I'm carrying over the focus on the background circles from the last painting in a big way in this one. I wanted to paint them loose and thin at first, and then add thicker brushstrokes. They definitely became prominent. The vertical worked well as the bud is coming up. Can you hear that little bud singing to Diana Ross's "I'm coming out?" (of course replacing "out" with "up").
The reference photo was taken on August 29. There were so many beautiful blooming roses it was easy to take many photos. The trick was finding ones with a little more interest either with composition or light.