Radiant Rose – Daily Painting

Radiant Rose – 9.5″ x 7.5″ watercolor.

Almost every day for the past five weeks or so, my dh and I have been taking walks of a half hour or an hour – within about 5-10 miles of our area. The benefits of this extra activity is many-fold. Not only do I feel healthier and more energetic (if that was possible – I was a pretty high-energy person as it was) but it takes us through different neighborhoods where we take time to smell the roses. No, I mean literally. If we see some really great roses in bloom we take a break from our walk to admire them. Because it’s impossible for me to go ANYwhere without a camera, I can often be seen with my new little digital hanging around my neck, and grabbing shots of things that I see when the light strikes them “just right.” I figure if it catches my eye, it might catch others’ too, when translated into watercolor. This is the result of one of those moments – caught about 10 am in some lucky gardener’s front yard in Glendale.

If you’re not a walker, I strongly recommend it. I used to walk a lot when I was in college – not only back and forth to class, but I’d take a 3 mile loop every day through the hills of Bel Air, just a few blocks off the Westwood campus. But I got out of the habit due to busyness and a few scary encounters while out walking alone. I’ve walked on and off through the years, but I realize now how much I’ve missed it. I envy those in walkable cities like New York and San Francisco. Here in LA we are so car-focused and things are so spread out that simply walking doesn’t occur to us.

If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, spring has arrived and it’s a good time to get out and smell, shoot or draw the roses on your daily walk. You’ll return home both creatively and physically charged up.

This rose was painted with WN Bright Red, Holbein Opera and New Gamboge, with a few touches of cadmium orange and perm. alizarin crimson.


  1. ksklein
    April 29, 2007

    wow. vibrant colors!

  2. Casey
    April 29, 2007

    I can just about smell this one from over here! The contrast between the vibrant magenta shades and the deep greens is stunning.

  3. carole
    April 29, 2007

    That is beautiful – those colours really sing. Great contrasts and depth of colour.

  4. Creekhiker
    April 29, 2007

    Just stunning. I’m a sucker for a pretty rose too!

  5. laserone
    April 29, 2007

    OH wow, that’s just gorgeous.

  6. Fran aka Redondowriter
    April 29, 2007

    Breathtaking, Karen. I photographed several almost identical to this rose yesterday when I was docenting on the historical homes tour. Love the poppies, too.

  7. Ronell
    April 30, 2007

    Beautiful Karen…lovely contrasts and such delicacy on the petals.

  8. laura tm
    April 30, 2007

    Beautiful Karen, wow!!! I love what you’ve achieved here, your techniques inspire me =)

  9. Robyn
    April 30, 2007

    It is lovely, Karen. I photograph them, but I never seem to manage to paint them. You inspire me to try harder – then again, I might just enjoy this one a while longer.

  10. Suzanne
    April 30, 2007

    This is one of my very favorites of yours. You describe it so well…it is RADIANT! I particularly like the way you’ve mixed the red in with the pink. It gives the flower this neon quality which makes it spring off my computer screen.

  11. Felicity
    May 2, 2007

    Definitely a favourite, without a doubt, it’s just beautiful. Thanks for listing the paints, I find that interesting – not that I can paint like this but one can dream! :)

  12. Katherine
    May 2, 2007

    Gorgeous rose Karen

    And wise words about the walking. I had such good intentions when I started off with Julie a year ago but soon fell by the wayside – however now she’s telling us that she’s lost so much wieght and you’re saying how much better you feel I may need to get moving!

  13. Sherie
    May 2, 2007

    Wow, so beautiful and delicate and just an awesome painting!

  14. Anastasia
    May 2, 2007

    i need to do more walking….I walk my eldest to preschool on my days off
    and I think both boys love it – we observe and walk and enjoy the freshair
    beautiful rose!!

  15. wagonized
    May 7, 2007

    I know i won’t be original in my syntax, but here it is: oh wow.

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