Today’s painting on the theme of the rose of Damascus.
I’ve decided to rename the series Rosa Damascena to avoid possible associations with my name, since someone recently said – ‘I didn’t know you were born in Damascus’. !
I was discussing a future exhibition of these with an artist who suggested mixing essence of rosa damascena with the paint. It’s a nice idea but as it’s about £10 per ml (a teaspoon is 5ml) this would be a bit pricey! I did in fact order a couple of mls of pure absolute of rosa damascena recently, so instead of mixing it with paint (which would taint the perfume anyway) I’d most likely dab a bit on the hand of each viewer as they entered the exhibition (or a card if they preferred). The room would be beautifully perfumed by the end of the preview! – the scent of rosa damascena is different from the tea rose (which is what we mostly see in the UK) which has a light, almost lemony/apple scent, quite sharp and soapy, though sweet and floral. Rosa Damascena is sweeter and much deeper, with a peppery edge – if you can imagine the scent of Turkish Delight magnified quite a bit.
It’s tricky to get an idea of scale so here’s my hand against the painting, and a few details also showing the sides of the panel (plywood panel 3×3 ft and 2″ deep) …