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Rosie Burns
Registered: 16/02/2010   Last Update: 03/10/2014

Rosie Burns
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 a gallery, and recently membership of Gallery 14 Arts Co-op in Torrington. I have held 4 large successful solo shows at Harbour House, Kingsbridge South Devon; and exhibit in over a dozen galleries, as well as showing work in pubs, restaurants and hotels across the south west of England. I am currently a part time Art tutor for Petroc adult recreational art courses.
The Pictures and Prints
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. Drawing is about the construction of form in two dimensions this is an endless source of intrigue: 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. 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. Colour is light reflected and refracted, the theories of colour that allow the sky to be green in painting is fascinating. Print making and sculpture take a lot of my time in the winters of the Northern Hemisphere because I feel there is too little light, too little colour. 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.
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 nudes are from a sculptural perspective; I use these studies as reference when sculpting in clay and wood.
Three Dimensions
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. This has been hindered by spinal surgery a year ago – but I am ready to carve again. 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!
More at www.rosieburnsartist.com