Saltwater Portrait

Bev Bellows uses daily life as inspiration for art

Georgetown resident sees world through watercolors
September 20, 2011
Bev Bellows of Georgetown shows off two of her paintings during the Milton outdoor art show. BY RACHEL SWICK MAVITY

Sitting on the beach and watching the waves, Bev Bellows is not simply enjoying a day at the beach. She is imagining her next watercolor painting.

Bellows, 73, of Georgetown, is always thinking about her next project. While basking in the afternoon sun on the beach, she is also sketching the scene or taking pictures of animals and children playing in the surf. All these images will spring to life in paint on canvas when she returns to her Georgetown studio.

For decades, Bellows and her husband of 50 years, Kenneth, traveled far and wide as she displayed her art at shows. Today, the couple doesn't travel as far, sticking to shows on Delmarva.

Growing up in New Jersey, Bellows always had a passion for art. When her father died, Bellows knew art school was likely out of the question because her family wouldn't be able to afford it. Bellows was lucky, however, and received a scholarship to attend the New York City School of Design, now known as the Pratt Institute.

"They must have seen something in me because I was on scholarship all four years," Bellows said. "I remember going to see Broadway shows when it snowed because they still performed and we could get tickets at a low price. We ice skated in Central Park and went to all the museums. It was a high-old time."

After graduating in 1961, Bellows took a series of art jobs, once working as an illustrator, a greeting card designer, and later designing appliques for clothing lines in New York and New Jersey. Her husband, Kenneth was by her side all the way and when his company was bought out and his job moved to Maryland, the couple decided Hartford County would be a good place to raise a family.

"We lived in Maryland for about 35 years and raised three sons, but about six years ago we decided to move to Georgetown," Bellows said. "We looked around for about a year and a half for a nice community. We wanted a place with an active art community and Georgetown is between Rehoboth and Millsboro where arts are very vibrant, and up-and-coming."

Bellows was drawn to the Cape Region because of the proximity to beaches and state parks, but also because she believes in the art community here.

"When we moved from Maryland I was looking around for connections in the art field and I noticed they had a watercolor class in the Adult Plus program at Delaware Tech," said Bellows. "I took the class, and when our teacher became ill and couldn't continue, two of us stepped up to teach. Now it's just me teaching the class, but I really enjoy it."

Bellows loves to paint using watercolors, but she also creates holiday ornaments, painting Santa Claus visages onto oyster shells.

Her easy smile and bubbly personality draw other artists to her and she has been able to meet and work with many of them in the Cape Region. She serves as the president of a watercolor society in Bethany Beach and now teaches a watercolor class at Delaware Technical & Community College in Georgetown.

When not working the art show circuits, the couple loved to travel. This year they went to New England, but have also enjoyed trips to Hawaii, England, Greece and Rome.

Bellows will be showing her work during two holiday shows this winter, first in Ocean Pines, Md. and then at a show she helps organize at Cinderberry in Georgetown. The Cinderberry holiday show will be held in the community clubhouse, Saturday, Dec. 3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information, call Bellows at 302-253-0523.

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