The Loneliness of the Long Distance Rose Bush

Maybe it’s a self portrait.

This was painted at the Humboldt Botanical Gardens where there must have been at least 20 other artists working on the grounds. Maybe more. Beautiful people, hearts of gold, paintings of delightful beauty in various states of refinement.

I show up late, wander the entire garden, perpetually unsatisfied with the beauty before me. Feeling woefully inadequate to convey anything true or special about the infinite miracles of life all around me.

A sign beside the trail reads “Naughty children must pull weeds”.

I consider pulling weeds instead of painting, but they asked me to come and paint, not wallow in self pity, so in a flash of brilliance I realized that even though I deserved to just sit down and yank weeds, by not doing so and painting instead I would then for once be doing as I was told and could avoid botanical justice… for at least just this afternoon.

And the next thing I knew I found this lonely little rose bush standing apart from the other plants. A head full of beauty and a body full of thorns. This is my people.

-Matt Beard

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Rose Bush

Original Size: 16" x 20"
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Year Painted: 2022

Additional Artwork Information:

Method: Plein Air
Location/Event: Humboldt Botanical Gardens
Date Painted: 09/10/2022
Funds Raised: $300
Region: Not the California Coast > Somewhere in California (Just not the Coast)

Artwork Logistics:

Biological Hazards: Food/Drink Delivered and Consumed While Painting
Anthropological Hazards: People Drinking, Other Painters

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