There is a particular feeling in Rosemary Warmington’s semi-abstract paintings. Ancient landscapes are drenched in the blazing heat of a midday sun, their expansive presence allowing a quiet and isolated solace to be found. “One of the great advantages of living in South Australia is having the ancient Flinders Ranges in our backyard… I find it very peaceful being in the natural world,” says the artist.
Mostly self-taught, Rosemary retired into full time art making after a successful career as the CEO of a not-for-profit organisation providing services to family carers (she was made a Member of the Order of Australia for her work in the community). Her painting practice combines abstract expressionism and traditional landscape painting, evoking the mood and aura of her surrounding landscape through saturated colour, intricate layering of paint, and texture. Working in acrylic paints on canvas, cradle boards or paper then scraping back into their surfaces, Rosemary uses mark making with self-made tools to create visceral excitement for herself and her viewers. Rich colour blends, line and form portray and reflect the beauty of the natural world. A recent trip to the desert and Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre was translated in hues of purple and terracotta.
The artist recalls long hot summers in the country when she was a teenager, painting in the cool of her family’s old stone house using a set of inherited oil paints whilst listening to the tennis. Memories like this fill up her inner reserves of images, allowing her to visualise what cannot be expressed in words. Working today in her purpose-built studio at the bottom of her garden, Rosemary describes her practice as “messy”, painting, varnishing, scraping, and experimenting to the tunes of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Neil Young. “I do a little dance, then I know I’m in the flow and things are working well and creatively from the inside out,” she says.
Rosemary is currently working towards her exhibition with SALA (South Australian Living Artists) Festival in August of this year where she will open up her studio for public viewing.