DE MERIC, Rosalie Eugenie

1916 - 1999

Born in Weymouth, Dorset on 5 November 1916, daughter of Victor Eugene De Meric (25 March 1891-3 October 1951), a tea planter, and his wife Vivienne Blanche née Oliver (15 October 1914-28 December 1939). As a child, through a family connection, Rosalie met Francis Bacon, then an aspiring painter, the beginning of a lifelong friendship and she determined to train as an artist, however, her parents refused to fund her. She left home at 18, moved to London and trained as a typist and during the evenings, studied to be an artist moving into Bohemian circles, sharing a house with a mistress of Elias Canetti, the Bulgarian-born Jewish writer. Rosalie trained under artist Walter Claude Flight (1881-1955)in France and Dorset and at Westminster School of Art 1936-1939 under Mark Gertier (1891-1939) and Bernard Meninsky (1891-1950). During the World War Two Rosalie worked as a typist for the Admiralty whilst continuing her studies at St Martin's and the Central Schools of Art. She married at Kensington in 1945 Thomas Eliel F. Blackburn (1916-1971), the poet, and continued her studies at Medway School of Art, Rochester 1945-1948. Living in London, de Meric again established contact with Bacon and Rosalie, Bacon and Blackburn formed a close trio and the savagery underlying Bacon's painting influenced de Meric's. Her marriage was turbulent with Blackburn's drinking and drug-taking part of the problem and they separated in 1960 when their only daughter Julia was 12, she became the writer Julia Blackburn, and Thomas Blackburn died in 1977. De Meric's early work had been landscape, followed by a series of imaginative allegorical paintings reminiscent of Balthus, work shown in a retrospective at Leeds University in 1956. The influence of Terry Frost, Alan Davie and Harry Thubron, who were also in Leeds, contributed to de Meric's changing to Abstract Expressionism, pictures shown at the Grabowski and Drian Galleries in 1960-1962. Between 1963 and 1977, Rosalie de Meric had lectured at Sir John Cass, the London College of Printing and Croydon College of Art and for two successive years 1972-73, de Meric worked with Thubron on a colour course in southern Spain, which led to involvement with Hard-Edge Geometric acrylics which were shown in London and elsewhere. In 1977 she settled in Westleton, Suffolk and in 1983 returned to landscape painting and completed an honours degree in fine art at Norwich School of Art 1984-1988. A member of the Ipswich Art Club exhibiting from Lavender Cottage, Westleton in 1990, two paintings 'Old Mousehold Heath' and 'Track to Woods, Dunwich'. She died of leukaemia at Halesworth, Suffolk on 2 April 1999.




Works by This Painter