Q&A with Rochelle

Getting to know Rochelle


1. Why did you start making art?

I have always been interested in painting and drawing and have doodled for many years. I make art purely because I love the joy in having a successful outcome and find it so therapeutic.

2. Are you a trained artist or self-taught?

I’m self-taught. I have been to a few workshops and local art classes, but these were in watercolours, acrylics are my own work.

3. What is the genre of your art?

This is not something I have ever thought about but maybe my current version of Birch Trees is a little Impressionistic.

4. What inspires you?

The local scenery, which is stunning. Perthshire is known as the Big Tree Country.

5. What is your most important artist tool?

I don’t have any favourite tools, but my palette knives and one or two of my fine paint brushes, for no other reason than I like the way they feel in my hand and the brush strokes they create.

6. What is your favourite colour?

I don’t have a favourite colour, but I love putting down a mixture of Payne’s Grey, Titanium White, Burnt Umber and Bronze Yellow straight on to a pristine white canvas, joy!!

7. How do you know when a work is finished?

When the last twig is painted in and I feel if I do anymore it is going to be a massive over kill.

“I just adore the many variations, colours and textures in birch trees. There are so many and no two are alike.”

8. What are the limits of your form of art?

I don’t know, I’m still experimenting.

9. What technique do you use?

Technique??? Get the paint on quick and see what happens!

10. What is the best setting for you to relax and/or work?

I love working at my large kitchen table looking out at the Perthshire hills.

11. Which is more important to you, the subject of your work, or the way it is executed?

The way it is executed … you can make a simple object stunning.

12. What is the role of the artist in society?

I like to think an artist can bring much joy and pleasure to society.

13. Which artists do you enjoy, and how have you been influenced by them?

I love the work of Edward Wesson and Edward Seago, whom I tried to emulate in my watercolours and how they painted trees stunningly simplistic.

14. You paint a lot of silver birch trees. What particularly appeals about this tree?

I just adore the many variations, colour, textures in birch trees. There are so many and no two are alike.

15. There is an ‘alpine or glacial coolness’ to your work. Is this because you live in the colder climate of Highland Perthshire and regularly visit your son in frosty Norway?

Ha!! I just love clean sharp lines and a white canvas gives me the base for this.

16. Your daughter lives in Dubai – the climatic opposite of Scotland and Norway. Have you ever considered painting palm trees?

I have attempted palm trees, but I wasn’t very good at it.

17. What is the shortest and longest time taken to complete a piece?

One hour. A watercolour. The longest (I think) was 21 hours on a special commission.

18. Biggest canvas that you’ve ever painted?

40″ x 40″ I loved doing this.

19. Is there an artwork that you are most proud of? Why?

‘December in Central Park, NYC’ is – I think – a success for me. We were in NYC for a very special birthday treat. It was a stunning, snowy day, with people just strolling through Central Park as if the sun was shining and it was 26C and not -3C. I hope I caught the atmosphere of the beautiful cold, snowy day.

20. What is the one piece of advice that you would give to your teenage self?

I don’t know if she would listen, but I suppose, ‘we get there in the end’.