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Rose Belknap – Artist Statement
I’ve lived on Vashon 44 years, after arriving on the island and immediately sensing that this place felt like home. I bought a house in Dockton and like everyone on Vashon, my husband Richard and I are still working on it. Art has been a lifelong passion. Having started drawing and painting from the age of 5 years old, I enrolled in Cornish College of the Arts and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
My earliest work focused on studies of color, refractive light and shape in still life and on interiors which allowed me to tell stories and suggest moods. My current work focuses on nature’s healing and uplifting beauty. Vashon reveals nature’s rhythm through its budding trees, many birds, dense woods and changing light, each offering inspiration. I enjoy the process of painting, it is like a meditation and I enjoy puzzling out how to render the natural world. The inherent glow of oil paints enlivens that process.
In 2013, the world changed for my family when our son died in a car accident. Art became an even greater focus for me. One very important thing happened that year: My husband Richard built me a beautiful little studio, so I could disappear into a world of art and just focus on painting.
My most recent exhibitions include 2016’s ‘My Vashon, My Home’; the Barnworks reunions of 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017; the Vashon Artists Winter Studio Tours for 2015-2017 and 2019; and Vashon Center for the Arts ‘Miniatures’ shows for 2014, 2016, and 2019. I enjoy sharing my love of art with all ages. I have served as Artist-in-Residence for the Vashon Island School District (VISD) for at least 15 years. In spring 2016, I mentored VISD faculty on how to incorporate art into their classrooms. In April 2017, I was the Artist-in-Residence for 100 fourth grade students at Chautauqua Elementary who learned how to draw and paint birds.
My work can be found in the Gallery “Gather” in the center of Vashon, and in “Childhoods End Gallery” in Olympia.