Tour of the Arts artist back for fourth year

For many artists, this will be their first year as part of Columbia Arts’ Tour of the Arts. For artist Colin Bell, however, it's year number four.

Colin Bell

Colin Bell

For many artists, this will be their first year as part of Columbia Arts’ Tour of the Arts.

For artist Colin Bell, however, it’s year number four.

“I was very gratified to be invited to participate in the first Tour of the Arts in 2008, and have participated every year since then, so this will be my fourth experience,” said Bell.

Bell was first interested in drawing and art as a child, growing up in Argentina with a family of painters.

“Their studios were magical places, and they were free with their old brushes, boards and tubes of oil paint,” said Bell. “I felt that if I ever got to heaven it would smell of turpentine!”

Bell’s godfather, who was also an artist, paid for Bell to take private art lessons with Julia Perea Muñoz for three years before Bell entered university.

He became an architect in Buenos Aires, and emigrated to Canada in 1965 to work for several architectural firms.

He then opened his own practice for three years before moving on to a job as a City of Calgary architect, in charge of the design of some of the city’s buildings.

In 1982, Bell joined an artists’ group known as The Group, and was later accepted into the Calgary Artists’ Society in 1983.

Since then, he has participated in numerous group and solo shows, attended dozens of art workshops, been accepted in several art galleries, taught several art workshops and sold hundreds of paintings.

Bell works mostly with watercolours, but also handles oil and acrylic paints, which he says are better for larger-scale work.

“I mostly paint landscapes, but am not unwilling to tackle other subjects, such as flowers, animals and urban scenes,” said Bell.

At this year’s Tour of the Arts, Bell and his work will be on display at the Gratton property.

“I produce many more paintings per year than I sell, so I need to take advantage of every opportunity to showcase my art,” said Bell.

“The Tour attracts a lot of people interested in buying art directly from the artist. As they have had to pay to participate, everyone is a serious collector, and I have many pleasant exchanges with visitors interested to see me at work.”

As for what Bell hopes visitors at his display take from his work, he said, “I hope they enjoy my style of painting, and enjoy speaking to the artist about the works they may purchase or consider purchasing.

“When I see another artist at work, it often sparks a feeling of recognition or inspiration in me, pushing me to renewed efforts.”

To see more of Bell’s work, visit

For more information on Tour of the Arts, visit