Tuesday, 21 January 2014

The Psychology of Art: Doris Rose

Doris Rose, moved from England to Canada when she was nine-years-old and settled down in Toronto. Doris comes from a family of academics with interests that lie on the opposite sides of the academic spectrum. She was always interested in drawing human figures and studying for a Drawing and Painting major at Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCADU) helped her polish her talent to precision. 

Even though Doris knew how to draw, she still wanted technical training in the field of fine arts. She always thought of art as her life’s course and signed up for Avenue Art School outside of school and got her hands wet. 

In The Bath

Her time at OCADU gave her the chance to work on her technique. Lorne Teows, a professor at OCADU, proved to be a great influence. The university also exposed her to a number of other aspiring artists, and she believes simply interacting with the students at OCADU was an eye-opening experience. 

The Cyclist
“Everybody has their own style, their own process and thinking. So even just watching and speaking with other artists influenced my style.”

After she graduated from school, she put together a series studying values and how people value things. She would have people choose one material object they value the most, and then she draws her inspiration from the stories behind their choice of the object. Capturing their interaction with the valued material object gives her a complete picture of the personality she is projecting on the canvas.

The Dreamers

She took a lot of painting classes in realism, but during one summer she took an abstract painting class for extra credit and ended up using the brush strokes she developed in that class in her thesis. It helped her evolve her style. Abstract expressionism gave her more technical freedom. What she is painting now is styled after abstract expressionism, and she considers it more of a challenge. 

“I like to paint things that I can piece together.”

The Organics #1 Water Scene

She uses technical elements from abstract expressionism and mixes them with realism to create a perfect crossover painting, but she defines her style as impressionistic. 

“What is important to me is the story that you’re telling as compared to why you paint. I’ve always been inspired by certain impressionists. Especially the brush strokes Van Gogh used.”

Waiting for Inspiration

She says that Van Gogh captures “humanity” like no other. She believes that brush strokes are essential in telling the complete story: They are the life of the painting. They give character, depth, and emotion to the painting. She likes to capture the depth that people have and the contradictions displayed in their behaviour.

The Organics #3 The Cube

In Doris’s work we are able to see the thesis of a person’s life experiences: What they have experienced and what has made them who they are today. Going back into people’s lives gives her work richness and depth.

The Organics #4 Petals

“I think you can’t help but be inspired by other people and other artists. Jenny Seville was an influence on me; she’s technically amazing. Lucien Freud, as a painter, is amazing.”

The Organics #5 Microscopic

Psychology has always found its way into her paintings. During a finger painting task in grade school, describing what she had done over the weekend, her subconscious translated her weekend's experience into a huge painting of flames. Even though this happened years ago, what Doris paints now always has an introspective element. 

The Organics #6 Electricity

“I like to capture those moments of quiet when people are internalizing, the silent moments, when you’re just quiet and thoughtful, if you combine that with dreams, I believe dreams are when you’re most introspective.”

To Have Pause

Doris has expanded her artistic talents to writing and illustrating poems for children. She aspires to put them together into a book one day. Her current series is called ‘The Organics.’ It focusses on shapes and patterns found in the most basic and microscopic things we can see.  

Willow the Woodcarver

“My sister is a chemical engineer, through her and her work I learned about molecular artwork and cell engineering.  Images taken of microscopic projections from our body are similar to pictures of the Earth taken from outer space. These fundamental shapes, patterns, and colours seem to make up every layer of our universe, and that interests me.”

The Organics #7 Sinew

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