Rosen recounted a fairly typical scenario while working with the show, when a “Grace and Frankie” producer called her on a Sunday afternoon, asking her to create a painted laptop case for Bergstein. While that may seem fairly straightforward, the rub was that it had to arrive in Los Angeles by 8 a.m. on Wednesday. Plus, the producer quickly called back—actually they needed two cases.
Occasionally she’s asked to work on even tighter turnarounds, and more time-consuming projects. She was once commissioned to create a large-scale painting of Fonda, Tomlin, and their ex-husbands (played by Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston). And it needed to be on set in four days.
“I’ve been doing this all my life, so I’m always confident that I can get it done,” Rosen explained. She’s found ways to speed up the process—like the drying agent she uses with her oil paint. “The nice guy at Blick [Art Materials] let me know that, of all of the thousands and thousands of products that they have, this was the most toxic,” she said with a laugh.
Rosen has been creating art since childhood and attended art school, where, as she puts it, “they fuck you up—excuse me—but in a good way” (a reference to the school’s desire to challenge Rosen’s
If that expletive-laden statement sounds like a line for the famously rambunctious and authority-averse character of Bergstein, it’s because Rosen and her fictional alter-ego have grown increasingly in sync over the show’s three-year run. She now approaches the work with Bergstein in mind, asking herself how she would portray a subject.