RoseCrossing, Inc.
Why Orkney?

I continue to be irresistibly drawn to the landscape, cloudscape, skyscape, and standing stonescape of Orkney and feel that it has been my privilege to try to be able to capture its spirit. Perhaps the real magic is that an outsider's inspiration may become another's awakening to a very special place on the planet.

I discovered Orkney after I received a Fulbright Award to be an exchange teacher and was placed in Paisley, Scotland. During that year, I decided to focus my travel on seeing the less visited, and possibly more interesting sites of Scotland, having already traveled in Europe. This is the premise that first brought me to the islands of Orkney, in northern Scotland over 20 years ago. Once there, I first wanted to see the Neolithic stone sites. Something in the stones or by the stones or near the stones began to creep into my soul. And my lifelong artistic journey began in earnest.

When I returned to New York, I was compelled to render the landscapes I had always been drawn to, but now I began to take the peculiar shapes of Orkney's standing stones and cross my undulating horizontals with their verticals. And I became passionate about large voluptuous skyscapes. Slowly, I realized that the artistic visions I had inside were matching what I was pouring onto the canvas.

Over the period of the next twenty years I returned to Orkney, with purpose of taking photos for future artwork. These photos have consistently driven my artistic inspiration. The power and magic of the standing stones became part of me and haunted me through my numerous photos.

During this period I also added new techniques to my artistic tool box and began to spend more time studying at the Woodstock School of Art, located in the upstate New York town that inspired the famous 1969 Music Festival as well as having one of the oldest surviving art colonies in the United States. My art work continued to be influenced by Orkney even when I began smaller and more time intensive work with watercolor white-line woodblock printmaking. white-line woodblock

It was on my third visit in 2004, that I began to see the stones in a more awakened light. No matter how many times I photographed them, they were different. Oh, their shapes were the same, but their colors and all the elements surrounding them would make them appear different. They became alive as I learned more about their history and how they intersected with the lives of the people who created them and those who live among them today.

I began to see compositions outside of their actual positions and more firmly integrated with their surroundings. I had begun to understand that to be able to explore a place artistically, it took a greater understanding of the land AND the people that lived with that land. I met more Orcadians and started to appreciate the history of people intermingled with the earth, sky, and sea. I have always traveled looking for those special moments when the tourist leaves the tour and meets the people on the street. These experiences connected the land, people, and inspiration, and it is what brought me to develop art workshops on Orkney.


NOTE: The Artist’s Sketchbook Magazine featured my art and relationship to Orkney, February 2006 in a piece titled, "When a Place Casts a Spell on You." Recent work has appeared in juried shows at the Woodstock Artist Association and the Woodstock School of Art, Long Island, and is currently part of the Waterfront Gallery in Stromness, Orkney. Many works are in private collections.

painting of a stone

Jeanne Bouza Rose

Jeanne B. Rose Jeanne Bouza Rose has been an educator for 29 years in the Long Island, New York area. She has developed many innovative programs for the involvement of the whole school. As a Fulbright exchange teacher, she was placed in Paisley, Scotland and during that year, visited Orkney for the first time.

Annually, she organizes 700 students, over 100 parent volunteers and 70 building staff around a school theme for a one day or week long program. She has been successful at writing grants including one to start her local New York State Teacher which she then went on to co-administer for 6 years, and one which helped administer a large special legislative grant for her school district.

Ms. Rose has prepared and presented workshops throughout the New York area and for state and national associations. In the early portion of her career, she received the Jenkins Teacher of the Year award and in 2003, she was nominated and received her district’s Simmons Award, for demonstrated extraordinary service to the district and students. She holds NYS teaching certifications in elementary education, art, English, gifted and talented, and school and district administration.

© 2008 Jeanne Bouza Rose
© 2007 Jeanne Bouza Rose