We lived just outside Chester, had not long been married and came over for a day trip to Beaumaris. Beaumaris is unique in that it’s a beautiful old Victorian seaside resort, but it’s surrounded by woodlands, has a Medieval Castle at it’s centre and the Menai Strait separates it from Snowdonia beyond. We loved it so much that we came back to stay again for a couple of weekend breaks soon after and quickly fell in love with the Island. We both worked from home so were free to relocate; my husband is a designer and I was supplying galleries all over the UK with my original paintings but having also worked extensively in retail, I had aspirations of one day owning my own gallery. So by the November of that year, we packed up our belongings and moved to Beaumaris.
We initially rented a small shop space selling a few prints and cards and people seemed to like what we did, so we moved into a larger shop on the high street in 2009 and in 2015 this was given a new lease of life as Janet Bell Home - a lifestyle shop inspired by my Scandinavian upbringing.
We simultaneously opened our new gallery on Wall Street, from there exclusively selling my prints, cards and gifts.
I have painted hundreds of acrylic paintings over the last ten years - either for our gallery or for exhibitions in other galleries with other artists, but this is the first time that I’ve ever attempted a one-woman show and the ten year anniversary of living here on the most beautiful and inspirational Island seemed like the perfect opportunity.
My style of painting during these ten years has changed dramatically, I believe this is a reflection of becoming completely immersed and comfortable in my environment. In my early days, I painted a lot of places in the UK (including Anglesey) as an outsider who visited the area a few times, but now having lived here for ten years, I’m inspired by constantly seeing the way the Island changes every day.