For as long as she can remember, Dell Belew has been fascinated by color, especially colorful paintings. In 1975, she bought her first oil paints and brushes and put some color on a canvas. From that moment she knew she had the ability to recreate beauty on a canvas, and her passion for creativity grew. In 1985, she received a studio art degree from Armstrong and went on to complete a doctorate in English in 1994. She taught at the university level until 2015 when she retired to pursue her painting and writing.
Says Dell, “I was distraught when I began an art degree because I had to learn other media, but every new medium I tried, I added to my passion for expression. Today, I paint whatever I want and in whatever style I want. One of my books is titled Art: The Language of the Soul in which I talk about the many ways art informs us and brings health to our minds and bodies. I presently teach a creative writing class to seniors at Generation One where I also include the need to be open to all creative avenues for expression.”
In 1999 and 2000, Dell engaged in a most fulfilling experience as she painted mandalas during worship services. She would take the abstract paintings home and wait for them to suggest the interpretations; the outcome produced prose poetry. The experience allowed her to express all of her gifts and talents.
Dell’s love of form and color has led her to a variety of media, always trying to find the best ways to express beauty. She primarily paints in watercolor, oils, and acrylics, but she also enjoys pastels and charcoal drawing. As a photographer, she is often looking for compositions through her lens that she will use for painting.
When she teaches painting classes, she teaches the basics in color mixing and the nuts and bolts, but reminds students that they are developing their own styles and that they should paint or create what makes them happy.