Rose Pearson – Friday Night Guest – May 3, 2024

Rose Pearson – Friday Night Guest – May 3, 2024

(Submitted by Marilyn Walsh)

BFA from York U and B Ed from U of Windsor, Co-ordinator of the Creative Arts Two Year Diploma at Haliburton School of Art and Design, Fleming College

Rose Pearson presented two main themes in her work: photorealistic tea pots and mixed media.  In the first, she grids both the photo reference and her canvas and uses Golden Mean calipers to ensure ratios are correct within the composition. She projects her image on her canvas and works large (3 X 4feet). Rose paints first in acrylic to get the correct proportions and secondly in oil to get the depth of colour. This is deeply concentrated and still work.

Pearson finds her mixed media work a more active process, working with multiple images (to allow for drying time in each step) and grabbing “bits and bobs” from her studio.  She creates her own stencils using text from old books, garden flowers and leaves and lace tablecloths.  Rose layers her images with gesso, plaster, cold wax medium and glazes.  Her work with rabbit and flower themes showed a range of techniques.  She values what she learns through experimentation.

Pearson demonstrated many different mixed media processes showing multiple panels in each step along the path. To address an issue with chipping plaster along the edge of the wood panel, she now covers the panel with cheesecloth over the top and sides.  She attaches the cheesecloth with a polymer medium which dries clear. She trowels a 2:1 mixture of plaster and water with some modeling paste on to the top surface.  After drying for 24 hours, she masks and goes outdoors to give a light sanding to smooth bumps along the edges. 

She had a variety of methods of using stencils.  To create a substantial 3D effect she uses a type of house paint, Venetian plaster.  For a slightly raised image she dabs polymer medium through a stencil which once dried she thinly glazes with paint.  These both can be sanded (outside while wearing a mask) to bring out highlights.  With embossed stencils, she creates charcoal rubbings on different weights of paper which she then glues on to the surface of her panel.  She also prints photos to scale and uses white charcoal pencils to outline images and create detailed drawings.  She will paint white gesso in areas where she wants dynamic colour.

Some of the references she shared were:  Elizabeth Gilbert, Your Elusive Genius, Vihart videos about art and mathematics, William Kentridge, a S. African artist in collaboration with filmmaker Walter Murch, and Tom Greene’s The Three Hares.

The DVAC members were inspired by Rose Pearson’s artistry, techniques and depth of knowledge.