Rosemary Trestini

From the age of 13 Rosemary studied at a junior art school in Sutton which offered extra art classes alongside standard academic education. A degree at St Martin’s College of Art followed where she became fascinated with the possible relationship between sound and colour. She painted vast abstract canvases and became very influenced

by the paintings of Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky.


Hard at work on one of these canvases she was spotted by Sir Roger de Grey RA, the late great landscape painter, who was then a senior tutor at the Royal College of Art. Encouraged to apply, she studied there for a master’s degree experimenting with animation, eventually returning to figurative painting under the guidance of Prof Carel Weight, another leading English painter.


The main wisdom picked up from him was that you should always allow the painting to develop in its own way, to not have fixed ideas and let some ideas go. Reality must be subordinated to the needs of the painting.

“I tend to fill the canvas with paint in no predetermined form. Recently using my hands alone as our ancestors did. My paintings are covered with my finger prints It gives a lovely fluid effect. I also spray the canvas with turpentine letting it trickle down the

surface blotting and smudging it with rags and kitchen roll. I’ll literally

use anything that comes to hand to get the right effect.”