Wild Roses
Artists & Illustrators|October 2019
Wild Roses
PARASTOO GANJEI’S expressive flower paintings are gaining an ardent following and they are equally inspired by her Wiltshire surroundings and her artistic family, she tells STEVE PILL

The Wylye Valley is one of England’s many beautiful and largely forgotten corners. Formed as the River Wylye heads east of Warminster and carves into the chalky Wiltshire hills along the top edge of Cranborne Chase, this designated “Area of Natural Beauty” is dotted with chocolate-box villages, quaint country pubs and endless greenery. When artist Parastoo Ganjei describes the countryside surrounding her studio as a “beautiful and engaging part of the world”, it is easy to see why.

“My studio is on a hilltop with far-reaching views across the valley,” she says. “It is surrounded by ever-changing farmlands, their colours and shapes differing from one season to the next, but always beautiful and powerful.”

Parastoo will venture out into the local countryside, which includes the mystical environs of Stonehenge, when she is completing studies for her landscape paintings, but the bulk of her work is completed in the studio. Her 20-minute journey there through such natural beauty provides the perfect morning pick me up. “Every day is full of unknown excitements and new experiences,” she says. “Driving along country lanes is a blessing to me. All the beautiful and powerful natural views give me inspiration to start my day and a new painting.”

While semi-abstract landscapes do form a part of Parastoo’s portfolio, she has cultivated a strong following instead for her floral paintings – and one flower in particular. “I have always loved roses. In my earlier years, I used to paint a bunch of mixed flowers including roses, but I was captivated by the innate qualities of roses and eventually they became my main subject. They have a major role in my painterly experiments.”

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October 2019