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Digital Subscriptions > The Artist > Oct-17 > Celebrating the rose

Celebrating the rose

Colourist Peter Graham describes how he uses roses to create atmosphere in his light-filled still-life oil paintings

The rose is such a classic form; with its wonderful shape it is a perfect vision of natural beauty. The symbolic connotations of the rose bring so many feelings and moods: the purity of the white rose, the joy of the yellow rose and the passion of the red rose. I associate the rose with protection and compassion, and I hope my love of roses comes through in my painting. The chance to paint the light as it reflects on the petal, the fragility of the surface, the rich foliage, the varied and exciting range of shapes and textures are all great for the painter!

Roses were a favourite subject of the French Impressionists, notably Édouard Manet, who transformed paint into roses with his deft and lively brushwork. Van Gogh said of Manet’s still-life roses ‘as much a flower as anything could be and yet painted in perfectly solid impasto’. Fantin-Latour painted roses all his life and even had a rose named after him.

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About The Artist

Welcome to the first of our new standard 80-page magazine, packed with even more inspiring practical articles to help you to improve and enjoy your own drawing and painting. In addition, this month we also include your free 16-page supplement with details of some of the best art courses and holidays available to inspire and inform your creativity, whatever your level or years of experience. So, whether you love working in watercolour, oils, pencils or acrylics, take your work to the next level with our team of passionate artist/tutors including Judi Whitton on how to use body colour in your watercolours, Haidee-Jo Summers with some useful exercises to help you loosen up in oils, Mike Barr's beachscape demonstration, Paul Talbot-Greaves on how to start with a watercolour mess and end in success, Peter Graham on why the rose makes such a wonderful subject for still-life paintings, Robert Dutton on mastering perspective for city scenes, and Peter Burgess with tips on composition and the Golden Section, to highlight just a few articles in this issue. Plus, there's so much more to guide and inspire your artistic development within our new 80-page issue - enjoy!