Painting: Vase of Roses

    Roses have long been a symbol of love. With petals fine and delicate, the flowers die within weeks of blooming, days if cut at the stem, and mere minutes if you set fire to the bush. They speak of life’s brevity and deterioration.

    Traditionally, red is the most favoured colour, reminding us of the tens of millions starved to death or straight up murdered under communism. White is also popular. Pink roses occur when red roses and white roses have sex. Black roses are rare and costly, like true love, but they can be counterfeited if you have enough black paint. Personalised roses, with lovers’ names spelled out by natural markings in the petals, are, to my knowledge, non-existent.

    Rose water is often used as a kindness elixir, but in reality it has no kindness-boosting properties. People who use rose water for this purpose usually discover that the kindness was inside them all along.

    On Valentine’s Day, is it acceptable to give any flower besides roses? Good grief, if that is your biggest concern, then what a charmed life you lead. Who cares what flowers you give, or if you give flowers at all? You are an adult, for Pete’s sake. Decide for yourself. Having said that, you might want to save yourself some grief and shell out for roses.

    The phrase, “A rose among thorns” can be used as a humorous and complimentary reference to a woman among a group of men. “Hussy” is generally frowned upon.

    When displaying roses in a vase, simplicity is the rule of thumb. An overly intricate or multicoloured vase will be a distraction. The vase’s role is to frame the flowers’ natural beauty, and no more. Try a glass vessel, some understated ceramics, tasteful papier-mâché, or a plain white milk jug you got one Christmas, used once just to say you had, then left to collect dust at the bottom of the pantry (see picture below).

20″ x 20″ Acrylic on canvas.


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