Mozelle Spencer wears her heart on her paint-spattered sleeve. Quick to smile, the owner of Mozelle by Design describes her first foray into the world of art with infectious enthusiasm in her Bellevue Studio.
Employing an abstract expressionist style, Mozelle created her initial masterpiece at the early age of 5.
“It was crayon scribbled on the wall,” she says. “My mom said I couldn’t do it again, but I could pretend, which was my first lesson in visualization.”
Little did she know that her guerilla project would set the stage for her artwork 30 years later. Although she exchanged crayon for acrylics, she never lost her passion for painting on walls.
Growing up in the Northwest, Mozelle—“Mo” to her friends—moved to Mercer Island in her early 20s and spent several years auditing property management companies before a revelation took her back to the drawing board, literally.
“I was sitting on the back of the boat in the Berry Islands in the Bahamas. I started talking out loud about what my heart would do if money were no object, and it was to bring art to underprivileged children and make people smile through art,” she says. “At that exact moment, a pod of dolphins swam up to the back of the boat within 12 feet of me, and I just felt like I had to do this.”
One year later, she launched Mozelle by Design and has since been commissioned to paint more than 300 projects, ranging from canvas and wall murals to decorative painting and Venetian plaster.
“One thing I love about my work is every client has a different vision,” she says.
Her most ambitious charity project came on the heels of an economic recession. Almost immediately after Mozelle opened her studio location, the economy went south, taking part of her project schedule with it.
“It gave me the opportunity to pursue my long desire of a second project with Vision house,” she says.
Putting her time and energy into a large-scale benefit project for Vision House, a nonprofit that provides transitional housing and education for homeless parents and children, Mozelle organized 30 artists to transform the organization’s new “Children’s Village” into an inspired space of fun theme art. She also organized an art benefit that raised more than $30,000 for the organization and earned the 2008 volunteer of the year award from Vision House.
Although she has a full project list, she’s currently excited about her involvement at Camp Korey in Carnation. The nonprofit camp serves children and families with serious and life-threatening illnesses and Mozelle recently covered their interior walls with paintings of furry and feathered friends inspired by the surrounding wildlife. Cute raccoons peek out from behind doorways, falcons stand sentinel and hummingbirds sniff flowers.
“You totally immerse yourself in these projects,” she says.
Besides diving into the creative work, residential projects are very personal for Mozelle. She often becomes friends with her clients, many of whom are Bellevue Club members.
“I love genuine connections,” she says. “I’m proud to wear my heart on my sleeve.”