The first record of an authentic European rose is a highly stylized one in a fresco at Knossos in Greece; it dates from the sixteenth century B. The most beautiful woman of India, the goddess Lakshmi, is supposed to have been born from a rose composed of 108 large and 1,008 small petals.
One of the most pervasive symbols in Grateful Dead lyrics and iconography, the rose is a symbol laden with meaning.
Its first appearance in a Dead lyric was in the "Faster We Go the Rounder We Get" (Weir's lyric) portion of "That's It for the Other One": "single rose is, in essence, a symbol of completion, of consummate achievement and perfection.
It was the difference between drawing a man's face and using abstraction to explore his soul.
But thus was the fundamental gap in my artistic understanding—the difference between the surface realities that I wanted to depict, and the profound though elusive truths of the human condition that art could explore.
The rose is a metaphor waiting to happen, and peoples have always ascribed to it some aspect of the mystery of life.
In the words of Robert Hunter: " ' I've got this one spirit that's laying roses on me.
No, it was not so clean and not so white and not so nice.
But I have drawn—rather, lived—in this studio for most of my past ten years.
And I can't tell you exactly when or why my attitude changed, but eventually my own lines began to unabashedly disregard the rules of depth or tonality to which I had once dutifully adhered, my fervor leaving in its wake black fingerprints and smudges where once had existed unsoiled whiteness.
It was in this studio that I eventually made the leap into a new realm of art—a realm in which I was neither experienced nor comfortable.