Community Papers

North Van painter shows vibrant, larger-than-life roses

Marney-Rose Edge
Marney-Rose Edge's painting brings a hint of spring to The Artists of Pemberton studios in North Vancouver.
— image credit: Michaela Garstin

If big, bold, larger-than-life flowers are for you, this North Vancouver-based artist has exactly what you’re looking for.

From her Pemberton Avenue studio, Marney-Rose Edge paints close-ups of roses, adding realistic detail to each petal and stem.

It wasn’t her first name that drew her to roses, she says, but the intricate detail that’s required.

“I started out with simple flowers like tulips and lilies, then I realized I was drawn to complexity,” she tells The Outlook at her studio. “Roses are a challenge.”

The rose, she adds, is the most romantic icon and the subject of many life celebrations.

But why pick flowers in the first place?

“I want to paint the light,” she says, “Flowers are good for this because of the transparency of their petals.”

To add to this, she uses watercolour because of its ability to “glow from within.”

And so she doesn’t get bored of flowers, Edge adds different colours to her nine bases so each painting looks different, even though she’s essentially doing the same topic.

“As soon as I was introduced to watercolours, that was it. Game over, I was in love with them,” she says, surrounded by paintings, the recognizable scent of an artists’ studio in the air.

Edge is part of Artists on Pemberton, a bustling cluster of artists and sculptors in North Van.

Once the rose is finished, she adds varnish to protect the painting, instead of glass, a technique used by American painters for the last decade. “Glass puts a barrier between the painting and you. Varnish steps up the vibrancy,” she says, pointing to a painting covered in glass compared to one that isn’t.

Edge started painting 10 years ago and took it on professionally during the last three. Before this, she did technical work with prototype software for Kodak, giving her a distinct appreciation of the finer details in flowers.

She already has her own solo show, Celebration, that will be at the New Westminster Arts Council gallery until Nov. 24.

Edge proposed the show shorty after her father passed away and celebrating his life was on her mind. Then, a short time later, her niece announced she was pregnant and a celebration of new life was in order.

“The rose shows all stages of life, from newborn buds to the robustness of youth and the fragility of age before fading away completely all within a spray,” she says, “Sometimes even coming back as a rose hip in another season.”

The New Westminster Art Gallery is open Tues. to Sun. from 1 to 5 p.m. Edge will be at the gallery on Saturday, Nov. 24 to talk about her work. For more information, visit

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