Rose Wise has been sharing her creative gift for many years. Recently,she has added color and shape to the Montana Festival of the Wind with her poster illustration and logo design. Rose said the logo portrays the Montana paradox, a beautiful combination of old west and new world. You'll see The Montana Wind Festival logo, coming soon, on t-shirts and caps.
About the festival poster Rose Wise explained, her work is influenced by her often childlike perception of life. A reoccurring sentiment in her work, which we also see in the festival poster, is hope for the future. The Montana Festival of the Wind runs June 16-23.
Next, I asked Mrs. Wise to talk about her talent, “It's hard to put into words,” she explained, “I open myself and see what happens, and I am thankful! I get excited about it; I can't wait to see what appears. I may have a vague idea about color or form, but they more often than not change, too.”
Rose's children are also artistic and she believes art should be the first thing a child learns so they are introduced to “imagination and creation.”
On the subject of favorite works, Rose says it is hard to narrow it down. “I love whatever I'm working on at the time so much, and next time it could be something completely new and I love it just as much. When you're in it, you're in it.”
I asked Rose to talk about the torn paper medium I had seen her use. She then showed me a large 3x4 foot work in progress, a paper mosaic titled Tapestry: A Prairie Rose. “I've been working on this for two years, maybe adding paper every week or so,” she said.
I told Rose my eye was drawn to the spiral effect in the piece. “That's what I see. Life is a spiral of light. We are spirals within spirals,” she said.
Rose Wise says paper mosaic is a fun, but challenging process. “There are no limits. I work with color, transparency, and texture. The eye views paper imaging in a unique way. Different papers reflect color and light differently. Each subject is a center of light. I rarely know what the final outcome will be until after all the applied textures cure.”
At present, Mrs. Wise is working on canvas oil paintings of her grandchildren and a self-portrait from old photographs when she was a child.
Another piece I asked about was a figure of a woman with light surrounding her and a donkey walking down the trail in the foreground. Rose said this was an image of her Mother who had asked her to design a cover for a book of poetry she had written. Rose often uses animal totems in her work, and although the donkey is not a typical totem, it imposed itself and seemed to fit. “The donkey is humble, stubborn and cute just like my Mother,” she explained.
This local artist loves to bring people together. Writing and cooking are two other ways she does this. Rose was the editor of the Lavina Legend monthly paper in the 90s as well as the Dean Creek Community Messenger more recently. Rose Wise was also famous for the terrific meals she served up for four years at the Lavina Crossing Cafe, as well as the wedding cakes she decorated from time to time. Speaking of decorating, have you seen Lady Liberty on the south wall of the old county garage on Main Street in Lavina? That was Rose Wises’s handiwork as well.
Be sure to look for Rose's windmill during festival days. She will be decorating one of the six windmills created by Mr. Olsen's high school vo-ag students. Rose's is sure to be unique.
More of her work can be seen by visiting Wind Dancer Design at rosewise.com. Besides her paintings you'll see prints of her paper mosaics and oil paintings, greeting cards, talking sticks and ceremonial feathers. Thanks, Rose Wise, for celebrating life in your special way!