Joss Rossiter is an artist who was born in South Africa and spent 38 years there before moving to the UK. Joss turned to art at the age of 58 and has not looked back since. She is now selling her work internationally bringing her vibrant , bold art to a wide audience. Joss creates mixed media art utilizing different textures and techniques using pastels, acrylics, gouache, inks, food colouring and scratching. Joss produces art that is heavily influenced by her life in South Africa, she is determined in her belief that there is joy and an intensity of love and passion even in difficult economic situations. The need to persevere and enjoy life is so evident within her work, colourful art with distortion and fragmented beauty that is impactful and beautiful. Joss loves life, loves art, and is passionate about producing work that captures the viewer’s attention. Joss thank you for sharing your expressive depictions we love your work and are very happy to be exhibiting your art at FLUX next year.
Self taught or art school?
Art came to me rather than me to itI had a very serious back operation in 2003 and was told I may never walk again. While recuperating, my eldest son brought me an easel and some acrylics and brushes and told me to ‘play’ with the paint as it would be very therapeutic, and I laughed at his suggestion saying, ‘But I can’t even draw a straight line’. He told me to just slap the paint on, and I did, discovering even then that I loved bright colours. It certainly helped my post – surgery depression as well as promoting a speedier recovery. I then did a 3 month Beginner’s Course in 2007 where the art ‘bug’ really bit me, but it is only since 2009 when I joined an ATC (artist trading cards) group that I really started to paint and draw every single day. I have made and traded over 2000 cards and decided to open an etsy shop and started making larger pieces. To my great surprise they began selling on etsy and I have never looked back since.
If you could own one work of art what would it be?
Picasso: The Weeping Woman (he has been the biggest influence on me, as can be seen with some of the faces I do)
How would you describe your style?
These were some of the reviews for my very first show I did in a small Coffee shop in Walthamstow in March 2012
“A bright, raw insight into an artist with a very agile soul”
“…her figures animate on the canvas like cave paintings flickering by a fire…”
“…the brilliant colours and energetic figures permeate her works.”
My art has been called ‘primitive’ and ‘raw’, and I love these adjectives too.
I call it modern/contemporary with an African flair.
Where are your favourite places to view art?
I love going to big Galleries, but I actually prefer coming upon art in smaller unknown places, like coffee shops and markets. I mostly adore street artists, mainly in Africa. They exude charm and soul and energy and it’s wonderful talking to them as they sit beside the road in the boiling sun and pour their hearts and souls on to their canvasses. (They certainly haven’t been to Art School)
Who are your favourite artists and why?
Picasso: Colour, shapes, soul, charisma and vitality. Modigliani: Faces, shapes, emotions, depth. Hundertwasser: Wild, crazy energy and lines.. Kandinsky: I would’ve loved to see him paint. Van Gogh: I feel and see his pain. It is almost palpable.
What or who inspires your art?
Africa, it’s people and their indomitable spirit. Bold, vibrant colours and passion reflect the influences of my African background.I was born and lived in South Africa for 38 years before emigrating to the UK. My African art is inspired by the rhythms and energy of the people, the colours and emotions which emanate from their souls. My other art is inspired by the human race. I love all faces – they tell a story- they show life’s path, they fill me with joy. With my pet portraits I try to portray their fun whimsical side, which I love.
Where’s your studio and what’s it like?
My studio was built in Summer 2013 in my ‘postage stamp’ sized garden and I love it. It is very cosy, well-lit, has two high tables along the back wall as I stand and work (Can’t use an easel, hurts my shoulders and neck). I have art, cards, and African ornaments on shelves and on the wall, as well as my growing collection of dolls from some fabulous artists I have met on facebook.
Do you have any studio rituals?
I bring my breakfast in here every day, fruit and yoghurt and spend an hour or three on my computer catching up with facebook, correspondence, orders, messages, research. Then I walk my beloved studio mascot, Snuffles. Eventually I feel settled and ready to do some art. I do something every day, draw –or copy- or research- or paint, while I listen to my audio books. This is my ‘woman cave’ and the energy and vive in here is fantastic.
What are you working on currently?
I was approached to be one of the dog artists for the Nashville Dog Art auction in October 2015, http://www.dogartforoldfriends.org/index.html So I am very involved with this wonderful fibre glass statue. I have just completed some Christmas commissions of Pet Portraits, and am waiting to start a large 2 canvas commission for a buyer in Georgia, as well as a Portrait of Bob Marley for a buyer in Pennsylvania.
I have been in 6 exhibitions since March 2012 including my own Solo Show ‘Funky Afrika’ December 2013, and two Pastel Shows at the Mall Galleries. And am now working for the exciting Flux show in February 2015.
Where can we buy your art?
What are your ambitions?
As I approach 70, my main ambition is to continue doing what I do, having fun, and giving joy and pleasure to my ‘Joss’ collectors.
When the fun stops, so will I !!