Watercolor on paper

18 x 24 inches



When I first met this bouquet of roses, it was so lovely.  Its petals looked like red velvet, so soft and fresh that you could feel the vitality of the flowers. Its generous scent could easily fill the entire room. Every time you close your eyes and conjure up the image of roses, it’s the perfect bouquet that pops up in your mind.  

It was once the most iconic “rose”.

But how long can this object be a bouquet of roses?  The flaming red began to die out.  The sweet smell began to reek. Its leaves become brittle and fall off, like disconcerting hair piled up in a shower drain. 

It could never been sold for a good price. It would not be worthy of being placed in a fine vase.  “Unwanted” or “expired”, you can use any derogatory word to describe it. It has become a bunch of roses that can not make the person who receive it happy. It doesn’t meet the standard of qualifed roses anymore. It doesn’t deserve the name of roses anymore.

It spent its last three days in my studio. Every day, I painted a portrait for it.

There it laid, sad and silent as a bunch of unhappy roses in distress ought to be. How regrettable!  I noticed the irritating yellow veins protruding from the inside of the black and red petals. The thorns are still sharp. They are rusty weapons that attacked everything around it.

And the smell. As the flowers decayed, that unpleasant smell began to engulf my studio. I’ve never smelled anything like that. I didn’t know anything smell like that could be called “roses”.  If it’s food from the fridge, you know it should have been thrown out a long time ago. Invisible Microbes are reveling on a bunch of dead plants…Microbes grow on expired food, but can they grow on roses that are supposed to be romantic, elegant and fragrant?

As I work on these paintings, I asked sarcastically and arrogantly: Hey, do roses have the right to become so unpleasant in front of people? I mean, do you still qualify as roses?  


It spitted out its stamen that looked like burnt sand, and sneered at my questions.

“Call me whatever you like. Who cares?”