Mixed Feelings: Jessie Bell


“Albums are like diaries. You go through phases, technically and emotionally, and they reflect the state that you’re in at the time” (Kate Bush)

What is a mixed tape?

We sat for hours and hours listening for the perfect song that would express what we were going through. There was a story, set to music. It illustrated, our love, our pain, our dance, our happiness, and even our trips. We would give them to the people that we loved. They were the words that carried our heart. They were the voice that echoed our growth.

This collection represents my ‘mixed feelings.’ These paintings illustrate the struggle, the growth, the love and the pain that has woven a pattern of expression reflecting the experiences of being a broke college student studying art, a broken mother trying to find a minute to paint, a middle aged woman surfing the waves of love and heartache, and a grandmother, running behind a crawling baby. It represents a visual concert of my life. I am handing it to the people that I love. My art is my voice, my feelings, my therapy, and my heart.

Art is the vein that carries the molecules of the heart through the universal body. There is a stream that breathes through the life of a woman.  It begins the first time that little fingers pick up her first pencil, brush, crayon, clay, thread, or pen, until the very moment that her hands, brittle and tissue like, are no longer strong enough to will themselves to grasp.

With the initial spark of life, an artist’s hands become the river’s source, her magic that ebbs and flows: the growth, the feelings, the ideas, the heart ache, the abuse, the pain, the love, the friendship, and the beauty. That magic searches and detects cracks in the glass ceiling that holds her in a cell.  Words, notes, lines, and colors transform into energy and seep through, and though minuscule, they announce to the world, “This is me. I am here. I am the girl, the maiden, the mother, and the crone.”

Exhibit Details

  • Artist: Jessie Bell
  • Gallery: Ptasynski Gallery
  • Start Date: October 7
  • End Date: December