I’ve been really interested in trying to paint what I know.

My imagination runs wild, all the time, which I love. But… I feel like it’s a helpful exercise to work on really looking at and seeing what’s around me. Doing that, as well as reaching back into what I’ve grown up around helps ground my imagination just a little bit.

This mixed media painting came, again, from the lesson prompts from Alena Hennessy’s A Year of Painting online course, which you’ll be hearing a lot about over the year.

Along with working with mixed media and collage, our first lesson included encouragement in bringing in text. For this painting, the text came last. I didn’t know what to write until the images of rosehips came up from the red circles and whitish background. It reminded me of this photo I took of rosehips in the snow.



It really is true that the frost makes the rosehips sweeter. You don’t want to harvest them until that first frost, when they become less plump, a little more wrinkly, and much much sweeter.

Then, when you pick them and eat them, although they have an incredible velvety texture and sweet unique rosehip flavour, you still can’t gorge on them. Because of all the hairy prickly seeds in the middle, the red flesh on the outside has to be slowly and gently nibbled and worked with your tongue, each seed pressed and spat out, while the edible tasty parts are cleverly retained and swallowed.

It’s a metaphor that feels very relevant to the mixed media painting process, with all of it’s patient working and reworking.