'From Here to There', a part of Rosie's solo show at Harbour house Kingsbridge July 2009
Obsessive Creative is probably an accurate description. I have always needed something to do, or make. At playschool there was concern that I had no interest in any interaction, just the easels. My knowledge of Art, interacting with materials and technique was nurtured tirelessly by my mother: she taught me to sharpen chisels and carve wood. At 17 I was selling vivid watercolour ink nudes in a café in Kent, doing some private commission work in watercolour and pen and ink. Since then I have taught Palestinian Bedouin English, worked as an Archaeological illustrator, developed pen and ink illustration, exhibited paintings, and qualified to teach Art. I was a full time Art teacher at De La Salle College in Jersey for six and half years. I had a successful solo show at the Sir John Cheshire Gallery, St Thomas’, Jersey in the autumn of 2004, exhibiting ceramics, paintings, prints and wood carvings. I established myself as a self-employed artist in 2004, supplementing sales of my work with some community based teaching and part time work in Coves Quay Gallery in Salcombe.
I have held 4 large successful solo shows at Harbour House, Kingsbridge and as result had a large collection at the Said Business School, Kennington Oxford University 2007/08. August 2009 sees work in various eateries and hosteleries in Devon - including the Plough Arts Centre n Torrington, North Devon. I have also been shorlisted for the 2009 Cork Street Charity Open - proceeds to Children of Peace.
I was a committee member of the South Hams Art Forum and have exhibited in various media in different group exhibitions, taken part in open studio events and other group exhibitions. In 2007 I converted the garage space at my home in Island Street in Salcombe into an open studio/exhibition space, filled with a broad selection of work. I gained a good deal of insight and experience in the management, exhibition and sales of Art work through working part time at Coves Quay Gallery, Salcombe as well as the various exhibitions and galleries I exhibit my work through. At the beginning of 2008 I relocated to Bideford and am now a committee member of North Devon Arts, and have most recently joined two arts co-operatives: Gallery 14 in Torrington and The little Gallery In Bideford. I have finally got a home base and a studio and am looking forward to getting involved in community Arts events in North Devon and developing the number of galleries I exhibit with nationally. I have worked to commission in pen and ink, oil, watercolour and dry point etching; work ranging from portraits of children, horses, houses, and landscapes. Making Art is a continual adventure, although I work in a broad range of media, spirals and helicoidal pattern in composition are a connecting thread in all the work I do.
My mother made play dough, which was my introduction to working in three dimensions; these led me to working with and teaching ceramics and learning to carve wood. I am interested in experimenting with different clay bodies and firing techniques, pressing metal swarf into wet clay and using a Raku kiln, and developing sculpture with paper clays, processes I will continue to develop. Wood carving is a great passion of mine, I work with a selection of inherited and collected chisels and will happily spend days sharpening blades. The wood is hand sanded and finished with my own bees wax polish. I have never bought wood but found or been given pieces, the wood, its grain and form is as responsible for the finished sculpture as my intention; I would not consider wood carving as a medium for a commission, except perhaps if someone wanted to preserve a favourite tree as a sculpture!
The Pictures and Prints
Everyone is naked under their clothes, the taboo of nudity never really featured during my childhood, my mother attended life drawing classes, my sisters and I posed for her sculptures, sitting and drawing the human form was a normal event. The form, the pose, and then the mood are the intention of the use of colour in the watercolour ink work. Henry Moore’s underground drawings and later ink and wax drawings that capture three dimensional shape without reference to portrait or literal likeness but the weight and balance of a figure is what I want to portray. The same is the case in the prints, I want the line to relay the balance, linear form and mood, my figurative work is from a sculptural perspective; I use these studies as reference when sculpting in clay and wood. Having trained as an Archaeological illustrator, dry point etching is a very appealing medium to work in, I often use black pen in my sketchbook and work from these drawings to develop prints. Colour is of great importance to me, my dusk vision is poor – I am frustrated by dark rooms because I can’t see all the colours, this influences my palette in all the colour work I do. Even within the more traditional or conservative landscapes and seascapes I have developed there is still, I hope an intensity of colour. I am enthralled by lurid colour; Roal Dufy’s vivid Mediterranean seas, Salvador Dali’s surreal expansive skies and the brilliant colour of Matisse’s paper cuts were colours I was captivated by, from early exposure. I am rarely without a sketchbook and camera, I continually collect images, sometimes with an immediate piece of work in mind but often I will refer back to photos and drawings.