Rozanne Bell (and Friends!)
Picture this. Your out of office is on, you’ve stepped through your front door for the last time for a couple of weeks and a fortnight of sun, sea and British sand awaits – you can already smell the salt air and hear the seagulls cackling overhead, but they won’t distract from the first crisp sip of a glass of chilled white wine and glimmering sunlit view. It is a delicious feeling; glorious anticipation and newfound freedom comes with a holiday. One particularly fabulous in the knowledge that there will be no flight delays or the dreaded baggage weight allowance issue. The Great British Getaway, be it your annual holiday or cheeky long weekend is a feeling celebrated in so many of Rozanne Bell’s boldly joyous harbour and coastal acrylic original paintings.
Rozanne Bell's Artistic Beginnings
Quite rightly, much has been made of the artist’s origin in the fractured African country of Zimbabwe. Extraordinarily the backdrop has positioned the artist’s viewpoint in a fixed prism of positivity, where the answer is far more likely to be ‘yes’ rather than ‘no’. Having been expelled from school at 15, Rozanne’s mother if not a little exasperated placed a paint brush in her hand in an effort to channel the surplus of energy her wayward daughter possessed. Teaching her to craft botanical water flowers from pigment, the practice instilled a work ethic and discipline in her lively disposition. Turning what was primarily a punishment into a livelihood is trademark of Rozanne’s remarkable ability to create an optimistic situation from any challenge.
Rozanne Bell in the UK
Having arrived in United Kingdom, exposure to an unfamiliar culture and the idiosyncrasies of the British character immediately informed the artists’ paintings. A new chapter opened, with a ferociously prolific period for Rozanne telling the stories of the holidaymakers and locals along the Southern coast. Settling in Dorset, the Jurassic Coast and up to Camel Bay Estuary quickly became familiar inspirations. Winning a hoard of eager collector’s keen to take their holiday home with them, her paintings quickly established a year round presence warmly welcomed in homes across the country.
Known for her naïve use of perspective, foreground and background are given equal billing with the eye left dazzled by both detail and impact. A crop of lively carefree community extras delight in the scene Rozanne has created for them; building sandcastles and flying kites, typical holiday pastimes are energetically undertaken by the small painted figures. Making the most of life and opportunity, the artist thrives on holiday spirit, when people are at their best, at their happiest.
Returning to her first passion the artist swiftly introduced her botanical draughtsmanship to the abundant flora and fauna of England. Beachscapes and coastal scenes became framed with a curtain of lush flowers waving happily in sun drenched joy. Ocean gave way to meadow, day gave way to night and Rozanne built a varied painterly vocabulary describing the great natural beauty seen in the UK. The Harvest Moon collection celebrates the turning of the seasons; when summer reluctantly gives way to autumn and the skies linger in a twilight symphony of cobalt blue and rusty reds. Whichever way she travels, the artist phrases her paintings with an African lilt; the clarity of the light whatever the time of day or year feels that much crisper, brighter, through Rozanne’s eyes.
Happy Art for a Happy Home
The holiday spirit is evergreen within the artist’s studio; the proud owner of a menagerie of no less than 4 dogs, they scamper underneath her paint splattered feet daily. Not content with merely depicting the festivities of holiday makers, the artist didn’t forget her four-legged friends. A hoard of furry painted portraits joined the ensemble; the cat you adopted whilst in a self-catered cottage on the coast purrs softly with contentment, whilst the roosters on the farm next door that woke you up at the crack of dawn every morning cackle and scratch away, happily ruffling your feathers.
The kind of place where it feels like the weekend every day, Rozanne’s studio hums with merry activity; most days end with a cheeky glass of wine in hand surveying the day’s production. Definitely a lady you’d like to be your mate, Rozanne lives by the mantra ‘create a life you don’t need to take a vacation from’. Having battled the motorway traffic on the way back, stepping back through your own front door, Rozanne Bell’s paintings help make a home so happy you never want to leave it (or perhaps just once in a while…).