I've loved seeing Frances's talent grow over the years I have know and encouraged her. This last year has seen a huge development in both her portraits and other work with such sensitivity and use of light.
I find it exciting to imagine her paintings in the many decades ahead of her.
Sue Ryder RP
It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Frances on the portrait of my father on his horse. We are delighted with the outcome (the horse has yet to comment) and I am so pleased we chose Frances. However it is not just the final picture that we are pleased with, it has been the whole project from start to finish that has been fun and exciting to do. I would happily recommend her.
Frances painted a portrait of our seven year old son. The sittings were relaxed and conducted at his pace. The process was more collaborative than we had anticipated and we were encouraged to give feedback throughout. We enjoyed the experience and now have a very special painting.
Dr Helen Jeffreys
After many years of collecting, I was delighted to come across Frances Bell, who has a remarkable talent . Her quick capture of the subject combined with a rare colour sensitivity make her paintings something deeper than just attractive. She will become one of our “Greats”.
We picked Frances from a list of very accomplished portrait artists having no idea that she was based just 30 mins away. Not only was Frances conveniently local but also made the experience pain free resulting in an excellent portrait which even I can look at!
Having seen examples of Frances' work we asked her to paint a large picture of our family with dogs and a horse. She created a lovely composition and captured all of the sitters brilliantly and quickly. We love it!
George and Jane Farr
I own four paintings that were done by Frances: three landscapes (two of which were commissioned by me) and a full length portrait of my wife and myself. Her adroit use of color and her composition skills cause the eye to focus steadily on subjects that have given me an uncomplicated and very straightforward visual pleasure. She is clearly a much talented artist.
Frances painted our two daughters, together, and we are delighted with the portrait. She was very good at discussing options for the setting, putting the girls at ease while she painted and making sure we were all happy with the final painting.
David and Linda Burns
Frances recently drew our 2 year old daughter and we couldn't be more thrilled with it. It captures her completely. The whole process was such fun - with small children herself, she knows exactly how to make sure her subject has fun whilst sitting for the drawing - not an easy task with a toddler but all done so effortlessly.
Sarah and Ed Maitland Carew
Frances Bell painted a very nice conversation piece of my wife and I and our dogs in our garden at Berryburn in Northumberland, as a record of our 50 years living there and the home which we built.
We are standing together with our dogs lying at our feet and the house and garden in the background. It is much admired by our friends and relations.
Wyndham Rogers Coltman
When I was selecting an artist to paint my retirement portrait I was acutely aware of the long history of rather conventional Vice-Chancellor portraits that appeared to me to focus upon the academic gown and formal role. I wanted an artist that saw the person and their character and through that something of their achievements.
On meeting Frances I felt that she immediately understood the aim and we spent a lot of time discussing format , location and style.
The chosen location was in a very busy part of the University....in a building now named after me!....and Frances also understood that I did not have huge amounts of time available for long sittings. Nevertheless we had some enjoyable and relaxed sittings much to the amusement and entertainment of students and staff who passed by and frequently commented on progress.
Frances captured my personality and I think my work ethic in a semi formal setting . I was involved in four or five stages of the painting and made very minor comments. As the detail evolved I was increasingly delighted with the painting. I had the final viewing in Frances's studio and although somewhat embarrassed I was pleased with the outcome and thought the portrait would be at home in the University Boardroom and would stand the test of time. Leaving a permanent fingerprint on an institution that has been a huge part of your life is quite difficult but with Frances I think that we achieved exactly what I hoped. It will be for others to judge its impact in the future!
I would have no hesitation in recommending Frances for this type of commission not only because she is a gifted artist but because she listens and interprets.
Professor John Brooks
Manchester Metropolitan University.
Few contemporary painters combine classical training of a high order with exceptional skills as an observer – of people, and of the natural world. Frances is one of the very rare breed who does.
We went to stay with a very good friend who had recently had their portrait painted by Frances. We liked what she had done so much that we thought of no one else when the time came. She was very professional, a good house guest (!) and an even better painter making the whole process very easy. The end product has taken its place and is much admired for both its good likeness and general composition. We are delighted.
Rupert and Susie Villiers-Smith
We all really enjoyed the process both as commissioners, and our daughter as sitter, and we are delighted with the picture which captures Flora beautifully.