I think of my drawings as being idiomatic, that is, as having their own distinctive forms. Like verbal idioms, their parts may be recognizable, but they are not readily understood literally. They come from a particular language of expression. This language is natural, fluent, and kinetic. It is founded in the body. On the one-hand I begin by viewing the poses of models-the relatedness of the parts of the body and the spaces around and into the body. On the other hand, I think of what I do as “tactile looking”. I touch the page with strokes, blotches, and smudges in response to what I am seeing. Form being responded to as form, energy responding to energy in a visceral way. The marks twist and arch toward each other, sometimes creating a near-touch, sometimes an encounter. Masses can be built, color fields can intersect, and delicate marks can teeter in balance.

Mass, intersection, and balance describes my physical and mental condition as I work. It describes the dynamics of the work itself. And it describes the work’s link to the viewer. For it is in the body of the viewer that these forces can be found.


Q. What is the primary motivation behind your work? How would you describe your creative impulse?
A. The motivation for creative work is a response to forces that are beyond the physical. I suppose sharing aspects of our human nature with the intent of bringing internal solutions to a visual resonance would sum up this process. By definition creativity is a going out beyond what we know or realize, so for me this impulse exists as a need to find more of myself than I know exists.

Q. Why do you prefer to work with Mylar? What types of mixed media do you use?
A. Mylar has a translucent and softening quality. The nature of its surface produces qualities that are subtle, yet at the same time it is a very durable product. It can handle about any material and withstand some rather vigorous work habits. I use rubbing ink, walnut stain, watercolors, pastels and all manner of marking tools. The intrinsic nature of these materials coexists well.

Q. Please give a basic description of your creative process.
A. I find aesthetic pleasure in beginning work using models. Their presence seems to excite an energy that is missing in inanimate objects. Just visually scanning relationships of human form opens possibilities for creative exploration.

Q. In your statement you explain that your visual language is founded in the body. Please elaborate on this concept.
A. Yes, my visual language is founded in the body as I work gesturally. I think this is a response to an experience, which is a cellular and a body-centered knowledge. The senses of sight, sound and touch are all fully involved. The physicality of the body is the original medium of experience. Because I consider my process to be open to all possibilities, I would consider the outcome to be abstract figuration.

Q. How do you choose your color palette?
A. I tend to use subtle colors, which allow for openness. The allowing of one figure to merge with another dictates both color harmonies and transparencies.

Q. Which artists do you admire?
A. Cy Twombly, deKooning, Susan Rothenberg, Anselm Kiefer. -October 2007

Rosemary Castiglioni’s paintings stand strong and willful. They hold our attention and push at our bodies. These paintings are patient. They unfold slowly. They seem to wait for our consciousness to catch up. They take time. We sense the movement of bodies but we also feel the movement of land-of geology. They place our experience of ourselves inside a longer memory-in a wider view. We feel the unfolding of evolutionary time. The power is imbedded in the structure of the painting. These pieces are well built. Constructed with a steady gaze they hold great forces in balance-boulder to boulder, body to body. We experience the pressure chamber-we breathe into the balance. Castiglioni can seduce us with soft subtle passages but she can unnerve us with some of the roughness and physicality of her marks and forms. However in the end the pieces reassure us. They hold the stability and strength of nature. They speak of an older, longer view that quiets and calms the mind. They place our consciousness where it belongs, in the consciousness of nature. They bring us home.

 Timothy Hawkesworth artist, philosopher


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