Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Artist of the Month - Belinda Fireman

I think that this first painting by Belinda says it all! She has an incredible passion that is very evident in her artwork. Bel is an artist and a mother of almost 10 year old twin girls and a 5 year old son. She lives with her family in Calgary, the largest city in the Province of Alberta, Canada.
Bel with her recycled sock arm warmers

The first thing I noticed about Bel's artwork are the vibrant colors that she creates with. I love the positive messages and the overall brightness of her work. A love of art started early for Bel, in high school she was heavily into art and music. She went to the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan for three summers in the late 80's where she studied drawing. Bel's talents were recognized and she won a scholarship to go back. She even had the opportunity to do a solo art show there. 

Bel then went on to study chemistry at the University of Western Ontario (London, ON) because she felt like this is what she "should" be doing. Well, her love of art won out again. After she got her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, she studied an unclassified year of arts courses at U.B.C. in Vancouver, B.C. then went on to get her Master's in Art Conservation at Queen's University in Kingston, ON. She thought that working as an Arts Conservator was perfect for her since it combined her love for art and her ability in science. But, after working for a few years in the field she found that it just wasn't her passion.

Bel said that she knew in her heart and soul that she was on her way back to creating art. Once she figured that out, her twin baby girls came along leaving her little time to create. She did a few projects here and there when the kids were young, but anyone with small children knows how challenging that can be.  Late in 2008, she had some troubles with her back. Drawing in her sketchbook became her way to help distract her from her physical discomfort and help her to heal and deal with things.

Bel participated in the Art House Co-op Sketchbook Project in 2011. Here are a few of her pages, to view her entire sketchbook follow the link above. Take a minute to get yourself a cup of coffee before you go to the link, you are going to want to spend a little time there. Really amazing!

I really enjoy admiring Bel's artwork as well as reading her honest words. It motivates me to get back into my art journal. If only there were more hours in everyday! Bel's work is also going to be featured in a book about Art Journaling. Stay tuned, I'll let you know when it is published.

I asked Bel what type of medium she prefers for her artwork, and here is what she said:

"I paint with acrylics and watercolors, and write and draw on my paintings with black artist pens, like PITT, or Prismacolor pens. I used to love using oil pastels - I'll have to give those a try again! I would also love to take a course in oil painting, because I only tried it in high school, which doesn't count, because I can't remember it!"

When asked about her most favorite thing about creating her art, Bel replied:

"I love experimenting with how different colors will blend together and then seeing the final result - especially if it's unexpectedly pleasing! I also love the crunchy feeling of paint on paper.

My least favorite thing is when materials aren't doing what I want them to do, and I can't figure out how to fix it! Mostly, I don't like when I start to worry about what other people will think of my work. Yep, that's probably the worst thing. I think a lot of people suffer from this! That's why I put a lot of affirmations in my work - to help others (and myself) deal with those inner critics!"

Stream of Positivity
Turtle Shell
I am Safe
All of her work is unique and motivational. Bel has an Etsy shop called Firemanbell where she sells her paintings, as well as magnets and greeting cards. Stop by for a visit, you'll enjoy her shop. I think that Bel's colorful artwork would be perfect for T shirts. I could see myself really enjoying wearing her work! When I asked Bel about that idea and what other ideas she has rolling around in her creative mind, here is what she had to say:

"Funny that you say that! I've had several people say they could see my work on T shirts! I purchased a lazy susan from a friend last year, then painted and collaged it, then he bought it back!! I have an interest in painting objects to give them some color and new life! Other plans? Hmm... I think I am on to some bigger and better paintings. The ones I have been working on are very small. I was trying to keep art affordable for people, but I think my paintings want to grow! I have also recently starting teaching intuitive painting. I jumped into this after being dared to do it. I can see doing more of this in the future!! I felt I grew a lot, and learned a lot just from the 3 classes I taught."

Here are a few samples of her magnets and greeting cards:

I hope you enjoyed getting to know Bel and her incredible colorful artwork. If you'd like to learn more about Bel, visit her blog Drawn From the Fire. Or take a tour through her Flickr Photostream Belknits'.
If you feel like you would like to own a piece of Bel's artwork, magnets or greeting cards, visit her shop on Etsy Firemanbell.

Thank you again for joining me for the Artist of the Month post. In closing, I will share one of my daughter Madi's quotes...

"Being creative is an adventure of joy."


Renee @ where the grass is greener said...

so, cool!!! You should get her to paint one of Madi's quotes for you!

anne said...

Love love love Bel's work. It's so passionate! Especially touched by "i am safe."

Stefanie said...

Oh Hey! Hi Bel! We met at the Make One workshop in Banff!! :) Neat to see your artwork!

stacie said...

Renee, great idea! But which one???? They are all so cute.

stacie said...

I'm with you Anne, love it. Her passion really comes through with her work.

stacie said...

Hi Stefanie, thanks for stopping by!

stacie said...

Hi Stefanie, thanks for stopping by!

FishyKissKnits said...

She's talented, she's beautiful, she's kind, she's loving and ....
she's my daughter and I'm so proud of her.

stacie said...

Oh, you must be very proud Bel's Mom! You did a great job.

Denice (inkstitch) said...

Ah, such rich gorgeous work. Completely inspiring, the colors, the words... and Bel's sketchbook is amazing. A lovely post, Stacie!

stacie said...

Thanks Denice! Bel's work is amazing, I keep looking at the sketchbook.

Cheryl Arkison said...

She has a such a great eye for colour. A dream for a quilter like me!
Thanks for another great profile, you are a star at supporting other creatives.