Rosemary C. Brooks

Artist Statement

In my recent abstract paintings I squeeze paint out of the tube directly onto the canvas like a cake decorator squeezing icing through a pastry bag. Luscious and extravagant, the ropes of thick paint ripple and stutter along looping paths. Once in a while I will add plastic, glass or metal beads for even more texture and interest. A heavily worked surface results, a writhing sensation of color and of line twisting and turning, held in place by the contours of the canvas or by borders I paint in. These are juxtaposed with flat areas of brushed on color.

My imagined scenes are not as textured as my abstracts because for this style I put down the tube and pick up the paintbrush. But these paintings have brighter, lighter color: red, orange, hot pink, magenta, aqua, lime green. I don’t try to evoke deep space, atmospheres or moods. I let the images lie on the surface where they yield a more decorative effect. They don’t lie still. The overall effect is active and alive, bright and joyful.

My subjects—flowers, landscapes, still-life—are traditional but they are not about “the real”. They spring from my imagination and are inspired by textiles, china patterns, folk art and various art historical moments. The most influential to me are European Rococo painting and sculpture, late 19th and 20th century Post Impressionist painting and 20th century Modernism.

Biography

A native New Yorker, Rosemary C. Brooks has exhibited her work in Downtown Brooklyn and Upstate NY.

Like many creative people, she’s been doing art since childhood. As she puts it, she discovered painting at her public elementary school in Queens, NY, “standing in front of a big easel stocked with large sheets of paper and basic, strong tempera colors”. Having long ago taken up painting in acrylics on stretched canvas, those early memories nevertheless have become a clear foundation for her most recent abstract and semi-representational work.

Rosemary also studied painting and collage at the New School and the Art Students League in New York. Her mentor at the League was the mixed media artist Bruce Dorfman and she recently took class with painter Philip Sherrod whose “street art” she finds especially intriguing and inspiring.

She has also done doctoral work in Art History at Rutgers University in New Jersey, with a particular interest in Aegean art of the Bronze Age, the Geometric period of Ancient Greek art, Early Christian art and Early Medieval painting and metalwork.

Rosemary has shown her work in the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition annual exhibits, at the Downtown Brooklyn Annual Artwalk; the DUMBO Arts Festival; the Enderlin Gallery in Roxbury, NY; Gallery 10, Halcottsville, NY; Shelter Rock Art Gallery, Manhassett, NY; Merge 360 group, NYC; and Jefferson’s Ferry, South Setauket, NY.

Rosemary is a long-time resident of Brooklyn, where she also has her studio. For almost 20 years, she has also had a home in Mt. Tremper, NY, near Woodstock.