By Bernie Bell
Jeanne [B. Rose] had stopped painting. I noticed that I hadn’t seen anything new in her gallery for a while and asked her about it, and she said that…..she hadn’t been painting. Now, I have a theory that, people who have something in them to express, whether in word, paint, sound, Healing or……..whatever, need to express what’s in them, or – it’s not good for them, they change – some get grouchy, some get dull, some just aren’t ‘themselves’. This is just my theory – but I’m sticking to it. I honestly feel that it isn’t a good thing for a creative person, to ignore what’s in them, and let life distract them from – expressing. Jeanne had, understandably, got tied up in with organizing her shop/gallery, dealing with her ‘leave to remain’, and the 101 other things which Jeanne is involved with – constantly!
So, I started to nag a bit – not going on and on, as that doesn’t work – it becomes background noise – no, just prodding now and then.
Next thing, Hurrah! – Jeanne planned to share the studio space at Northlight gallery with Cary ( Welling) for the winter. She’d have more peace to paint – hopefully folk would respect her plan, and leave her to it.
I went into town, one time, and called by her gallery, Artworks of the Earth to be told that she was up at Northlight and I could catch her there – I said no, I’m not going to be the one to interrupt the flow. The time Jeanne previously spent at Heatherybraes (former home of Orcadian artist Sylvia Wishart) on the hill above Stromness – sometimes snowed in – produced some wonderful work and I was hoping that having the place and space to work, would open Jeanne up and bring out something extra-ordinary.
Then….The Fates intervened. Jeanne had ordered some canvases from south and when they arrived, they had holes in them. Our creative wee Jeanne put her thinking cap on and saw clearly past the problem….had vision…..was inspired! She got the idea of using the holes, as ‘tears in time’. She would paint an image, taken from local archaeology and then, through the gap, under the space, paint another image, of an object also related to local archaeology. And that is what she did.
When she was ready , and the winter occupation of Northlight was over, and spring was bringing all life out into the open again, including Jeanne, she had an exhibition of her paintings, entitled ‘Tak a Peep’, in Northlight, over the Easter weekend, with her friends Graham of Gramble Glass and Dougie-The-Framemaker – who helped with the magic behind the tears.
Jeanne now has some of these paintings exhibited ( and for sale!) in Artworks of the Earth, plus some of Graham’s glass, and Dougie’s own work, and…….all the other things which fill Jeanne’s emporium!
As Jeanne herself says, she’s found a new way of painting archaeology. She’s been painting the big stones and the sites, for years – sometimes in big – strong sweeps of colour, sometimes using the more delicate Provincetown Print method. What she’s produced here, is a new approach – peeling back the layers of time, of a place, and allowing us to take a peep , through time, to what’s beneath, or, connected with that site. Some of the objects we see through the holes, might not appear to ‘belong’ to the site painted above – but they do relate to them, in some way. Jeanne is playing with time and space here, so – who’s to say where these things have to be, or where or how they are to be seen?
And what next, Jeanne?
There’s word that she’ll be painting at the Ness of Brodgar this year – a place of layers and layers of time, and inspiration and creative work.
Follow the flow, Jeanne, follow the artists and makers of the Ness, and we look forward to seeing what you will….express.
All photos of Jeanne B Rose paintings were taken by M Bell with the artist’s consent.