Thursday, June 6, 2013

Through the Window of Mrs. Rose's Room

Holy Smokes!  I had no intention of not being here the last two weeks.  The transition from end-of-school to Summer chewed up my days in new and exciting ways and left little time to sit down and work through the next steps with Mrs. Rose.

So I did what any respectable needlewoman would have done under time constraints...




I got out some cross stitch and took it with me to stitch when I could.

Both cross stitch and knitting are easy to pick up and put down.  I actually had to dust this one off since it was bought in 2001!

As for Mrs. Rose, I finally turned my attention back to her today.  The next step in that project is to introduce climbing roses that grow over the walls, creating a rose bower that provides shelter and warmth.

It is the gifts that Mrs. Rose gives that transforms her environment from a depressing institution into a home.

I drew from a number of pics online to help me decide how best to create this bower of roses.  I like how this rose climbs up the walls...


And how these roses grow to frame a doorway...


Or drape down over a wall.



While I was pondering my next steps, I happened to get another bi-weekly newsletter from Robert Genn.  I've mentioned him before and can't say enough how helpful I find his tips.

This time his letter was on "Cropping"-- you can read the full letter here.

The upshot is that there are tricks to deciding what is placed in the "window" of the painter's canvas...what is cropped and what is not.

The advice was quite timely and useful since I'm currently deciding how to draw and shape the bower.  I hadn't considered that I'd been creating "windows" into my work, but it is true of many of us who are working within the confines of a quilt block.  Check them out...
  • Do not have curved areas or lines tangential with the edges.
  • Do not have a lot of small items dribbling along edges.
  • Do not have spikey or angular items pointing too directly at corners.
  • Do not have an even or symmetrical division of elements lying against the frame edges.
  • Do have a design near the frame edge that has both positive and negative areas.
  • Do vary the thickness of lines and patches that lie against, come up to, or approach those edges.
  • Do have mystery, understatement, softening, incompleteness and wabi-sabi as part of your edge consciousness.

After digesting these guidelines, I found myself looking to some famous rose bowers within paintings to see how other artists treated the cropping of a rose bower.

In the painting below, the Madonna is placed centrally in the painting yet the roses on either side are asymmetrical.  I also note the larger roses in the left foreground adding more interest...

Madonna in the Rose Garden by Martin Schongauer ca. 1473

And the bower in the picture below surrounding Sleeping Beauty has been cropped quite severely at the edges...

The Rose Bower by Edward Burnes-Jones ca. 1885-1890
Note that the vines do vary in size and are not tangential to the edges.  The poem at the bottom of the frame was written by William Morris, a contemporary of Burnes-Jones.  Did you read it?  It's quite lovely and mentions love, treasure and a gift.

And Morris himself has provided a climbing rose design to inspire...

"Trellis" wallpaper by William Morris c. 1859
This last painting shows lots of flowers encapsulating another sleeping beauty, giving the impression that we really are looking through a window framed by roses.

Rose Bower by Hans Zatzka c. 1859
With all this to study and consider, I'm off to sketch a design for the climbing roses and to hunt down the right fibers for stitching the climbing vines.

It's great to be working on roses right now since they are blooming everywhere.

Speaking of gardens, the bluebirds have come back this year and I have three baby bluebirds in my bluebird box.  They were just starting to hatch when I took this pic... 


I'll take an update picture in the next few days.

Happy June and Happy Roses everyone!

14 comments:

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

We are re-landscaping the front yard and pond area. I replaced some aging bushes in the front of the house with rose bushes...you know the king that get big and round and not climbers. They are coming along nicely.

Roses are an excellent selection for Mrs. Rose. Tell me, is her real name Mrs. Rose or did you call her Mrs. Rose because she had roses outside her window? Or is there not relation at all? I was just thinking.

I knew you were really busy with the end of the school year. Ky is 16 today...pizza party and fisherman cake, since fishing is his groups current obsession.

Corey graduates Sunday. Life keeps whirling by, doesn't it!!
xx, Carol

Suztats said...

Those are lovely roses, and I know that the ones you create will be fabulous!

Suztats said...

Those are lovely roses, and I know that the ones you create will be fabulous!

Catherine said...

I love when you share your research for a project ~ I always learn something new ~ thanks for sharing!!

Createology said...

Again with your incredible research to fulfill your vision is amazing. I don't believe I have ever noticed so much until I see things through your eyes. Lovely images of beautiful roses. Mr. C planted roses and they are rewarding us with blooms and scent only an heirloom rose can offer. Blissful! This is such a busy time of year. Happy Hearts Dear...

Dianne Ellsworth said...

I find I have no words to express how much I enjoy your blog and of course all of your creations. Your research opens my mind, my eyes (in a different way) and I learn so much. If I need inspiration, for pretty much anything...I come here!
Thank you!

verobirdie said...

Glad you are back and OK.
I've got some pics for you on my blog.
In two weeks, they'll be swimming between the island and the town (6 km)
Take care

cucki said...

So glad you are back :)
Lovely roses..thank you for sharing nice information ..
Hugs x

Rachel said...

Yes very good timing to be working on a rose bower just when the roses are out. All the picture research in the world isn't quite the same as standing in front of a rose with the scent all around you as you study it!

wendy said...

Am anxious to see what you come up with as it's always beautiful. Have a nice weekend.

Laurie said...

I really spent a lot of time on this post Karen, what an awesome study on composition. I know that whatever you come up with for the roses will be perfect for Mrs. Rose. Look forward to more on the little bluebirds!

Sheila Iskin said...

Trish on the blog Trouvais has some wonderful pictures (closeups) of her antique roses, too. Including some climbers, I think.

I'm reading The Art and History of Frames by Henryk Heydenryk, and in the forward, John Sweeney says "...every painting realized as an independent unit still requires a frame to serve it in either one of these ways, either as a fence against the encroachment of its environment, or as a link to its background and surroundings."

Happy stitching! Hope your summer is off to a great start. :)

Judy S. said...

Happy June to you, too, Susan. I am looking forward to seeing what you do with roses for Mrs. R. Looks like a nice piece of cross stitch. I'm working on an even older piece...from 1971, probably from when you were just a kid!

Barbara C said...

Susan, I just caught up on your progress with Mrs. Rose. The details are just wonderful: from the rolled stockings to the tiny shoes and rosary, she's a twin for my grandmother. I look forward to seeing the rest as it unfolds.

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