A chat with Roxanne Rossi

We were thrilled to rub elbows recently at the Ice Cube Gallery with local artist, Roxanne Rossi. Lucky for us (and hopefully for you too) we persuaded her to answer a few questions and share some of her work.

But before we start, perhaps we should give you a taste of who you’re talking to:

Roxanne Rossi is a contemporary artist working in acrylic and cast paper in Denver, Colorado. We were swept away with her dress series, but check out her website for more of her work.

Enjoy her interview (and see if you can spot some of the paper from Two Hands)!

"Sweet on You"

"Loves me loves me not"

In love?

Need to know more?

We thought so too.

Two Hands: Can you talk about your process and explain cast paper?

Roxanne Rossi: I use cotton linters that I tear into small pieces and then put in my blender and grind up to pulp. Then I create a form to cast on with textures, or shapes that will be in my image. I then place the pulp on the form and press out the water with a sponge. Once it air dries I can pull it out of the form. The image will be in reverse of the form I made.

White Vessel

TH: You’ve stated you’re interested in contrast most of all. What is the appeal in contrast?

RR: The appeal is the difference, and the pull it creates in work. It can be just smooth surface to heavy texture, or the white paper with dark shadows that are created from texture, or as in my dress paintings…the delicate against the rough torn away paint…that is what I find most appealing.

TH: Why dresses? Do you own anything like the dresses you’ve created?

RR: Oh no!!! I would never feel that was a good look for me. I guess I don’t consider myself that feminine. I think it is more the fantasy of the dress. It is such an iconic image. Means so many different things to everyone. The dress images had been floating around in my head for sometime. I just needed to find the way I wanted to express them.

TH: How do you motivate yourself? What happens when you feel like you’re in a rut?

RR: I like to go see some exhibits. I will spend the whole day taking in as much as I can. I find somehow it will spark an idea. I also will go to a good bookstore and spend hours looking through all kinds of magazines. It’s funny what will trigger something!

TH: A lot of people believe that they’re totally devoid of creativity. What do you say?

RR: I think they are trying to find their’s in a form that might not be their niche. I think everyone has creativity. It just may not be in the same way as they see it in others.

TH: Matisse said, “Creativity takes courage.” Do you believe that? What have you had to courageously face in making art?

RR: I think it takes courage to follow through with that dream. Being creative is seeing things in a different way, so at times you have to have the courage to push through until others see it too.

TH: What’s your favorite item in your toolbox or pencil case?

RR: Brushes………..I lust after brushes!

TH: Given the opportunity, what medium would you explore more?

RR: Sculpture in some form. I am more and more intrigued by 3/d ideas. I hope to find time to develop some of those thoughts.

TH: What’s the best advice you were given?

RR: To develop a body of work. It came at a time that I was going in diverse directions. I had wanted to approach gallery about showing. You need a body of related work.

TH: How do you deal with criticism?

RR: I am probably like most. Criticism can hurt, but I have come to realize that if it is from someone I respect and value, then I will listen and spend time to digest it. It can be an eye opener to hear how someone else see’s your work.

TH: Where can we see your work next?

RR: I am thrilled to be in this year’s Cherry Creek Art Festival. This year it is July 6, 7, and 8th. I will be booth #228.

You can also find me at the Sync Gallery from September 21st through October 12th. In November I will have a show at the Ice Cube Gallery in Denver. The exhibit will be up November 9th and will run until December 8th. I’m always available to meet and chat on the opening nights! Stop by.