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I have a climbing rose on the north side of my yard that blooms but once a season with large multiple blossoms against my picket fence. This is a plein air of them while sitting on my patio.


  1. Leslie, It is a beautiful painting!! I can see why you decided to paint the climbing rose. It must be an absolute joy to have all that beauty all over your picket fence. Now you can look at it any day of the year. Well done!

    • These roses are beautiful, Jan. I wish they bloomed like my rose garden and the pinks in the front of the house, but only once is what I get with these. I want to do a studio painting of this subject sometime and have snapped the photo to do so. I think I have more reference photos than I’ll ever hasve time for. Thank-you for the visit and the comment!

  2. Sounds like you have a really nice yard, Leslie. Glad to see it inspires painting. Watercolor flowers make for nice color blends. Cool tonal array in this piece. Thanks.

    • I have an O’kay yard, Adam. Wish I had more of an interest in gardening. I have a little rose bed under my bay window and they take some care, so whatever I do with them?..I also do with the climber. The climber seems to appreciate it more. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the comment!

  3. I love those climbing roses and you did a great job showing their wild nature. I also love the glow on the fence, Leslie! πŸ™‚

    • I get a little wilder when I paint outdoors, Beth. πŸ™‚ I am suddenly aware of the time element and the shadows move and the paint dries faster. I always enjoy the differences , however. The outdoor me/ the indoor me. Thank-you, Beth!

  4. I love painting outdoors (seems a long long time ago). Those roses seem to have a life of their own Leslie! You have imbued them with such vigour and vibrancy, I can almost ‘feel’ their growth:) Very successful – and I can feel the sun from this painting (always an added bonus!)

    • ….and the wind was blowing! They were bobbing everywhere! I guess that is why I blobbed and blotted all but the picket fence. LOL! Thank-you, Lynda!

  5. Great painting as always I tried some water color and man its harder than I thought but I will not stop πŸ™‚ Keep up the good work because its an inspiration to others like me.

    • Do you have a book from the library that talks some about simple technique, Alonso? That will help you. I think the biggest challenge after you equip yourself with decent quality paper, is to not go in too thick with the color. You can always get darker, but getting back to the white of the paper is nearly impossible. Also, always look for the beauty in your mistakes. Sometimes, they are not mistakes and can add their own touch to what you are trying to say. Thank-you for this comment and your visit, Alonso!

  6. Beautiful.

  7. I recognize this. It reminds me of working on your house two summers ago. We had fun, didn’t we?

    • YES!!!!! Remember how HOT it got? Remember introducing me to Lucien Freud? I still sit and pour my eyes over his pictures and I listen to those interviews and parts of them every few weeks. The roses are beautiful again this year. I have to get some of them cut back so they can come on again. Thanks for the visit, Jay!

  8. The roses are lovely, but I am actually taken with the white picket fence! I have such a hard time with whites and this one is a good study for me. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Laurie! I can help you with this to explain what I did. The picket fence was the only thing I drew with the pencil, first. I looked for the shadows cast on it. This happened to be later in the day, sun going down. I made a real light wash of prussian blue for the lighter shadows. I used it a little darker in between the rose clumps and added light washes of diox violet. That gave the edges of the pickets, posts and rails some shape and form. The remainder of the fence was left the white of the paper. Thanks for your visit and comment. White is a challenge. When all else fails? Pull out a tube of white gouache. That is the little speckles of white you see on the roses! πŸ™‚

      • Leslie, you are so awesome! Thanks for sharing…I am learning so much from you! -Laurie

  9. OH NOW!!! Okay…You’ve actually, REAL LIFE have a picket fence???? That’s way too brilliant. Your roses are amazing. I’m loving the painting! They are SO beautiful. There are many flowers where I live as well. They seem to be exploding out of every nook and cranny. Glorious, huh???!!! Thanks for the beauty! Cheers and Namaste. πŸ™‚

    • πŸ™‚ Actually a picket fence. I wanted to be able to see through the slats to the commons area beyond and those privacy fences make me feel closed in and locked up. Needed a fence for the dogs, though, or there would be no fence. Thanks for the visit, again! Loved your art today!

  10. I’ve always thought of flowers as pretty, until I started really studying them for paintings, they’re actually amazing in color and details. Beautiful painting Leslie.

    • Thank-you, Ryan. I actually posted this one because you know I said I don’t really like painting flowers. I’l try to post some every once in awhile. πŸ™‚ Loved that first Christmas card you designed!

  11. I like it.
    I like the fact that all of the detail didn’t make this look busy.
    Which is great

    • Hi Richard! Thanks for this. πŸ™‚ I’m looking forward to your new web show!

  12. Roses seem sooo complicated; but you’ve made them luminous too! They are beautiful; I also love how you did the background into two shades of green !

    • Thanks, Isabelle! Those two greens are two maple trees in the neighbors’ yard. Had to simplify so mixed green with blue and burnt umber to fill in between the narrow slats, below, hoping that served for shaded grass. So much has to be figured out as you sit there when working outdoors. I feel compelled to paint what caught my interest, initially, and simplify the rest. At least, that works the best for me, right now unless I snap a photo and bring that home with me and finish it at home. I do both.

  13. Hi Leslie, you did a great plein air painting of your rosebush. I love that the roses are loose and not overly detailed. I also like the shadows on your white picket fence. And most of all, I really love the whites you’ve left all over the flowers.

    • Hi Carol! There is no way I could have detailed these unless I sat on top of them. LOL I think the shadows on the picket fence were my favorite part of painting this. Everything else sort of fell into place. I will say that it looked totally “BLAH” to me until I added that bit of raw sienna in places and the diox purple to the shadows underneath. Thanks for the comment!

  14. aloha Leslie – i like the whites and the way you’ve work the roses with a loose touch. i also like your range of values. you see your subject well making great choices for watercolor.

    i’m a little caught between perspective and a flattened surface with the fence – i often like flattening the surface even tho i still play with depth – using perspective also has advantages of course and either can work.

    you handle both studio and plein-air painting well – i like this on the spot stuff tho. as you mentioned you have to make choices quickly as the subject and light constantly change or move. the more of that instant decision making we do the better we get at it and seeing and knowing almost intuitively how to approach our subjects. that’s a great ability you are developing. way cool.

    • Thank-you for this very thoughtful comment, Wrick. You mention flat as opposed to perspective. Perhaps it is something we incorporate in our own individual approaches. I agree that one is as good as the other. I can not say that I chose this for any other reason than where I was sitting and viewing the subject. I need more plein air work. I don’t have many daylight hours I can devote to it, at this point, so they are few and far between.

  15. Beautiful painting, Leslie!

  16. Wow! Has it really been 11 days since I visited your blog? What was I thinking!

    These roses on the fence are so peaceful and life-affirming, I really love them!

    • You are good to me and to follow my blog at all. You have been pretty busy with Gideon and , not to mention, that super photo competition. Now the fires starting. I think every 11 days is just fine and I Thank You! These flowers are done for this year, but I took a photo, so “pickets and roses 2” may appear sometime!

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