Richard Bell’s watercolors on display in September at the Orcas Island Library

In an exhibit titled “Orcas Seen,” Richard Bell’s watercolor paintings will be displayed in the Orcas Island Library during the month of September.

Artist Statement

My wife Mimi and I have owned a home on Orcas Island for 20 years. Our life is split between Orcas and Philadelphia; we are intensely fond of both. My career was in medicine and it was not until I retired in 2011 that I had time to take up painting seriously. Fortunately, Philadelphia has a handful of excellent art schools and I have taken advantage of that to study as an adult continuing education learner at both the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) and the Fleisher Art Memorial, an award-winning art school for the public since the 19th century.

I love Orcas Island and I have been painting there in the summers since 2011. I am constantly struck by the beauty of the island and I try to paint scenes that Inspire me so that others may be able to share in the experience. For this reason, I have tried to continuously improve my work to communicate better. I’m inspired by the color, light, and clarity of Hopper and Winslow. I painted in oils until 2020 when I switched to watercolors. I have been doing exclusively watercolors for the last two years and find the results quite gratifying in spite of the vagaries of the medium. I have been surprised by the richness that one can achieve with watercolor. I humbly hope that I can translate the beauty of Orcas Island into paintings that make people feel the awe that Orcas Island inspires.