Petal project: a painting of a rose every day for a year

Source: Illawarra Mercury

Sheree Rose Troy is taking some time to smell the roses - 365 of them in fact.

The Albion Park Rail artist has embarked on The Year of The Rose, a project to paint a rose a day for the next year as a tribute to her late grandmother and to raise money for the Cancer Council.

The rose is more than just a pretty flower to the 23-year-old, and not only because the bud gives her her middle name.

Sheree's grandmother battled bowel cancer for several years and spent the last few years of her life bedridden. Her husband, Troy's grandfather, planted a rose cutting outside her bedroom window and it grew tall enough that she could see it from her bed.

"It was a thing of beauty in her life when things seemed quite bleak," Sheree says.

"She was really the backbone of our whole family, we centred around her. When she passed away in 2009, members of the family took cuttings of the rose and planted it in their own gardens as a way of remembering her legacy."

Though her grandfather no longer lives in the home where the rose bush was planted, Sheree recently visited the house and asked the new owners if she could take a flower from it.

This was the first rose she painted as part of the project, which she began on April 22.

For the other 364 roses, Sheree is relying on friends, family, the public and members of the Illawarra Rose Society to provide her with different flowers. When the flowering season finishes she will work from photographs during the winter months.

The style of each painting will be decided when Troy sits down to paint, and could include watercolours, acrylic paints and charcoal sketches. It takes sometimes an entire day to complete an artwork, depending on what materials are used.

Sheree says the project is also a great way for her to develop her art practice because it forces her to work on her art every day.

"This is my main focus [for the year], I'm putting all of my dedication and effort into raising money."

Although she has been pursuing art for several years, completing a fine arts degree and winning the Bernadette O'Reilly Award for the best artist under 25 at the recent Thirroul Seaside Festival, Sheree says painting the different roses has been a challenge.

Sheree will hold exhibitions and auction off her paintings throughout the year.

She will appear at Cancer Council events to show off her work and work on that day's rose.

A percentage from the sale of each artwork will be donated to the Cancer Council.

Sheree Rose Troy. Photo: Dave Tease

Sheree Rose Troy. Photo: Dave Tease