Coming from an artistic family, it was easy for me to seriously consider painting as a vocation. My early studies were at Prahran College of Advanced Education in Melbourne (now Swinburne University) under Roger Kemp.

Most of my student work was abstract, using the relatively new (at the time) concoctions of acrylic paint. My early works mainly consisted of large canvases employing a narrow colour range; tonally rich, with dynamic rhythms. At that time my main influences included a number of  American Abstract Expressionists such as Pollock, DeKooning and Kline, as well as the early Pop artists Rauchenberg and Rivers.

As I matured, I seemed drawn back to the figurative - landscapes and people; a shift which caused a friend to kid me about being “an abstractionist in disguise”.

Inspired afresh by the work of Henri Matisse, I found myself returning to nature as my source material, finding  inspiration in various visual stimuli such as clouds, landscapes and the human form.

In the early 90’s I was challenged by my then mentor and fellow artist Alan Tulloch to try oil paints, which I had previously avoided. It was love at the very first: I finally felt I had the right means with which to model my recent acquaintance with the representational in painting.

Since those early days of juggling family life, my signwriting work and painting, I have often found myself challenged about the nature and relevance of painting in a world of 'post-object' art. I still believe it has a place and a value.


My work has been exhibited in  Brisbane CBD, Fortitude Valley, West End  and Ipswich, and I am represented in private collections around Brisbane, North Queensland, Melbourne, and New Zealand.

I have also published a book entitled 'EPIPHANIES' - 40 pages, full colour reproductions with enlarged details and accompanying texts of a selection of works from my 'Epiphanes' series:



                                     Australia: AUD$39.95   (+ $5 for posatage within Australia)

                                                 Overseas: AUD$59.95 (postage included)







John Bell Artist

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