Another possibility: What if we decided that the rose is part of a rose-experience in us, unaccessible on its own terms, and therefore imitating it means imitating the experience? In other words, maybe there is no rose in itself, but only roses as experienced by us. So, we really want to represent the experience of the rose, not the rose outside of experience.
And, what if the experience of the rose can only be represented in (for example) a Jackson Pollock-like melange of colour and form, bearing no visual resemblance to the rose but evoking a similar experience. Have we imitated it then?
Do we imitate the rose, or do we try to duplicate the feeling that the rose produces in us?