MUNTHE ART MONDAY: ROSA ROBERTS
Please introduce yourself and tell us about what you do.
My name is Rosa Roberts, and I am a painter and print maker living and working in London. I often work on primed cardboard at the moment as I like the texture that it lends the paintings due to the corrugations underneath the surface which break up the marks that I lay on top. I have been working for about half this year on a series called 'Tropical Gardens' based on some sketches I did while on holiday in Bali just before lockdown, I am often drawn towards depicting lush foliage, fruit and nature, "Alive things" I often say. Texture, colour and bold mark making are important in my work.
I have been working as a painter full-time since lockdown and before that was running a business that ran drawing workshops in museums and snatching time to paint when I could though I studied painting at Central St Martins. I'm digging my new life as a full-time artist and am so enjoying the chance to develop giclee and lino prints, paintings of all sizes and work on commissions and exhibitions on a regular basis. I'm living my dream now. I love it.
Could you explain more about how being a woman has affected your career?
I never really think about any disadvantages that I may have had career wise due to being a woman, I don't feel held back by external forces, I feel that my own confidence/energy and focus is the only limiting factor. Lack of confidence could be perhaps related to being the non-dominant gender in our society, but it could also just be personal, and personality related. It has taken me a while to get to the stage where I am doing the job (full-time artist) that I always wanted to do but every body's path is different, and careers can be windy and non-linear. I don't have children yet though I would like them ideally and I am aware that that fact has enabled me to focus solely on my practice at this time which has led to huge developments in the work.
Can you name some other female (artist) that inspires you and explain why they do so?
There are so many female artists that I love, from Tracy Emin for her honesty and emotional rawness to Florence Hutchings juicy collages of interiors and homes. Nettle Grellier, Tracey Slater, Daisy Tortuga, Selby Hi, I love watching people's work and process on Instagram. Anyone who works often with rigour and depth and a willingness to try new things, processes, mediums.
What has been the most challenging aspect of being a female artist.
I have no experience of being a male artist so have no idea how the challenges I face relate to being female. However, I would say that the main challenge for me of being an artist was dedicating enough time to the work and promotion of the work to develop it and the selling of it to a decent enough level so that you can make a living from it. This is the key challenge I think in any artistic career as when you can work on it full-time the work can develop and improve at a much faster rate. Lockdown and the Artists Support pledge were key reasons why I was able to transition over from running a business full time to painting. When lockdown started and my other work stopped, I promised to myself that I would make for 4hrs a day 5 days a week. The making is the engine. Getting the quality of the work up is the main challenge and that happens by putting the hours in and having the hours to put in.
What would you like people to notice in your artwork?
I would like people to notice my unique frequency of energy in my artwork. Like a kind of visual energetic signature that runs through it all. I'd like them to notice vitality and life force and beauty and interest in life and nature and making. I would also hopefully like to think that my paintings lift people up and I would like them to feel excited by the colours.
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