Paul Bell - Painter

Paul Bell is a Scottish artist living in Buckinghamshire. His use of bold colour and simple composition are the cornerstone of his work. Paul works in a variety of mediums but predominantly oil and acrylic and takes inspiration from people, landscape, cityscape and still life. His most notable achievements to date were making the last round of 250 in the 2014 BP Portrait Award, winning the BBC1 series ‘The Big Painting Challenge’ in 2015 and as a consequence two paintings produced during the programme hung in Tate Britain.


'Thames at low tide' by Paul Bell
Acrylic on canvas

Julie: Tell us a little bit about your artistic background/education.

Paul Bell: I studied Art at school with ambitions to study at the Glasgow School of Art, however my application was turned down which led to me taking a trainee position with a leading practice of Interior Designers in Glasgow. As part of their training programme we were sent to Glasgow school of art one day and one evening a week, where we were taught Interior Design and Life Drawing. The idea was that after 2 years you applied for a full time position to complete your degree. I was accepted to go full time but my personal circumstance and the imminent arrival of my first child meant that I had no choice but to continue working. I went on to have a very successful career as an interior Designer before deciding to go into the lucrative illustration business where I worked internationally for leading architects for a number of years. I did this up until a couple of years ago before deciding to concentrate on painting full time.

Read the rest of Paul's interview on our blog