Charlotte was honoured to be interviewed for the Spring edition of Rose Collector magazine, one of her favourite international publications. This opportunity arose through Charlotte’s long-time friends, Christabel and Henry Horasworth, who attended a rose-growers conference in Scotland last year. There, they met the magazine’s editor and introduced her to Charlotte’s paintings. How fortunate we are to live alongside the wonders of technology!
Below is sampling of the interview.
RC: It’s clear from your paintings that you have a strong affinity for roses. How long have you been keen on them?
CB: I first realised I loved roses as a child. I have a very clear memory – I must have been all of three years old – of drinking in the scent of my grandmother’s red roses. It was the first time I was able to make the connection between that special scent and the plant. I knew on the spot that I loved roses. I’m a grandmother myself now, so we’ve had a long relationship, roses and I!
RC: Do you have a favourite?
CB: It changes constantly. At the moment, I’m particularly fond of a hybrid tea rose known as ‘Honey Dijon’, which I’m told was bred in the early 2000s by one James Sproul. It’s a sort of honey-tan colour, as you might guess from the name, with lovely flecks of pink in the mix. It’s very unusual looking and has a gorgeous, fruity fragrance. I also have a soft spot for climbing roses, nicely espaliered in a country garden – perhaps because I’ve never had much luck with them myself!
RC: When painting roses, do you paint directly from plants in your garden?
CB: Yes, I often do, at least when it comes to setting down the form and capturing the unique characteristics of the petals. I do take some poetic license when it comes to the colours, if the tones I want to paint in aren’t showing up in the garden.
“I do take some poetic license when it comes to the colours, if the tones I want to paint in aren’t showing up in the garden.”