Born in Central Otago, New Zealand, Rosemary graduated the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts in 1972. After the completion of her degree she began teaching Art and Art History in Dunedin, and then continued with teaching positions in Melbourne, Gisborne and Auckland. While simultaneously teaching and raising two boys she managed to devote time to painting and exhibited her works regularly.
In 1981 Rosemary briefly moved to Rome where she was able to work full-time as a painter, but returned to New Zealand by the end of the year after the unexpected death of her mother. After her return, while living in Gisborne, she featured on the TVNZ 1991 Sunday Arts Program which aired on national television.
In 1995 she moved to Auckland to work as College Head of Art Department until 2005 when she decided to retire from her career as a teacher to become a full-time painter. Also, in the year prior to this decision, she was Section Winner in the Rodney Arts Awards. Currently her source of inspiration for her painting is equestrian, specifically dressage. Rosemary has a long history with horses that began in early childhood on the family farm.
Nowadays, when not painting, she often rides her horse deep into forestry and along beaches of the Rodney District. "I feel it's necessary to paint the horse as if being ridden by the viewer because I recognise that I will never have the talent, skill or self-discipline to ever ride well enough to compete. Instead I focus what I learn on my horse and dream of being able to achieve, in paint, and in my imagery. I always imagine myself to be riding the horse I&rsquom painting, and I think this is why so many riders respond and relate so readily to the paintings. I try to paint for 5 hours before allowing myself to ride."