Saturday, May 16, 2015

Quantity Over Quality

I started doing these paintings a couple of days ago.  I am going to see how many paintings I can do in a month.  I'm cheating a bit because I'm starting today and did some of these a day or two ago.  So what.  The time frame is May 16 - June 16, 2015.

006 Girl & Dog At Car

005 Grapes

004 Landsape

003 Pear and Coffee
002 Apple

001 Pitcher

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Development of a painting of a man on his couch.

This post shows the development of a recent painting of a man sitting on a couch.  It is done in oils on panel, 14x11".  I started with a photo which I drew a few times in my sketchbook and worked out the composition.


"Portrait of Brian" from New York City.

"Brian" 14x11" oil on panel
This painting was started as a class demonstration.  I found it intriguing and decided to continue working on it.  I like the way this fellow's head is turned and the strange expression on his face.  It is for sale on

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Couch Series, Paintings by Fred Bell

Here is the beginning of my couch series.  The paintings all show a man on a couch in a pensive or reclining posture.  The paintings are done with thick paint and have an impasto surface.  There are too few people who get enough rest these days and time to think about nothing.  Boredom is inspirational.  See them on 

Thinking Up Good Ideas, 14x12"

Resting, 14x11"

Three Past Seven, 12x16"

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Messy Mona Lisa by Fred Bell

Messy Mona, 14x11" oil on board

I wanted to try out some new things and Mona Lisa makes a good model.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Paintings of rest and relaxation.

These are recent paintings done over the 2014 holidays.  They show a restful part of life that everyone can appreciate.  They are available through Saatchi Online.  Or email me at

"Working" 12x16" 

"Resting"  14x11"

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Portrait painting of Meret Oppenheim

This is a recent portrait of Meret Oppenheim.  

Méret Elisabeth Oppenheim (6 October 1913 – 15 November 1985) was a German-born Swiss Surrealist artist andphotographer. Oppenheim was a member of the Surrealistmovement of the 1920s along with André BretonLuis Buñuel,Marcel DuchampMax Ernst, and other writers and visual artists. Besides creating art objects, Oppenheim also famously appeared as a model for photographs by Man Ray, most notably a series of nude shots of her interacting with a printing press.

To purchase click on the link below.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Self Portrait, new work.

"Three Past Seven" by Fred Bell
This is a new painting, 12x16" oil on panel, entitled,
"Three Past Seven."
It is, really, a self portrait showing three versions of myself.
I am using painting as a way of trying to understand myself and 
in doing so I hope the viewer draws some
insight into their own inner workings.
The painting shows three people sitting on a couch.  They are all dressed the same and in
approximately the same pose.  There are windows behind 
them with blinds allowing daylight to enter.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Carson McCullers

Today I went to Collectivo to get some coffee.  
I had just checked out "The Collected Stories Of Carson McCullers" 
from the library.  She is probably my favorite writer ever.  
I haven't read her in a long time and as soon as I read the first paragraph of the story "Sucker" I felt happy.  She speaks to me.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Apple Pie Painting

I went for a walk today and met a new neighbor.  She was with her son and they had just got back from picking apples at an orchard.  She gave me an apple.

Apple, pie, painting, fred bell

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Saatchi Online Sale

Fred Bell Self Portrait 2

I am thrilled to have sold this painting, "Self Portrait 2" 14x17" oil on board, $800., via the Saatchi Online website.  I sell quite well but the Saatchi site is  another thing.  There are very many artists listed and I thought the chances of standing out in the crowd were slim.  However, I was wrong, at least this one time.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Painting Collaboration

This is a painting I am working on with Skully Skyrocket, a friend of mine.  We have traded it back and forth a few times and I am excited about the way it is working out.  This collaboration was suggested by Debra Brehmer at Portrait Society Gallery and I am really happy about it.  Skully is 24, and I am much older.  We have just started and plan to do  a group of them.  I recommend collaboration like this to anybody who wants to grow.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Black Cat, White Woman

This is a painting of Janeice and Isabelle, her black cat.  Janeice invited me to her apartment to see Isabelle and that is when I took the photo for it. I took photos for about ten minutes, as long as Isabelle wanted to cooperate.
I've been working on this portrait painting for a few weeks.  Working from photos can be distracting as was this one.  When the photo begins to get in the way of creating an interesting painting one must put the photo away.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Guy On A Couch

This small, 6x8" portrait painting was commissioned as a gift by a friend of the painted fellow, Nic.  I went over to Nic's and took photos in a number of spots around his apartment.  We looked them over and chose one mutually. 
That is how it usually works.  I take a number of photos and there is one that jumps out.  This pose is very unlike Nic.  He does not usually sit on the couch like and odalisque, so I am really glad he agreed to this one.  If you know him, the painting is kind of funny.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Dog Portrait Commission

Dog painting by Fred Bell
Annie  the  Spaniel Dog
This is an example of a dog portrait commission I recently completed.  It is 8x10" acrylic on panel.  
There was some discussion about this because of the tongue and the color.  I made a mistake with the color and made the dog black instead of what she really is, brown.  Ooops!  I wasn't paying attention.
Then there was the tongue.  I sell these through a local pet supply store.  The owner told me that when men order such things they do not pay attention to details.  She thought the tongue was too dominant.  This was a present for the man's wife and the store owner thought his wife should be the last word on it.  The tongue stays, says she.
Portrait commissions are really commercial art.  The client can say it doesn't look right and you have to change it, just like an illustration.  However, I am happy to do them.  They are fun, usually there is no discussion, and the money is nice, of course.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

30 Cats in Thirty Days

I have been thinking about changing to acrylics from oils.
So, I was thinking, thinking, thinking, and today was the day.
I wanted to have a vehicle for practicing with acrylics 
and I have this big canvas, 36x48" and I thought, 
"I'll paint a new cat each day on this big canvas.
Here is my first one.

Cat 01, Mr. Biggles

Cat 2, Annie
03 Toby

04 Jack

This is the canvas I am working on.

05 Isabella

06 Huey

07 Cat

Cat 08

Cats offer us a glimpse into the natural world and bring out our basic need for love.
cat 09

Cat 10

Dripping Dish With Apple

"Dripping Dish With Apple"

Sold by Portrait Society Gallery

What  do you see in this painting?  I see a
blue plate floating.  There is an apple on the plate.
The color from the plate is dripping
down the canvas.
What is it?

Monday, December 02, 2013

"Falling Plates" painting by Fred Bell

"Falling Plates" 30x40" acrylic (sold)

This painting shows dinner plates in free fall.  It looks like they are about to crash.  

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Richard Hambleton, Urban Art

Richard Hambleton
I have been looking at graffiti artist Richard Hambleton.  He was one of the pioneers in street art preceding Banksy.  Hambleton tagged the great metropolises world round.  I like his style.   He has had problems including a heroin addiction but says he is clean now.  Hambleton's work is experiencing a resurgence of popularity.

"Jack", 24x24" oil on panel
This is a new painting with a slightly changed style.  
I'm not sure if I like it yet.  Is the cat too cute?  
Of course he is too cute.   
Mmmmmmm you cute cat.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Art Donations

Self Portrait, Fred Bell, 2013, 10x10" oil

This is a painting I am donating to Aids Resource Center Of Wisconsin who helps AIDS patients.  Although I do not believe that artists should be asked for donations, I am doing this because I believe in the cause.

The idea behind art donations is that artists are hard up and are thrilled to even give their work away.  It devalues your work.   Young artists are often persuaded that their will be lots of wealthy people there and you might later sell something to them.  I have never had this happen and have never heard of it happening to anybody.  If you donate to a cause do it because you believe in the cause and not because you expect anything in return.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Painting Portraits for Fun

Man And Woman Painting, oil on panel.

Man And Woman Painting, oil on panel.

These two paintings were done about a year ago.  
The people are strangers to me, the photo found on the web.  
I was just fooling around with portraiture and chose this subject.
Painting is such a relief when the likeness isn't critical.