Perhaps a good place to start when studying up on Modern rose arrangements is the article Modern Design —Free-form or Abstract? by Kathy Noble.
You may think that Modern design means you are free of all constraints, but that is not quite true. Ms Noble reminds us that we still must adhere to six design principles, which she ably explains. This article is also available in pdf format, so that you may save it for future reference.
We’ll visit our friends and neighbors at the Tri-City Rose Society to view Rose Arranging 101 – Modern Arrangements by Jane Melville, ARS Accredited Arrangement Judge and TCRS Member. Ms Melville treats us to an excellent discussion on the differences between modern and traditional line and line-mass arrangements.
We turn now to the Winter 2010 issue of the Rose Arranger’s Bulletin for Modern Design – Forms, Lines, Space . . . and Other Things, Too! by Gary Barlow of the Buckeye District, where we find no fewer than fifteen inspirational color photos that demonstrate the use of containers, color, shapes, and forms in creating striking Modern designs. He uses minimal material, striking color contrast, and some very unique containers to great effect. (Oh, how I wish I had some of those containers in my collection!)
This same issue of RAB also contains an article by Jim Harrell of the Deep South District titled Creating Contrived Containers. This is for those of you who are not content with simply growing and arranging roses, but who want to go one step further and make your container for a truly unique presentation. Mr. Harrell shows how he uses plaster of Paris and a few items from the Dollar Store to make his containers, so now you can, too.
The Winter 2010 RAB issue contains other useful information on Modern design with photos, so be sure to look all the way through it.
I highly recommend that you visit the California Coastal Rose Society website for a very interesting article by expert arranger Kreg Hill on Modern Arrangements that describes the characteristics of several distinct types of Modern arrangements including such interesting types as hanging designs, illuminary designs that incorporate light for special effect, motorized designs that incorporate motorized movement, transparency designs, and underwater designs.
Now that you have many ideas, you may be wondering how to hold all of these distinctively different Modern designs together. Let’s turn to Kreg Hill’s article Modern Mechanics. He makes some excellent suggestions for utilizing items such as pipe cleaners, fishing line, magnets, and Velcro (among others) to make Modern rose magic.
So get in your best creative/McGyver mode and create a Modern arrangement for the 2012 Spokane Rose Show. Look over the titles from the 2012 Spokane Rose Show Schedule and see which one sparks your creative fires:
For standard sized roses you can enter your creation in SECTION B – Modern/Creative or Abstract, which is eligible for the Artist’s Award. Imagine what you could create for:
Class 4. Rainbow Bridge, Arches National Park, UT – a Modern/Creative design, or
Class 5. The Aurora Borealis – an Abstract design
If you find you have more miniature roses available, or you just like working on a smaller scale, enter your work of art in SECTION I – for roses designated as Miniatures or Minifloras used in a Modern/ Creative or Abstract design. Remember that the arrangement will be judged at eye level. These classes are eligible for the Miniature Artist’s Award. Search online for pictures of these Natural Wonders and see what you are inspired to create for:
Class 17. Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park, ID, MT, WY – An Abstract Miniature or Miniflora rose arrangement not to exceed ten (10) inches in height, width, and depth.
Class 18. Dinosaur Provincial Park, Canada – A Modern/Creative Miniature or Miniflora Rose arrangement not to exceed seven (7) inches in height, width, and depth.
See the articles referenced here on using miniature roses in designs and keep in mind the height, width, and depth restrictions. Take on the challenge!
Remember that there is also SECTION M – Designer’s Choice. You can certainly enter a Modern design here. This class is open to amateur men and women and judges. All plant material must be fresh and garden grown.
Class 23. Everglades National Park, FL .
Remember to state the design style on the tag! This class is eligible for the Virginia Featherman Master Arranger Award.