01 February, 1986

R4 Rose and Raven

R4 Rose and Raven
24x24" oil on panel
Private Collection

When Rose T. first moved to our road, I said on meeting her, "You look just like I imagined the Rose in my novel." In fact, her rather exotic, Pre-Raphaelite looks made her the perfect Rose, and I asked her to model for me. She was warned ahead of time that ravens would figure prominently in the paintings. When Rose's husband saw this picture, he was mildly horrified at what I had done to his wife, who in reality is quite beautiful.

I am very fond of the viridian green and alizarin crimson combination. The repeated wing shape in the reverse shading of the sleeve, the leaves and the hands is a favourite device of mine.

Rose sat down on the doorstep, the leafy bushes framing her. Poe ruffled up excitedly and hopped right over beside her. For a moment Allan thought the damned ugly thing would jump on her shoulder. He shuddered.

Rose had seemed to be the only normal person living here. No normal person was on friendly terms with overgrown crows.

"Gronk, gronk," said the raven.

-Mary Weymark Goss, from the novel Raven

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