We had the good fortune of connecting with Bela Fidel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bela, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I was born in Brazil. My upbringing placed emphasis on learning and my studies, from grade one through pre-college, were the center of my interests; art was not on the agenda in those years. At age 21 I went to college in Jerusalem, Israel, where I studied English and Spanish Literatures. After 8 years I moved back to Brazil where I worked for corporations and started to learn painting as a hobby. Again, after 8 years, I came to the U.S. to study professional make-up artistry. I painted on week-ends and did not have any serious ambitions to become a full-time artist. Having lived in 3 different countries and being exposed to very different cultures, has defined who I am today. I am open-minded and accepting of diverse cultures, beliefs and opinions. In my Art this is reflected in my love of textures, layers, depth, richness. In a way, I tell my story in each enriched, elaborate layer of my work. However, while I cherish the thickness and richness of textures and layers, the final “face” of the painting must be elegant and deceptively simpler than the extensive work that lies beneath it.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I feel my art is distinctive mine and, from viewer’s reactions, I see that my emotions seep through the layers of paint. The materials I use and the combinations among them are typically mine and are the result of trial and error, being adventurous and always curious.
Above all, the daring and the courage to discover, try new materials, jump into a creative precipice every day are very gratifying and help me grow as an artist. My work in oils, Encaustics and mixed media excites me every day and expands my artistic vocabulary and vision. They bring me back to the studio 6 days a week, 7 hours a day. The lessons I learn are not only about art but about myself as well. I learn that self doubt is common to many artists, which humbles me. I learn that persistence, doggedness and even stubbornness have their merit and most of the time deserve almost all the credit. I would like be to known as a hard working professional artist, serious about personal and professional growth, self expression and the creation of a distinctive kind of aesthetic that brings the joy of beauty and constant discovery to viewers and collectors.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would start by showing them a unique area that is not too far from my home: Cave Creek, with its hangouts, funky stores and restaurants. While in the area we would stop for lunch or tea at the English Rose Tea Room, the quaintest of all places. Going south we would then stroll on Papago Park or the Botanical Gardens. On another day we would have lunch at Wildflower on Hayden Road and the 101 Freeway and spend the rest of the afternoon at the Phoenix Art Museum with a leisurely stop at the Palette Restaurant. For shopping we would go to Fashion Square and visit the many stores and galleries in downtown Scottsdale. I very much enjoy the view of the many sahuaros on Shea Boulevard going to Fountain Hills. The unique fountain in Fountain Hills would also be a special place to visit, provided the fountain were active.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to many people. Some lovingly held my little hand when I was growing up; friends supported my fledgling interest in the arts and even purchased some of my early paintings. For the past 30 years the shoutout absolutely goes to my husband Stan, poet, lyricist, writer and marketing consultant who never let me give up, who always believed in me and who still supports me unconditionally.
Linkedin: Bela Fidel
Youtube: Bela Fidel
Nominate someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.