“The elegance of simplicity, richness of experience, depth of feelings and the allure of uncompromising aesthetics” is the framework in which Scottsdale artist Bela Fidel develops her magnetically oil, encaustics and mixed-media work.
Fidel’s abstract oils convey a rich personal artistic experience. They are simple and uncluttered. The creative interaction among the elements results in pleasing and startling aesthetics.
“Much like a couple who has been together for a long time, their connection, though unspoken, is real and palpable,” Fidel said.
Growing up in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where she was born, Fidel counts literature and music among her early influences, resulting in her college majors in English and Spanish literature.
“At one point in the 1970s, I decided to learn how to paint,” Fidel said.
A longtime admirer of Rousseau, Dali and O’Keefe, she was fascinated with the surreal and abstract canvases of her contemporary masters. In the beginning, she honed her painting craft oils with subjects determined by the current instructor—still life, landscapes and portraits.
She developed her art’s early foundations with a number of well-known Brazilian instructors. Soon, she branched out, turning toward a provocative group of modern artists like Motherwell, Diebenkorn and Hoffman for inspiration.
Fidel continually pushed the boundaries of her work. To this day, she endlessly searches for her truest expression. Each painting leads to new discoveries, struggles with doubts and life lessons. During this process, Fidel pursues errands of truth.
During this time, Fidel made her living as an executive secretary and translator, not expecting her painting to support her. After moving to the United States, Fidel studied make-up artistry in Los Angeles where she worked with student film projects at the Los Angeles Film Institute.
Not long after, she met her husband. In 1993, he had a client in Scottsdale who wanted him to work on a seven-day project, so Fidel decided to go along. As they say, “The rest is history.”
Established in Scottsdale since 1993, Fidel works and teaches from her studio in the North Valley. She is inspired by Zen art, the New York School and life. Fidel continually expands her self-expression in and through her work by adding a variety of new techniques, textures and aesthetic elements. She describes her work as “pushing into the realm of abstract expressionism.” Fidel focuses on opening her work to the bigger and more expansive ideas.
“Each painting takes me to roads traveled and unknown, offering opportunities for both growth and humility,” Fidel said.
Her resume includes exhibits throughout the year in a number of venues, in-groups and one-woman shows.
She speaks to various art groups and is active in teaching oil/acrylic and encaustic painting to individuals and groups at her studio and other Valley educational facilities.