As an expressionist painter, Josie Bell is best known for the use of complex textural paint and for her spiritual approach to nature and ecological themes. The emotional impact of her material statement originates in the mingling of artistic marks and her history and early life in Brazil, which has impacted her deep connection with the land. It is in that compelling mix-from the relationship of primitive rhythms to European sophistication, from the dark mystical roots of Amazonia conjoining with the spirit of intellectual exploration and nostalgia-that her urge to paint and artist’s voice are born. Touching these early life experiences, her transition from the tropics of Brazil to the quiet western desert of the United States emerges in her recent works. Bell’s paintings have been exhibited in galleries, museums, and juried exhibitions. Bell has been the recipient of several awards, including one from the Utah Arts Council, and her work is included in private and public collections. Bell holds a Bachelor in Fine Arts from Utah Valley University (Orem, UT, United States), and a Bachelor of Education Administration from the Faculdade de Filosofia Ciencias e Letras de Maceio (Maceio, AL, Brazil).
Rooted in my early childhood in Brazil, I was born with a deep and intimate connection with the land. I didn’t know these imprints would reawaken someday and bring me to subjects that relate to the earth’s wounds– depicting its beauty, as well as its scars and denudation. I believe this inspiration came to me as a spiritual responsibility on raising awareness about our own actions toward earth. So, it is both an inward and an outward interaction with the canvas and materials such as oil, sand, marble dust, sawdust and stone. I seek to raise questions about why this is happening to our earth. I strive to find new answers that can lead me personally, and us collectively to support on the regeneration process of this beautiful living being. In many ways, this quest is connected to my own artistic transition from the tropics of Brazil to the western desert of the United States. My work has shifted from the vivid hues of Amazonia, to reflecting the quiet yet powerful subtleties of the desert landscape, a place of spiritual meditation and personal introspection.