I am a Vermont Artist: Veronica Stevens
Like many young Vermont artists, Castleton University sophomore Veronica Stevens has grown up on her community’s stages. In music, theater, and dance, she has made her creative energy known around Southern Vermont for years. She has held starring roles with the Rock River Players and headlined for the Vermont Ukulele Harvest Festival, and she is a founder of the Southern Vermont Samba band. But Veronica’s story doesn’t begin in Bennington or Newfane—until the age of seven, she lived in an orphanage in St. Petersburg, Russia. When she was adopted, she moved first to Virginia, and finally to Vermont at the age of ten.
Over time Veronica has shifted her focus from performance to the visual arts. Her website showcases vibrant, exquisitely detailed watercolor pencil and ink images that evoke psychedelic, otherworldly landscapes. Veronica attributes her artistic style to both her past and her present. She states her experiences at the Russian orphanage “led to her yearning for a brighter reality.” Now in the woods of Vermont, she brings her eye for the fantastic to her observations of nature.
Veronica shared her thoughts about being a Vermont artist.
How has living as an artist in Vermont affected your creative process?
Vermont’s nature scenery has had a very strong and positive influence on my artwork. My color palette has been heavily influenced by the vibrancy of everything that I see outdoors. I like to play with the juxtaposition of simplicity and exquisite detail, and the natural world provides my inspiration. I love to hike and make it a point to take in everything from the views at the top of the mountains to the intricate leaf patterns I see on the ground.
What is something about your art that has changed over time?
The interplay of reality and fantasy permeates my drawings. Utilizing every color in the rainbow, I combine real life elements with abstract and geometric shapes, thereby creating my own version of reality. Over time, my artwork has become more detailed and more vibrant. I like to make my drawings intricate enough that portions of the original can stand alone as pieces of art. Currently, my medium is watercolor pencil and ink, but I am always open to and love exploring other mediums.
What is your vision for the next several years?
I plan to continue making art. I would like to experiment with pieces utilizing a larger canvas and explore everything from working on glass to printing on fabric. I want to explore different mediums and incorporate new techniques into my artwork. I hope to collaborate with other artists and work on larger public installations. I am a musician and composer and want to create musical pieces to accompany or represent a particular work of art.
Veronica Stevens is a visual artist who draws her inspiration from her outdoor experiences and her love of nature. Combining nature scenes and her imagination, she relies on watercolor pencils and ink as her primary medium. Her use of color and scale blends aspects of reality with more abstract and dreamlike images. Veronica has been drawing and doodling since childhood. At age 17, Veronica was accepted into the Early College Program in Performing Arts at Castleton University where she is currently in her sophomore year.
The I am a Vermont Artist series explores how artists’ creative expressions reflect their experiences of ethnicity, gender identity, religion, disability, or age. Covering all artistic disciplines, and a range of backgrounds—from New Americans to the state’s first residents—we hope to amplify voices that deepen our understanding of what it means to be a Vermont artist.