The following is the Statement I have written while painting in contemplation of the show I will have in June at the Duthie Gallery on Salt Spring Island. The show will open June 9, 2018 and will be hung until June 27th:
The name of the show comes from George Elliott: "It will never rain roses. When we want to have more roses, we must plant more trees."
I frequently ask myself why I make art when it seems that the world is already much too full of things? In my tortured moments, I think that I am making more clutter for our cluttered world. In my good moments, I believe art is as vital to the world as food and the world needs more art and more artists in good and in bad times. In my best moments I understand that I can't NOT make art and that the art I make will be unlike the art anyone else can make. It is an honourable thing to do to bring beauty and truth to the world - even if the world seems not to embrace it.
My latest show began with my amazing Ted bringing me several buckets of red roses hoping that some portable inspiration would entice me to accompany him on a work trip to a boring place. I became obsessed with these large, very long-stemmed, blood-red roses and I remain so. I have made over 100 small watercolour paintings of them. Now immersed in painting these roses in oil (my favorite medium), I am even more in love with them. I find them most alluring when they are dead and desiccated. They mature from scarlet to ruby to violet with gilt and finally to lacy edges of velvet black. Sometimes all of these and many more colours in one wrinkly petal.
I think that all art made with truth and passion is a self-portrait, however obscure the references may be to the viewer. Blood-red roses have signified passion and abiding love, courage, power, respect and many many other emotions from recorded time. They seem a perfect vessel to contain what I am thinking and feeling at this time of my life.
To my eye, there is more life in these roses when they are dead than when they are fresh.