Harriet Bellows began drawing and painting lessons with C.Katherine Nelson, a student of the artist Hans Hofmann. As a child the emphasis of that time of learning was primary focused on space and movement within a still life composition and with landscape development. Bellows considers this time as pivotal in her learning. Much emphasis was placed on the work of Cezanne and she spent years drawing and painting Nelson’s in-studio still life set ups.
Today those early lessons continue to strengthen Bellows ideas. She states that she alternately works between well defined areas of color when she wants to introduce structural elements into a painting and line compositions for more two dimensional work. During her university years she worked with two painting instructors who had graduated from the Royal College of Art, London. They stressed defined areas of color within painting as structural.
Other important elements in Bellows paintings comes from her history with clay and the years she has spent as a professional pilot. Clay taught her much about volume and how volume in silhouette as a line can be defining. Her years of high altitude flying greatly expanded her sense of space and movement within it..
Bellows received a BFA and a MFA from the School of Art and Design at Alfred University studying with Robert Turner, Val Cushing and John Wood. Upon graduating she established and operated a studio in Alfred, NY. During that period her work was selected and purchased for Permanent Collections by the Smithsonian American Art Museum/Luce Foundation, D.C. and the Mint Museum’s Allan Chasanoff Ceramic Collection of Charlotte, NC.
Bellows maintains a residence studio and project space outside of Alfred, NY.