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5 Minutes with artist, Rosie Harbottle

5 Minutes with artist, Rosie Harbottle

ARTCH Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

RH I'm an artist and designer based on the edge of Dartmoor, Devon. I live in a little wooden house surrounded by nature with my husband and dog, Lando. The natural world is my muse, and I'm obsessed with colour and always on the lookout for a great colour combo! I work predominantly in acrylic on canvas or oil pastel on paper, as well as watercolour to create artwork that celebrates the natural world and living alongside it. I'd say my work is playful and modern yet evokes a feeling of nostalgia.

Rosie Harbottle studio

ARTCH How did you first get into art?

RH My mum studied fashion and textiles, and as well as creating her own artwork, she would make all of our clothes so we'd be surrounded by print and pattern. My dad is a fantastic storyteller and loves to dance and really encouraged us all to get into music and so I was surrounded by creativity from a very early age. At school, I loved art, but I didn't really believe I could pursue a career in it until I found the illustration studios when I was studying graphic design. I realised that I was on the wrong course, so I embarked on an illustration degree, and the rest organically followed from there.

ARTCH Was there a process that led to you developing your distinctive style?

RH After I graduated, I worked for myself for a number of years as a freelance illustrator, taking on commercial projects and adapting my style to meet different briefs. Lockdown happened, and a few projects were put on hold or cancelled, and I had more time to explore my own creativity. I bought myself a set of oil pastels, and I suppose I took it back to the basics and started experimenting more with colour and mark-making. The work that I started to produce felt more and more 'me’, and I was translating what I could ‘see’ in my mind onto paper, and it was very exciting! I learnt such a lot in those first years working for myself, but it wasn't until I had a bit of time to really start experimenting and exploring that I felt I was able to develop my style fully. 

Rosie Harbottle Studio

ARTCH Can you tell us what a typical day looks like for you?

RH I'm pretty good at keeping regular working hours, but I have to be quite strict on myself , or I can become easily distracted. I will usually walk our dog Lando first thing as it sets us both up for the day ahead. Once I get to the studio at around 9ish, I tend to do admin-type work first as it can take a while for me to settle and get into focused creating. After lunch, I will then get stuck into creating, whether that be a commission, stationery project or my own work; I like to feel like I have a good few hours in front of me without distractions. 

ARTCH Do you have any advice for creatives or artists setting out?

RH I think consistency is vital. It's important to keep showing up and keep pushing yourself to explore and experiment. However, on the flip side, appreciate that you’re not a machine—know when to rest to avoid creative burnout! 

ARTCH Anything you'd do differently if you were starting out on a creative path again?

RH I don't think I'd do anything different as I think everything I've done previously has led me to where I am now.

ARTCH Any exciting projects in the pipeline you can tell us about?

RH I'm thankful to be creating lots of new work for various exhibitions and projects for the rest of the year, and I'm headed back to Marrakech in a couple of weeks to host a watercolour workshop at some friends' new hotel, Farasha Farmhouse.

Farasha Farmhouse Marrakech

ARTCH If you could own one piece of art (however unattainable!) what would it be?

RH Milton Avery is one of my absolute favourite artists and so any of his paintings would be a joy to own. I also adore Lora Avedian's incredible quilts, especially 'Sketches from Antibes' which I've had my eye on for a while!

Lora Avedian

ARTCH Dream dinner party guests?

RH All my friends and family plus the whole cast and crew of Giffords Circus to provide the after dinner entertainment!


Huge thanks to Rosie for taking the time to answer our questions! You can follow her on Instagram here.

Check out Rosie's beautiful new prints, 'Dance Through the Dahlias', 'Rudbeckia in a Bowl' and 'The Arrival of Spring' here.


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