Friday, 3 June 2022

At the Maritime Trust

At the Maritime Trust
(acrylic on canvas, board, 12 x 12 in)

This is a painting I’ve been working on over the last week or two. It’s based on a sketch I made on an outing with the Tyne & Wear Urban Sketchers in 2017 (see below) and the repeated circles fascinated me.

In the Shed 
(2B mechanical pencil in A4 sketchbook)

Thursday, 2 June 2022

Still Life with Presents


Still Life with Presents
(Acrylic on canvas board, 12x12 in)

This has gone through so many changes. I initially followed the sketch I posted here, but as I suggested would happen, changes became inevitable once I began painting. The cup and chair vanished and the old sweet tin that originally made an appearance last Xmas, found its way into this picture. Finally, the chair returned to balance the composition (together with an escaped chocolate).

You might also notice my new stencils being used most obviously on the table, but also on the vase, in a similar way to the vase on Flowers in a Green Vase.

Friday, 27 May 2022

Water Tower on Holy Island (WIP, second pass)


Water Tower on Holy Island (WIP)
(oil on canvas, 12x12 in)

A little more progress on this oil painting yesterday, mainly making changes to the foreground and developing the tree and foliage, but it feels slow.

Thursday, 19 May 2022

Water Tower on Holy Island (WIP)


Water Tower on Holy Island (WIP)
(Oil on canvas, 12 x 12 in)

An afternoon with my oil paints at the North of England Art Club, concentration only interrupted by a man installing a blind directly over my easel. 

Rooting around in my paint box, I uncovered a tube of Mars Red and have now remembered how pervasive the colour can be. I'll have to remember to exclude it when I return to work on this.

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Sketch for Still Life Painting


A pencil sketch, with some digital tone added, for a potential still life painting to follow on from the Flowers in a Green Vase. This is at least less busy than a previously discarded sketch. I might go with this one and see how it looks when the paint's applied, changing it as it progresses.

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Flowers in a Green vase

 Flowers in a Green Vase
(Acrylic on canvas board, 12x12 in)

Finding myself a bit adrift this year, I fell back on the old maxim, “When you can’t paint, paint something else.” I did a few very small still life paintings during the Lockdown and quite enjoyed them, but scaling up to even this modest size proved difficult. What I expected to take a couple of days or so has taken the best part of a week. I wonder if the next one, should I give in to temptation, will be so difficult?

Thursday, 21 April 2022

Edinburgh Florist

 Edinburgh Florist
(Oil on canvas, 10x10 in)

Another day in good company at North of England Art Club and this painting is finished. Or finished for the moment. There’s always the possibility of a little glazing and tickling after it’s had time to settle. Another addition to my series of Shops and Stalls.

Sunday, 17 April 2022

(Acrylic on board, 10x10 in)

Painting now complete. I’m always surprised at how the addition of a figure changes the nature, the concept even, of a particular painting. From a purely compositional exercise, this has taken on an added element of narrative.

Thursday, 14 April 2022

Edinburgh Florist (WIP)


Edinburgh Florist (WIP)
(Oil on canvas, 10x10 in)

Nice to finally get back to the studio at North of England Art Club after a break of over two years and get some oil painting done. Of course, after a lay-off of over two years, it was a struggle to get the caps off the tubes of paint and I’d forgotten how messy my hands get with oil paint. Still, I enjoyed getting to grips with the old medium again, an experience made even better by amiable chat with members I haven't seen for a long time.

Saturday, 9 April 2022

A New Beginning


Street scene (WIP)
(acrylic on board, 10 x 10 in.)

Yesterday at Gateshead Art Society, while everyone else was doing an exercise in alla prima, I began work on this new one. It's based on a photograph I took in Crete and I think it’s going well, but there’s a figure to be added which might give me bother. Watch this space.

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal (2)


"Seaton Rose"
(mixed media on 7 x 6.5 in. board)

Intended for sale at £60 through the excellent scheme (see previous post), this one sold before I could post it online. The full £60 has now gone to the DEC Ukraine Appeal.

Wednesday, 2 March 2022

Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal


Boat Repairs 
(7x7.5 in, mixed media on board )

Like many, I wondered how I can help the people of Ukraine. GiveWith.Art is an initiative started by Mark David Haywood of and British Contemporary Art to help charities deal with the awful humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. Artists and galleries pledge to give at least 50% of a sale to support Ukrainian relief. So I am adding this painting. 100% of the sale price of £65 will go to one of the charities listed  on the website

Item now SOLD and £65 donated to DEC British Red Cross Humanitarian Ukraine Appeal

Wednesday, 23 February 2022

New Greetings Cards


Six new Still Life greetings cards, now available from my site at LoveFromTheArtist.

Monday, 7 February 2022

Home Thoughts of Abroad


My first solo exhibition in eight years opened at the Alnwick Playhouse Gallery on 25th January. When I was approached to put on a show, I thought it might be only a small affair as, when I was last there, the gallery space was not large. However, I found that the gallery space has now moved upstairs and there are two long walls, each six metres long. This meant a complete rethink of what I might show: I'm not keen on simply putting up a set of unconnected work, but would always prefer a theme. Eventually, I came up with this as a working idea and indeed, this is the text used in the publicity: 

In his poem, Home Thoughts From Abroad, Robert Browning put himself in the position of one who has been away from home and is missing it dearly. Harry Bell has cheekily turned the concept around and named his exhibition Home Thoughts of Abroad. After two years of enforced isolation in the north east of England, this lover of European travel keenly feels the loss of strolling in the sun-filled streets of Greece, Italy and Spain, and even the chillier streets encountered on a visit to the Czech Republic. To ease that heartfelt need, he’s put together a collection of his favourite paintings of those places in the hope they’ll cheer us through the winter months and hint at what we might regain.

There are eighteen pictures in the exhibition which continues until 6th March.

Sunday, 26 December 2021

A Little Something for Xmas


A Little Something for Xmas 2021
(Acrylic on hardboard, 135x135 mm)

Painted as a surprise present for my lovely wife, Pat.

Saturday, 25 December 2021

Merry Xmas 2021!


Beaconsfield Crescent with Snow
(acrylic on board)

Best wishes for a Happy Xmas to all my Reader and a hope that the New Year will show significant improvements over this one.

The painting is the one I chose for my Xmas card and shows the view from our bay window.

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Joiner Photographs


In the course of an online workshop, I found myself doing a bit of joinery today. David Hockney has a lot to answer for.

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Frank Briffa

 RIP Frank Briffa

It came as a shock today to learn that my old friend, fellow artist and founder member of the Figure8 art group, died on Tuesday evening. My thoughts are with Anne and their family.

Wednesday, 10 November 2021

Gallagher & Turner Open Exhibition 2021

 Ouseburn Viaducts
(acrylic on linen panel, 30x30 cm)

Late for the Match
(acrylic on board, 25x25 cm)

Two of my paintings have been selected for exhibition at Gallagher & Turner Gallery, in Newcastle. The exhibition runs from 26 November to 22 January.

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Wansbeck Shed

 Wansbeck Shed
(Acrylic and collage on board, 30x30 cm)

The latest in my series of textured doors and walls took a slightly different direction by using less of a close up of the subject. And the good thing about that is the new ideas it throws up. I do like it when that happens.

Monday, 1 November 2021

Gateshead Art Society Annual Exhibition


Six of my paintings (including this one) in this selling exhibition and all for sale. Great Xmas gift ideas!

Wednesday, 13 October 2021


 "No. 4"
(acrylic and collage on board, 30x30 cm)

Finished today, another addition to the Textured Door Series. Idea derived entirely from some recycled packaging.

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Trulli Houses, Alberobello

 Trulli Houses, Alberobello.
(Acrylic on linen panel, 30x30 cm)

Another painting capturing holiday memories past, in anticipation of those to come. These dry stone buildings in Southern Italy were fascinating.

Sunday, 12 September 2021

Italian Archway


Italian Archway
(acrylic on mountboard, 7x5 in)
(Now SOLD)

I actually did two paintings for the Secret Card Sale at The Old Lock Up Gallery. This is the other which doesn’t appear to have sold, but as the Sale is officially over, I guess I’m OK to post it now. Should you fancy adding it to your art collection , I dare say the gallery would be happy to take your £15 even now. All money goes to the gallery. I’d just be happy to see the picture go to a good home.

Saturday, 11 September 2021

Cretan Archway


Cretan Archway
(Acrylic on mountboard, 5x7 in.)

Here’s a little painting I did recently for the Secret Card Sale at The Old Lockup Gallery but couldn’t post before. Now it’s sold, I guess it’s OK to post - a snip at £15.

Wednesday, 8 September 2021


(0.5 marker in small square sketchbook)

It feels like I've done very little drawing this year, so on a family visit, I made a little time to do a little drawing.

Sunday, 29 August 2021

Village in the Valley


Village in the Valley
(Acrylic on linen panel, 30x30 cm)

Another in my series of Majorca landscapes, a little gentler in colour terms.

Thursday, 19 August 2021

Majorcan Landscape


Majorcan Landscape
(Acrylic on linen panel, 30x30 cm).

Third in what is becoming a series of paintings of Majorca.

Sunday, 15 August 2021

The Tree in the Fork


The Tree in the Fork
(Acrylic on linen panel, 30x30 cm)
Back from my short break catching up with family in real life rather than on a screen, I finished this hot summery painting.

Tuesday, 3 August 2021

Corner Garden, Majorca

 Corner Garden
(acrylic on linen panel, 30x30 cm)

Finished yesterday, I think this painting represents for me a search through memories of holidays past at a time when another trip abroad seems far off.

The view is based on a photograph I took in Alcudia on the island of Majorca in September 2008. The weather was a bit mixed and Alcudia is not at all colourful, but as always, I enjoyed my time abroad, so as the painting developed, my memory and imagination heightened the colour.