"Red Roses of Love"

"Red Roses of Love"
"Red Roses of Love"
Drawn in 1981 By ©Anita Eberline
All Rights Reserved

I've been drawing flowers and the like since I can remember. But the year I drew the "Red Roses of Love" was something that I'll never forgot. We had gone to visit with some friends the previous summer who had the most beautiful rose bush in the front yard, and these three roses on the bush stood out in my mind. Not having a lot of time for drawing and the like during the winter that year, I had to wait to get them even started until May of the following year. But with the roses still embedded in my mind, it wasn't hard at all to draw them.

Once I had started drawing, I disappeared each night into another room to get away from any and all distractions. Before beginning each night, I would close my eyes and think only of the roses and the way they looked the day I sew them. Then open my eyes and begin to draw.

It seemed to take forever and by the time the evenings were done, I would sit looking at the work I had done checking each little detail as though I had missed something. Many a night I was up until wee hours of the morning drawing what would turn out to be one of the best drawings I had ever done. The work on the roses seemed extra slow to what I normally did with drawings, but I didn't mind, as they were not something that would be just a quick item to draw. Though at times, it seemed that they would never be completed.

Drawing with colored pencils was something that most people said was to hard to do, yet, at the time they were all that I had to draw with. So as each pencil got to wore down to work with anymore, I would go to town to purchase another. To get the effect that I wanted, it took several shades of red, a few shades of green and a whole lot of white. I would blend each color very careful on a separate piece of paper or cardboard just to be sure that it would give me that certain color. Then go back to drawing the roses and then blend another few colors for testing. A lot of people have no idea just what is involved in creating a drawing of this type, nor do they seem to care. But every artist has their own way of testing colors to see just how those colors will react and intertwine with each other.

Every artist knows, that if the colors do not match the effect that they want, the drawing or painting will not turn out as they are envisioning it in their minds. So it is necessary to blend and test before doing on the drawing itself. With me, this all seemed to come naturally from the time I was just a small girl. And the results always seemed to improve as I got older. But with this project, they were right there on the money from the start and I knew it. With all this in mind, this drawing still took me weeks to complete and it wasn't just thrown together in some kind of hurry by any means.

"Red Roses of Love" was created from memory of three roses on one bush, and pieced together with careful planning and drawing. Each flower drawn with one stroke of the pencil at a time until it is what you are viewing on this web site today. Many think that an artist begins with no planning whatsoever, and in some cases they do. But not in my case. Every drawing I've ever done has been carefully planned and then drawn to what I envision in my mind or to want I've seen somewhere.

As I drew, I would stop to close my eyes to envision the roses again, just to be sure that I was on the right track of the vision. Then go back to drawing and doing my blending as needed. Each stroke taking on a different look as the roses began to come into view. As I drew, I began to see what was the beauty of the roses I had seen the pervious summer. It was like looking at them all over again and the vision of the roses only got stronger and clearer. Two weeks had passed now, and still they were far from being completed.

Then next step was to now start the leaves and stems of the roses before the roses were actually complete, and I began planning and blending the colors of the leaves. Closing my eyes again, I would envision the flowers on the stems with the leaves. This process would take more careful blending and planning as they had to be placed in just the right position of the roses in order for them to look as part of the flowers. Each one started with the stem and went up to the flower to which they would be attached to with the leaves being place last. These process took me another two weeks to complete before I could blend the total drawing together to have the roses, stems and leaves look as they do. It was an exhausting process, as by the end of each evening, I felt extremely tired from just the planning and blending alone. I hadn't drawn anything on the roses for days as all the time and effort went into choosing the colors and making sure that each were going to blend in with the other to get the correct effects that I needed.

Once I was sure that each color would blend correctly, I began drawing again. The stems were created first, then the leaves. Once these were completed, I still had to blend the colors in to the flowers themselves and be careful not to over blend while I was at it. The work at this point seemed to go slower yet, and I was extremely exhausted each night.

The process of blending the total drawing came next, and went a little faster, but was still as exhausting as the second part of the drawing. I was now seeing more of the results and each pencil stroke was that much closer to having the drawing completed. I still had to take my time and close my eyes to envision the actual roses I had seen, but they were coming along nicely now.

By this time, my husband was getting inquisitive about what I was doing in the room I called my quiet place each night and asking questions. So I told him. But it wasn't the end by any means, because I spent another week in that room drawing the roses. As I was putting the finishing touches to the roses on the 4th of June, in come my husband to have a look at the roses. And he just stood there watching as I put the last few strokes of the pencil into the blending of the roses to their stems and leaves. Once finished, I sat back to look at my work with it sitting against the wall in back of my desk. Did it need more...did it need extra leaves...or should I leave it as it is and leave it be with what was there as the finished product. I couldn't seem to find anything left out, and decided that the drawing was at last completed.

I closed my eyes to envision the original roses one more time, and then opened them to look at the drawing. Yes...they were complete...each detail captured and in place. My drawing was definitely completed at last. At this point, I looked up at my husband and asked, "What do you think?" The answer I got was something of a surprise.

"Hmmmm...let me have that for a closer look." So I handed him the drawing for closer examining. When he was done, the reply was amazing to me. "Dear, if I didn't know better, I'd say this drawing was done by someone who had gone to school for it. But I know you and your abilities, and this is one of the best that you've ever done." We then went to bed for the night.

The next morning, I got up a bit late to find him in my little room looking at my drawing again. On arrival he asked, "What are you going to call it?"  From there the conversation went as:

ME:  Well...I'm not really sure yet.

HUSBAND:  You have to give this one a name.

ME:  But what, it's just a drawing from memory of last summers roses.

HUSBAND:  Well...how about "Past Summers Roses"?

ME:  No, they are much more than that.

HUSBAND:  The way I see it...you have to come up with something by tomorrow.

ME: Why?

HUSBAND:  Because I believe that your Mom would just love something like these for her birthday.

ME:  Oh I don't know, they're not all that good that I'd give them as a gift.

HUSBAND:  Are you kidding!!!  These are great!!!!  Give the name some thought and we'll talk again tonight before going to bed about it.

We went about our daily business and by that night I had come with the name of my drawing. But I still wasn't sure about giving them as a gift to my Mother for her birthday. The day seemed extra long for some reason and all I could think about was the name of this drawing.

At the end of the day, I fixed dinner as usual and sat down to relax before going into my little room to work. But the drawing was finished except for naming it. I sat staring at it for the evening, all the while asking myself what made these roses so special that I couldn't use my husband's suggestion. Then, just before the 11 pm news came on, it hit me. The way I drew them...how I felt when I first sew them a year ago. And I looked up to see my husband studying my reactions and thoughts.

Honey...I've made my decision of what to call them. They were done with love...a feeling of beauty and grace. So it only makes sense to call them "Red Roses of Love". What do you think?

"That's prefect", he said, "Now lets get some rest. We have a busy day tomorrow and then we head to your Mother's for her birthday dinner."

It was the first time I had ever named one of my drawings and I went to bed feeling a sense of accomplishment that made my day worth wild. "Red Roses of Love" What a name for a drawing that had taken me weeks to complete. It was simple and honest...yet prefect for them. After all, each pencil stroke was made with lots of love behind it. And each peddle was that of a flower that most associate with love. The colors stood for love and nothing seemed more right than naming this drawing what I had.

The plan to give them to my Mother was just something that happened as it was so close to her birthday, and I hadn't gone to do my shopping for her gift. I was more interested in drawing the roses and other things, and had forgotten all about a gift for Mom. But the idea of giving this drawing, done by me, was the prefect solution to this forgetfulness. So, that was what I would do.

Needless to say, my Mother loved them and placed them in a frame for many years. After her passing, my sister sent them back to me and I've had them ever since. They are not for sale and will remain with me for as long as I live. As these roses hold special memories with love mixed in that can never be replaced. They're not what I consider the greatest drawing in the world, but the special meaning behind them will stay with me for a life time.

I haven't drawn in years now. Not even so much as to play around with different idea's or items of nature that I've seen. As with these special roses something seemed to be lost when my Mother passed away in 1995. I've been told that this will not last forever, and that I will once again draw someday. But for now, I'm happy just knowing that these roses were enjoyed and loved by my Mother. Today, the drawing no long exists...as something got spilled on it shortly after I scanned it for this web site. So all that is left is the image I have on my computer for this site. But at least I have that much left. I have printed it out and plan to hang it on our wall as soon as I find a new frame.

 

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