There is a new body of work by digital artist Roxanne Verdon Bell featured at BOJUart Gallery in Virginia Beach’s ViBe Creative District.
A Virginia Beach resident who’s abstract digital art is an expression of her environmental experiences conceived through visual and emotional interpretation, Verdon Bell uses photography to consciously record elements of perceived impact or influence that will act as media through which she conveys sensory experiences in an abstract way. The media elements most commonly featured in her work come from architecture, textile and nature. They consistently inspire her use of form, texture and reflective surfaces. She digitally composes images printed on metallic canvas with depth and a dynamic balance of visual elements that invites the viewer in for their own experience.
Verdon Bell, a Virginia Beach native, received a Bachelor of Fine Art in Fashion from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). While at VCU she explored various art mediums, studied art history and garment construction. Verdon Bell was interested in both the current and historical expressions of culture through design. She was particularly interested in textiles and architecture. Verdon Bell spent her early career with an eleven store mid-Atlantic retailer as a retail buyer building a visual story from product selection to visual merchandising. The idea of layers that contribute to the whole has been a consistent theme of her creativity. When photography became digital, it provided new tools with which she could translate her observation and express herself artistically. Verdon Bell began to study and experiment until she developed the techniques and a style that has become her voice.
MEET THE ARTIST:
A question and answer session with BOJUart gallery digital artist Roxanne Verdon Bell artist on her new work on display at the gallery in February. Two sessions: Thursday February 7, 6-7PM and Saturday February 9, 2-3PM.
Q: How long have you been pursuing your art?
I have expressed myself creatively in many ways both professionally and personally but never found the medium that felt like the right conduit for my self-expression until photography became digital. It opened up the possibility and freedom for me to translate the way I interpret the world into art, something I have I always hoped to do. In 2015, I started developing the style and the techniques I use to create my art. It wasn’t until 2017 that I was able to produce and promote the work full time. Up until that time I was devoted to the full-time care and advocacy of our daughter who has a complex mix of medical diagnoses including Down Syndrome.
Q: Tell us about your process– How did you discover that layering images of fiber over other photos created your aesthetic?
Growing up my grandmother shared her passion for sewing, fabrics and design with me. It influenced my decision to study art and fashion. I have always loved the texture, light reflectivity and dimensional qualities of textiles. It’s like a visual language I’ve always spoken so I use them as media like a painter might use different shades or types of paint. I use the textile images as elements to create context in my work.
Q: What about architecture draws your eye?
There are three aspects of architecture that draw me in. The first is visual impact of the design and how it interacts with the environment. The second is what it represents or says about our society. The third is how it influences behavior. I capture elements of architecture in an environment that impact the space and those that catch my eye. I like to work with metal and glass elements because of the way they interact with light. When I build my art digitally, I am using those elements to express my thoughts on the environment in an abstract way.
Q- How does scale impact your work?
I create my pieces large in order to have more visible range. The scale of my work allows me to create both a macro and micro view. Close up you can see the texture and detail and from a distance the eye is drawn to the bolder more structural forms. For me, this represents the idea that as human beings we have an outward appearance but underneath that we have layers of knowledge, emotion and experience that shape who we are and how we experience the world.
Q- Where do you find inspiration?
I enjoy working in urban environments and I do seek out opportunities to experience contemporary architecture. But the Inspiration behind how I interpret those experiences is a very internal process for me. I find that I’m never at a loss for ideas only time to act on them all.
Q- What artists do you currently follow or watch?
My interests span many art genres and I would have a hard time naming just a few. I will say that I enjoy discovering the personal motivations behind the art.
Q- How do you know a work of art is complete?
I am always working to find a balance of composition that feels right. When I get there I just know.
Q- What is next for you?
I’m excited to share that I have a solo exhibition at The Sandler Center Art Gallery opening in December 2019.