Art has been a part of my whole life. I grew up at the Jersey Shore so I’m naturally drawn to the beach. I love trying to capture the waves and water reflections in my oil paintings.
PROCESS AND ART INTERESTS
I use my own reference photos from local Jersey Shore beaches. Most of the reference photos have my children in the water or in the sand. However, I choose to not include them and other people in my paintings. I follow my reference photos closely in composition and color. I paint on either canvas board or stretched canvas materials using Winsor & Newton Oil Colors. Detailing is my favorite part of the art process and the length of time varies between each piece and size. I enjoy getting lost in the details and using small brushes. I'm very interested in reflections in the water and spend a lot of time studying the lighting and patterns in the water reflection.
On a personal level, I hold a master's degree in Special Education from Monmouth University and a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. I was an elementary teacher for various grades throughout my career as a teacher. I chose to stop teaching a few years ago because it was a better fit for our family for me to be home with our young children ages 7, 4, and 2. I feel very grateful to spend the mornings on fun outings and value our time together as a family. Art is also a part of my children's lives. We spend a lot of time doing crafts, constructing things( a lot of LEGOS), and drawing together. I live with my husband, three kids, a golden doodle, and a labradoodle in Middletown, NJ.
Follow me on Instagram @artbyjessbell for more up to date information about my work and process.
A few details away from finishing this piece. (Photo Reference by Sammy Garcia)
The day I took these photo references, I couldn't wait to get home to start painting it. The waves were so dark yet had beautiful gold reflections. The two paintings I chose to paint are of the same wave, only a second apart. Titled, "The Fall" and "The Rise". The left painting has sold.
AWARDS AND SHOWS
In 2007 I was awarded honorable mention in the 21st Annual NJ State-wide Art Show at the Art Alliance in Red Bank, NJ. I had my first solo art show in 2010 in Red Bank, NJ.