Judith Desrosiers is a female British painter concentrating on a wide range of subject matter, but with a unifying theme of culture and physical movement.
Judith Desrosiers was born in England and adopted by her quiet piano playing mother contrasted by her larger-than-life noisy floor-laying father, coming from a humble background in which her mother never pushed her on any level though did work very hard to fund Judith’s dance training, as did her father.
“My mum did however keep my drawings in her handbag that I did at school under the desk, I took this to mean she was strangely proud of my art in its crude form! Indeed, she said she found it amusing and enthused more about my art than my dancing, for which she said I had fingers like bunches of bananas! I didn’t find I had much time to do art once I was a dancer, but I did apply to DC comics, and was accepted by them as an artist, I had trained all my life for dance, what could I really know about art?!”
Judith didn’t discover art again until far more recently when more unable to dance or choreograph due to Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a genetically inherited connective tissue disorder rendering her disabled and struggling on a daily basis with chronic pains. As Judith never knew her biological parents, she didn’t know what was in store for her later down the line, and the dance must have combatted the onset of her connective tissue disorder.
“My mum was told when I was five at school by my teacher, a wonderful red-haired man with a goatee beard and eyes as piercing as those of Mr. Fox that I was “out of the window with the fairies!”. I decided that was a good place to be and started painting fairies, it was met with delicious success, folks loved my paintings of fairies. I find that painting releases me from this now static existence I have, I enjoy the outflow of creativity that is trapped inside me in this body that is nothing like the body that danced. In 2013 I damaged my hand my right hand turning on a gas fire and it has hindered my art somewhat, but painting is as important to me as breathing, I live in a frequently stuffy apartment! I need painting like someone needs a cigarette. I once thought would I like to become like a bohemian reclusive artist, it held a fascination for me, you know what they say, “be careful what you wish for”!”
Judith paints predominantly in acrylic on canvas though sometimes ventures in watercolour, she is also uses mixed media including gold and loves nothing more than a fresh tube of paint and new brushes. Judith has always held a fascination with portraiture and figures, particularly with dancing figures, she also has a deep appreciation and fondness for the old Dutch Masters due to the natural earthen browns and realistic faces.
Judith loves to study people, it stems from her training in dance and drama when being told to study them, she didn’t need a better excuse than that!
“Without sounding creepy, watching people is such fun, in that way dance and art are similar, a body position or gesture has the potential to portray so much as with a painting it can tell a story. I’ve always had a vivid imagination, I’m thankful for that! Folks seem to think I’m impressionistic, I probably am, it’s been difficult to find a style during these past four years or so of painting that I can do with my hyper mobile joints. I use sitting still and in a chair as training for my body to sit as I often slouch due to a painful back injury in the 1990s.”
Judith endlessly painted dancers in competitions at school using felt pens, avidly enjoying the black edges that led to her adoration of modern Japanese art. Judith would spent around six hours per day drawing dancers in school then after school was over she would go dancing, eventually leading onto her becoming a full-time dance student. Prior to this she was allowed to go into the gymnasium at school and dance as they knew it was going to be her career.
However, her life involving art wasn’t easy around this time as her art teacher didn’t like her due to her artwork involving dancers being better than hers; dance was Judith’s life, she understood how the body moved and could illustrate it perfectly, something that her art teacher envied.
“I knew exactly where each nostril should be at any given moment! I don’t know how long I can make art for, my Ehlers-Danlos syndrome does what it wants with my body without much control these days from me. Years of undetected Ehlers-Danlos syndrome has left almost every joint in my body with severe arthritis from overuse, plus I have POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome)., which often goes hand in hand with EDS. I paint even when it hurts, because I danced even when it hurt! Many times having to earn a living by teaching on concrete floors or not eat. When I was a dancer I earned good money! If only I had looked ahead, and planned better, but such is the arty nature of my temperament. I flit, that’s me.”