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.

http://fredbellpaintings.com

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.
http://fredbellpaintings.com

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.  

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Procrastination: How to get to work.

"Stiff Neck"  16x16" oil, Price on request.
Procrastination

When I don't know how to do something I procrastinate on getting started painting.  It is like going on a trip, but you don't know where, so you don't know what to pack.  To get in gear I sometimes go to the Saatchi site or Artstack to look at the work of others.  There is so much available on the web, try it out.

Friday, August 30, 2013

"Chrissy, The Girl From Up The Block."
12x14" oil on canvas.

It's really hard to see ourselves clearly.  That goes for seeing our style of painting clearly too.  I've often felt like I had no style.   To me I felt like the way I do it is the way to paint something in the most basic way, how else would anyone do it, and other people, they have a style?  I've wasted tons of time trying to develop something that I already have, a style of my own.

Yesterday I got some brilliant advice, "Stop looking for a great style, you already have one."  Others have said this to me but the way my friend said it to me, I guess I was ready to hear it and it has made all the difference to me.

That is my advice to others.  No matter where your development is you already have a style.  You just need to recognize it and accept it and yourself.

Fred Bell

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Emily Dickinson, James Baldwin, Eudora Welty, William Carlos Williams, Portrait Paintings

These portrait paintings of great authors were painted for a school teacher in New Jersey.  He will hang them in his class room in hopes of inspiring his students interest.  He said he wanted to give the students the feeling that these writers where real people just like them.

Each of these paintings is 6x7" oil on panel.  They have a cradle on the back allowing them to be hung without a frame.  You can commission a painting of your favorite author by sending me an 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emily_Dickinson
Emily Dickinson

http://eudorawelty.org/
Eudora Welty

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Baldwin
James Baldwin


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Carlos_Williams
William Carlos Williams



Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Fred Bell Shows Stiff Neck

This  painting is entitled 
"Stiff Neck"  
It is a self portrait that will be in a show, 
"In Your Face" 
at the Art Bar in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  
It is a show of self portraits put together by my friends 
The painting is 16x16" oil on cradled panel.  
It is for sale, $500. plus shipping.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Do Still Life Paintings Always Stay Still?

I am thrilled to present this recent series of still life paintings.  It started with a beautiful grey dinner plate I bought at Good Will.  I thought about paintings of just the plate, quiet and serene.  Then, as I worked on them and developed the idea things started to move around, patterns with silverware appeared and I was off to the races.  

These paintings are about eating and dinner and the kind of drama that happens at dinner.  The objects are metaphors for the players.

These paintings will be sold at Portrait Society Gallery, 207 E. Buffalo St., Milwaukee Wisconsin, 53202, 414-870-9930 starting June 12, 2013.  Stop by for a glass of wine!  Portrait Society Gallery donates proceeds for this to Artists Working In Education.  They are a great group who help art teachers.


"Blue Plate" 14x14" oil on board, $400. plus shipping

"Bananaquit" 14x17" oil on board, $400. plus shipping
 Art ideas develop through working on them.  Sometimes ideas come when away from the canvas but mostly not, for me.

"The Lost Day" 14x17" oil on board, $400. plus shipping

"Rhythm Of The Ware"  14x17" oil on board, $400. plus shipping

"Spooning" 14x17" oil on board, $400. plus shipping

 "Earth Quake" 14x17" oil on board, $400. plus shipping

"Thoughts That Won't Stop" 14x17" oil on board, $400. plus shipping

"Group Of Three" 14x17" oil on board, $400. plus shipping

"The Love Cup"  14x17" oil on board, $400. plus shipping

"Eight O' Clock Spoon"  14x17" oil on board, $400. plus shipping

"Grapes Of Wrath"  14x17" oil on board, $400. plus shipping

"The Melody Loop"  30x40" oil on canvas, $900. plus shipping

"Dishes"  30x40" oil on canvas, $900. plus shipping

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Painting a still life in my studio.

Fred Bell working in his studio painting.
I've let this blog go dormant for a long time.  
Anyway, I am still alive and still working on
 this series of plates with forks, spoons and knives.  
I had to paint a few before 
I figured out the possibilities. 
Now I am cooking.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Here are three new paintings from my series
"Kitchen Conversations"
14x17" oil on panel