An Interview With Julie Bell
WALT MORTON: Genres you paint include fantasy, western, wildlife, nudes, horses, cats and dogs, and portraits. This is very unusual today, when most artists seem to choose one kind of content to specialize in: a singular brand identity making things easy for consumers. How do you decide what subjects to produce?
JULIE BELL: Deciding is very difficult for me because I'm in love with so many beautiful and exciting ideas about what to paint. I'm happy that I spent two decades developing a career in fantasy and now I can indulge in some of my other interests, while still keeping my place within the world of fantasy art. Everywhere I look, there is something I want to paint. If I'm talking to you face to face, I'm listening to your words and ideas, but I'm also studying why your nose and eyes look the way they do, how the shadows and highlights work. At any given time, I have 10-15 paintings in development, all of different subjects. I keep them all out in view so that I can look at them while I'm not working on them (maybe while I'm doing yoga or talking on the phone.) This gives me time to process my thoughts about what I like and don't like about them while they're still incomplete. I think this also allows my subconscious to play a bigger part in the finished piece.
WALT MORTON: Frank Frazetta, the world’s best-known fantasy artist commented that doing cowboy & western imagery was not a good idea for him because the genre was well covered by other artists. So there’s an idea if somebody else is already doing something well, it will be difficult to compete. What about that?
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