Biography / Artist statement
Rose Long's interest in painting in oils and acrylics emerged while learning to paint portraits.
The roses and Indigo and Blueprint architectural series of paintings are painted in acrylics. Shape, pattern and form are dominant in these pieces. Using this medium, Rose paints in collaboration with two partners: water and gravity.
The elements of chance and complex variability, that these introduce, allow her work to interplay her own intention with the unexpected results of the laws of physics. The aim is to evoke the feeling of the object rather than focusing on the minute details. The subjects sit in an energetic atmosphere comprising of light and shadow in space. Rose’s chosen palette is often limited, using the varied tones in one hue. Combinations of complementary colours to achieve greys are added and then washed away.
Flowers have long provided artists with inspiration. Rose started painting roses after a friend gave her a bouquet of flowers. Having stared at the flowers for ages they reminded her of how much nature has to offer. She felt compelled to paint the structural and elementary qualities of the roses and to capture the tactile quality of the petals and mystery of nature and the organic form. The repeated roses are never the same.
These beautiful flowers have fascinated people for generations. They are given to other people as a social custom. Roses evoke a timeless sense of joy, hope, or even sadness. The strong visual and symbolic elements of roses allow the artist’s paintings to have a strong focus. But the backgrounds, composition and colour palettes are equally important. The muted colour palette is balanced by splashes of red, orange and violet on the flowers.
On many of the paintings, the size of the canvas is based on the 'Golden Rectangle'. This is an idealised proportion where the ratio of the longer side to the shorter is the golden ratio used for millennia which is pleasing to the eye and works on the proportion of phi = 1.618. Phi is the mathematics and architecture of Beauty and Elegance. Geometry connects to nature. As Galileo said: "The book of nature is written in the language of mathematics."
In the Oils Stripes series of work, the artist examines colour or tonal combinations together with the texture, form, edge, shadow and layering of paint on canvas to emphasise the convening of the boundaries of paint, air and canvas.
As an architect Rose is used to working with different drawing tools to create structure in space. Similarly with her paintings, the use of tools is paramount - straight edge; palette knife; rollers; pens; brushes, scribes and plumbs are all used when applying paint with differing results.
The progression in Rose’s work is evolutionary, not radical. Each piece informs the next in technique and expression. The pieces are becoming more allegorical.