Rosalind Wise takes inspiration from nature, painting scenes of flower gardens, ponds, and meadows. However, recently she’s found a new muse.
“At the moment, I am painting paths,” Wise says. “They are taking me out of the meadows, fields, woods, and gardens into the landscape beyond. I love painting the paths, especially when they divide and we are presented with a choice of which one to follow. Paths suggest a journey, a chance to move on to something new and unexplored.”
Exploration is nothing new in Wise’s life. A native of South Wales, Wise studied at Reading University and Goldsmiths College. During the 1970s she taught secondary education in Bristol and London.
Rosalind Wise at work on her new series of path paintings
The Flower Cycle (detail)
Geometric Herb Garden
Then, in 1980 she moved to Gloucestershire and turned more of her time to painting. Her early work focused on small, singular bits of the natural world.
“A flower head, a petal, a single leaf, an acorn—I enlarged them on paper, trying to show their wonderful structure, color, seasonal variety, and staggering beauty,” Wise says.
Taking what she had learned from these early works, Wise painted The Flower Cycle
and The Tree Cycle
, both done on large canvases. Though these paintings are masterfully executed, Wise kept digging for new subjects and experiences, and her approach to painting shifted.
“I moved away from working in this way of placing nature in a pattern to be controlled and viewed from a distance,” she says. Her work turned to places “where the human footprint is at a minimum.” She began painting fields and gardens in their natural, untouched state, so that, in her words, “they have a chance to display their own character and energy.”
While her urge to capture the environment around her has produced a large body of work
that has been displayed at many gardens and galleries
, she says the source of her drive remains a mystery.
“I don’t know why I need to do this, to paint the natural world in this way,” she says. “The response to what I see and feel I can’t ignore. Painting releases and enhances the experience of looking and actually being there in the moment.”
And Wise’s career as an artist is far from finished. “The journey through paint is ongoing for me,” she says. “It has taken me from a single flower, through a field or garden, and now into the landscape. I can now only guess at what lies ahead for me. The path is never completed!”
Common Spotted Orchids at Clattinger Farm (detail)
See Rosalind Wise’s Artist Collection >