Since 2011, The Arsenal has been quietly creating an atmosphere for art quite unlike anywhere else in the area, acting as a one-stop shop for most artists’ needs. Although the day-to-day maintenance of the shop wears on a quiet person like Roan Victor, she’s thankful for a day job co-owning and operating the place with her husband, artist Sean Boyles. But make no mistake, Victor is utterly dedicated to her art. Sublime, ethereal paintings in oil, and lately watercolor, her work expresses—often through flowers, linens, and obscured faces—the camouflage or privacy we all seek in an increasingly changing world. The Arsenal began as a retail store, class workshop space, and art gallery. Recently the two artists downsized and now mostly focus on teaching kids to draw, giving everyone—Victor included—a chance to breathe and concentrate on the craft.
“Oil is my favorite medium, but I’ve been working a lot in watercolor. It’s like, if there was this little person in my brain, you know, then painting in watercolor feels like this person with a notepad saying, ‘The highlight is right there, the shadow is right there,’ always talking to me about where I’m supposed to put pigments. Painting in oil is this little person that’s just, like, dancing and twirling around in my head, saying, ‘Nah, don’t do that, you can do that later! Put some drips on there!’”
Written by Tad Malone
Photography by Daniel Garcia
This article originally appeared in Issue 8.4 “Profiles”