Fiona Debell

Artist Spotlight: Fiona Debell

Meet Fiona Debell

Self taught abstract artist Fiona Debell is recognised for her emotionally rich and compositionally thoughtful work. Her artistic calling was ignited when at just 18 years old she experienced a physical reaction and immediate connection to the work of Mark Rothko at the Tate Modern. Emigrating to Canada from England in 2014, Fiona’s art evolved to encompass new perspectives and emotions. Her pieces oscillate between tranquillity and transience on one end of the spectrum, and strength and joyfulness on the other. In her latest collection, “Reciprocity,” Fiona explores the elemental components of human relationships. By breaking down personal interactions to their fundamental elements, she aims to create a space that encourages contemplation and introspection. The collection’s central theme is the importance of reciprocity in forging meaningful connections.

Fiona’s art has garnered global recognition, with collectors from Switzerland, the United States, Australia, France, the U.K., Canada, and beyond investing in her work. Her work has been described as creating a unique and uplifting atmosphere, a testament to Fiona’s ability to evoke powerful emotions through her art.

After emigrating from England to Canada in 2014, Fiona’s artistic journey took on a new dimension, reflecting her experiences and emotions in an entirely new environment.

Fiona’s dedication to her art is unwavering, and she can be found daily in her Toronto studio, exploring new techniques and pushing the boundaries of her creative practice. Her passion for creating art that evokes a powerful emotional response in others is evident in every piece she creates, cementing her place as a truly exceptional artist.

Interview with Fiona

Can you describe one the key moments in your artistic journey? Did you always know you’d be an artist?

I have always wanted to be an artist. From a very early age I was obsessed with drawing, painting and creating.

At the age of 18 I was lucky enough to visit the Tate Modern and I vividly remember being physically moved to tears by the work of Mark Rothko. That was when I knew that one day I wanted to create art that would invoke an emotional response in the viewer.


What sparks your creativity and inspires your artwork?

Colour is incredibly important to me. My mum tells me that as a child I used colour to describe sound or scale. I have an almost visceral response to colour pairings and so my everyday life can spark an idea or a concept. There is no ‘one’ thing, though a great song or podcast will absolutely influence my application of colour. In my case, mood begets mood.

How would you describe your artistic style?

That’s a hard one…Francis Bacon said “Real painters do not paint things as they are…They paint them as they themselves feel them to be.” I really do paint my emotions. Colour, composition…it’s all instinctive and based on my own mood in the moment.

Forced to give a definition, I would say I am a large scale Fluid Abstract artist heavily influenced by Frankenthaler and Rothko.

What place does art have in your life? What importance?

My life is incomplete without art. My emotions stumble without the ability to create. I have a wonderful family, great friends, everything I need to be happy. But to truly live, I need to create art. Daily.

What does Art and Found Day mean to you or why are your participating?

It was in 2021 that I first saw Courtney was creating a specific ‘Day’ for Art and Found. I have followed Courtney for a long time, had seen and loved the IG posts she made where she would leave beautifully wrapped art on benches as wonderful, surprise gifts.

When she posted the story of how she wanted to honour and remember her dad with a such a beautiful idea, and wanted to take it far and wide, it seemed perfect.

I am so honoured to take part and feel so lucky to be part of this incredible community of worldwide artists who are bringing joy to hundreds of strangers – just because.