Second Rose, Just Picked, ink & watercolor

Second Rose, Just Picked, ink & watercolor

My rose bushes have started their first big bloom of the year (with no help from me) and despite a crazy week, I’ve tried to do a little sketching of the first two that were ready to cut. This is the second rose that bloomed, just picked (above) and a day after its peak (below), which I missed sketching yesterday because I just needed to sit in front of the TV last night and veg out. Oh well.

Second Rose, Opened, ink & watercolor

Second Rose, Opened, ink & watercolor

The roses above have a lovely fruit punch scent, which is why I bought the bush originally.

Here is the first rose of the season (below) from a different bush. I struggled with the sketch and the whole time was annoyed by the scent, trying to figure out what it reminded me of.

First Rose, ink & watercolor

First Rose, ink & watercolor

I finally figured it out: an old brand of women’s deodorant that smelled kind of gross after it was worn for awhile. I’m overly sensitive to some smells and I’m guessing I might be allergic to them; that they smell differently to me than how they smell to others.

My sister used to wear a perfume called Anais Anais that I thought smelled exactly like damp, moldy dog kibble. There are trees that when in bloom smell (to me) exactly like barf and give me an instant headache if I breathe when I walk by them. Could it just be me? Or do companies really make perfumes that smell like kibble and people plant trees that smelly pukey?

And back to the roses…doing these quickie sketches has stirred up the creative juices to do some “real” watercolor rose paintings, taking more time and care with the drawing and painting to accurately capture the interesting variations in color, shapes and patterns of the petals.

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Category:
Drawing, Flower Art, Ink and watercolor wash, Painting, Sketchbook Pages, Still Life
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Join the conversation! 22 Comments

  1. i’m with you on the funky smelling trees-try wild pear trees which are blooming now in my area-absolutely horrible odor and then the ginko flowers fall to the ground, get wet and smell like something you don’t want to step in. Love your sketches

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    • I’m not familiar with the wild pears but I do recall being grossed out by stinky ginkos. I almost planted a ginko in front of my house but chose a Bay Laurel instead so whenever I need bay leaves for cooking I just pick a couple off the tree. The ginkos are the prettiest shade of green when the leaves appear in the spring but it’s still not worth the stink!. Jana

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  2. It’s amazing, actually, that your flowers give off scent. Many varieties of roses have been bred for looks not scent!

    I’m still coming to terms with the idea of ink in watercolor…

    I love looking at the ways you suggest shape and color without painting a photographic portrait of your flowers. I need more courage to LEAVE THINGS ALONE!

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    • Funny you should say that about courage to LEAVE THINGS ALONE! as I was thinking the same thing with each of these. Thanks for personal note about all the scent issues. I’m glad to know I’m not alone. I didn’t realize that they bred the scent out of some roses. That would be OK with me since I often can’t even enjoy flowers in the house because the scent gets to me. What I need are roses that are bred to grow prettily in the fog and be resistant to aphids (or maybe I need to get inspired to put more effort into gardening!). Jana

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  3. Jana: once again, you have inspired me! I don’t particularly focus on painting flowers, but our daughter is getting married in September, and sunflowers are her flower of choice. I want to do a painting of a single sunflower, then set it out for the guests to sign at the reception, to create a unique memento of their special day. Your roses look lovely. Amazing to see the difference only two days makes in them!

    As for smells, the one thing I can think of that strikes a similar chord are paperwhites, which appear around Christmastime and given as “special” gifts then. They smell like gym socks to me, but other people just love them. I don’t get it. I cracked up at your description of the scent of your sister’s favorite perfume!

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    • Are paper whites like narcisus? Those are way to smelly for me too. That’s hilarious that they smell like gym socks to you. I had no idea other people had a similar odd reaction where things don’t smell like they must to others. I hope you have fun and great success with your sunflower. Congratulations on your daughter’s wedding! Jana

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  4. What I really admire about you, besides your stellar paintings, of course, is your ability to know what you need and then to do it! And it’s usually better than my default veg-out, grazing in the kitchen!

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    • My default used to be to combine both — grazing while veging (and certainly not grazing on veges!) But like you said about knowing what I need and doing it, I finally gave up the grazing thing too. Jana

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  5. The tree that smelled like dog barf was probably a fruiting ginkgo; the decaying fruit covering smell like that, at least in the US.

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    • Hi Kirk, Oh yes! Those ginkgos definitely do stink, but I think the tree that gives me an instant headache might be either boxwood hedge or acacia. Next time I see one in bloom I’ll have to take a little sample and find out what it is. Jana

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  6. Wonderful paintings!

    And I’m with you on weird smells. For the longest time, when I went into one of our stores, I always smelled urine in one section (by food!) and couldn’t stand to buy anything there. I would mention it to people I was with, and they would look at me like I was crazy! Never figured out what it was, but it’s gone now…thank goodness!

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    • Thanks for the chuckle. I know that look well! That smell does sound awful and it makes me wonder what it could have been. A mouse infestation? A kid or dog who had an accident nearby? Weird! One of the local grocery stores has a really bad fish department that always smells like amonia so I never shop there. Jana

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  7. Lovely roses, Jana. But as for perfume–I HEAR you. A relative brought back an expensive perfume for me from France. I was thrilled. by its scent but in about an hour I smelled like a potty.
    annie

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    • Hia! That’s really funny. And I imagine to everyone else you probably smelled just lovely. Some perfume smells like ant spray to me. There’s a lady who wears that stuff in the office and I have to hold my breath when I walk by her office door. Jana

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  8. Hi Jana,
    I like the way you crop these sketches/paintings. I also like the looseness.
    Hadn’t seen your lovely Berkeley drawings before, but I think I know where that vegi place is in Vine St. We were there last Christmas.
    Nice style.
    Cheers,
    Erin

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    • Thanks so much Erin! I just clicked over to your website and got so inspired by your watercolors’ beautiful colors and light. I struggled with a foggy/rainy day sketch today and it was so nice to see sunny, fresh, bright watercolor after my gloomy one. That’s so cool that you were in Berkeley last year. That’s a long way from Australia! Jana

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  9. Wow, roses already? In Indy our roses don’t bloom until June. Great sketches. I absolutely love roses that smell but I know what you mean about funky scents. The ones that bother me are usually chemical, man made stuff – like lawn fertilizer.

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    • Yes, we have crazy weather here in the San Francisco bay area. One day it’s winter, the next summer, then a day of spring and now it’s back to winter again with a big storm coming in. But it’s still in the 50s and 60s so the roses don’t seem to mind. Chemicals often bother me too–when I get a sensation of being able to taste the scent I try to get out of there quickly! Jana

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  10. Beautiful roses Jana, must be nice to have them starting to bloom now. I’m personally a failure at growing plants, I love flowers but I’d just forget to water them.
    I really like the first rose, the colours are beautiful.

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    • Yes, I’m pretty much of a gardening failure myself. All of my plants have fortunately learned to survive with very little care. I know they’d be prettier if I did something to get rid of the bugs, snails, etc. and gave them some fertilizer. Jana

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  11. I have my rosebush looking the best it ever has due to a rainy winter here in the desert and I didn’t even think to try painting one of its flowers. Oh my. Yours are looking very nice.

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    • Thanks! Mine are going crazy right now, doing that first being flush of beauty before the bugs and mildew take hold. I hope there’s still time for you to get a chance to paint yours. jana

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