Either they jumped out of their vase or my cats had a hand (er… paw) in their escape. After a few hours back in water they plumped right back up and were a joy to draw. I only had about an hour and that was just enough time to make a happy ink and watercolor.

But why do I feel so sad seeing the beauty of my seven rose bushes and thick patch of irises all loaded with flowers? It’s as if I’m already mourning their demise, knowing how temporary their burst of color and vibrancy is before winter comes again.

Is it my enhanced awareness of the cycle of life and death as I approach one of those milestone birthdays this June? Or is that time seems to be moving so fast these days that I can picture the blooming season flying by like those time-lapse films where the flowers sprout, bloom, shrivel and die within moments.

Instead of feeling sad about their demise (and my own, for that matter), I need to remember the Buddhist teaching of being in the present moment, accepting that everything changes, everything dies; that desire and clinging cause suffering and that letting go relieves it.

So with that, I will allow my flowers to live and die as nature sees fit (as if I had any other choice!), and will enjoy them while they’re here. I’ll try to make the most of my own moments while I’m here too, with as much acceptance as I can. And maybe I’ll finally return to my Zen meditation practice which always brought me such joy and peace, and made all of life more vibrant.

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Category:
Drawing, Flower Art, Gardening, Glass, Painting, Plants, Sketchbook Pages, Still Life, Watercolor
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Join the conversation! 23 Comments

  1. Be in the moment, that is the way – though remembering and imagining are also important. Accept the shifts, the cycles, there’s more to come. Lovely fresh depiction of roses. I can almost smell them!
    w.
    We have had a gorgeous day meeting old friends (some haven’t seen for forty years) I’ll write about it on the babasiga blog later.

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  2. I’ve been thinking of these same things, co-incidentally. I love the painting, so light and fresh and loose – glad to see your beautiful watercolours again!

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  3. I LOVE this painting and the reminder to enjoy and be in the present. Your handling of watercolor always leaves me in awe – so much so that I am going to go outside and see if I can capture some of the yellow and peach tulips that are blooming right now in huge beds right in front of my apartment.

    It’s always so exciting to hear that I’ve inspired someone to do something fun! Thanks Shirley ~ Jana

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  4. Lovely Jana I’ve always thought that fresh flowers were precious just because they don’t last forever. They force you to appreciate them now for their beauty and to remember that it doesn’t last. Our daffodils and forsythia are just coming out here in the Midwest, no roses for at least a month. Thanks for the preview!

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  5. Nice piece of work. Beautiful lines, great colors. This is a real eye-catcher.

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  6. This sketch is truly lovely — the composition is so strong, the details so delicate. And these words, “I need to remember the Buddhist teaching of being in the present moment, accepting that everything changes, everything dies; that desire and clinging cause suffering and that letting go relieves it” are just waht i needed to read right now. Thanks, Jana.

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  7. Your watercolours are always so beautiful Jana! and beuatiful thoughts to go along with it. We need to enjoy what is right in front of us at a given moment. thanks for the reminder!
    Ronell

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  8. Oh Jana. This is so very gorgeous. So very you, too.

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  9. This is just gorgeous. It makes me happy to look at it.

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  10. Oh, my! These are just gorgeous. Love the composition, the strong value constrast, the lush colors, that yummy rich blackish green. Wow. What’s the paper here? And yes, I know exactly that feeling, wishing they wouldn’t be sooo fleeting. Now following your words of wisdom are something else again.

    Thanks Nel. The paper is just my humble Aquabee Super Deluxe Sketchbook. I’ve got way too many sketchbooks in progress and I’m trying to finish them off. ~ Jana

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  11. Isn’t that why we make sketch journals, to remember, share our pleasures, let our children see we enjoyed every moment.

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  12. Thank you for this beautiful painting – and the subject for meditation.

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  13. This is a nice one, Jana.

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  14. Beautiful beautiful painting and very wise words. Very thought-provoking.
    MD

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  15. Wow…love the colors and composition, truly beautiful. And I always enjoy your stories. Well Done

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  16. Boy oh boy I hear ya –
    Yesterday is history
    Tomorrow is a Mystery
    Today’s the Gift from God
    That’s why its called The Present.

    You SEE every day and record so much of it so beautifully – We only have today and then tomorrow we are only one day better – I stop at That!

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  17. I keep coming back to look at this painting over and over again. It’s definitely a stunner!

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  18. Nice watercolor!!
    Very nice!
    It makes me wonder what the watercolor would look like without the ink line. Would it hold it’s form? Would it be just as great or greater?

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  19. I’ve been thinking the same things. Right now, with all the beauty blooming around, we still can’t remain in the moment but rush forward or backward!! How silly we humans are! I, too, need to get back to quiet times and meditation times. I’ll join you there – in the present ๐Ÿ™‚

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  20. Beautiful roses …

    Don’t be saddened when the time for them to pass comes, think of it as an excuse to look forward to the next season … ๐Ÿ™‚

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  21. I’m very grateful you were able to capture their fleeting beauty to share with us. That’s the best thing about artwork, it takes some of the sorrow out of the transience of nature’s beauty.

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  22. Wonderful ink and watercolour work.

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  23. I like watercolors! Just started May 27th. I liked reading about the portions of paintings that are successful v. the whole painting not working. This is something I am just discovering. I want to throw the painting away, but the parts that are good keep me from it. Oh well, learning.

    My birthday is June 14th, and I celebrate all month long, too!

    43 this year. ๐Ÿ™‚

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