The work shown here is mostly from the last five years and shows my return to using oil paint. I have become interested in 'portmanteau' imagery containing allusions to landscape and the human figure. The most recent work is inspired by a preparatory drawing by Rembrandt - Lamenatation at the Foot of the Cross, which is in the British Museum. This immensely rich, unfinished work full of fascinating ambiguities has become something of a gold mine of visual ideas for me.
Ros has been a practising artist since graduating from the Central School of Art and Design, and the Royal College of Art in 1977. She is also a jazz singer.
In 1981 she won 2nd prize in the National Portrait Gallery’s portrait painting competition, and was commissioned by the Gallery to paint a double portrait of Group Captain Cheshire and Lady Rider. This led to various commissions and she still enjoys painting portraits to commission.
During the eighties she also explored mixed media (watercolour, gouache and acrylic) and worked with still life or landscape as her subject matter, in particular, Tuscany and North Wales. In 1981 she moved from London to North Somerset where she has lived ever since.
During the nineties she began to make paintings in gouache on a Chinese ink ground (a technique she discovered while working in mixed media), and produced a long series of still lives in which invention and memory played as large a part as observation. These became progressively more detailed. In 1993 she founded Yellow Fox Press and produced several books of poetry illustrated with her wood engravings. Her paintings at that time reflected the clarity and attention to detail of the wood engravings.
In 2000 she joined a group of artists on a trek to paint in the Australian Outback. The vast spaces of the Australian desert inspired a series of mixed media paintings, which incorporated both still life and landscape elements. These Australian landscapes began to bring together her love of detailed observation and a need to be more freely expressive with the paint. She began to mix sand and other things with the paint in her attempts to find a means of conveying the sense of magic and mystery that she experienced in this landscape.
Her sense of awe at finding myself in the ancient interior of the Red Continent was something she was lucky enough to repeat, the other side of the world, deep in the Amazon, in February 2004. The circumstances were very different. She and David, her husband, were invited to be guest artists on a Swan Hellenic cruise. Before the cruise they spent five nights in a lodge in the rainforest, and were taken out each day to explore it. The ancient and silent spaces of the flooded forest took hold of her imagination, inspiring a new series of landscape paintings.
Currently she is exploring connections with her work as a jazz singer which seems to be feeding into her painting as she becomes more and more interested in the magic and appearance of performers and performance. To do this effectively she is currently working in mixed media, incorporating collage and paint.