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Julie Bell (born October 21, 1958) is an American fine artist, illustrator, photographer and bodybuilder. She is an award winning fantasy artist and a wildlife painter. She is one of the main representatives of the heroic fantasy and fantastic realism genres. Julie Bell has won numerous Chesley Awards and was the designer of the popular and award-winning Dragons of Destiny series. She also has won numerous first place awards in the Art Renewal Center’s International Salon and has been named as a Living Master. Julie Bell married and later divorced scientist and writer Donald E. Palumbo. During this marriage she gave birth to two sons, Anthony and David Palumbo, who subsequently also became professional artists. Later, she married Boris Vallejo.
Bell in April 2005
Julie Bell was born 1958 in Beaumont, Texas. She attended six schools studying painting and drawing. Her idols in the world of painting were Leonardo DaVinci, Alphonse Mucha and N. C. Wyeth. In her youth she was fond of bodybuilding. She took part in various competitions and received national recognition, which later influenced her to portray beautiful and muscular women. She applies the same discipline and intensity to her art career. Her knowledge of anatomy has allowed her to imbue her figures of humans and animals with grace and strength. At the heart of her work is a deep curiosity, honor, and respect for the world of emotions. In 1978, Julie Bell married a scientist and writer Donald E. Palumbo. During this marriage she gave birth to two sons, Anthony and David Palumbo, who subsequently also became professional artists. The artist’s life was forever changed when, in 1989, she met Boris Vallejo, who later she married. Currently they occasionally both collaborate on projects, produce paintings for the highly anticipated Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell Fantasy Calendar published by Workman.
Julie has also turned her attention to painting wildlife, earning a place among the top wildlife and western painters, winning awards and showing her work in exhibits throughout the USA and Europe. In the 2014 Art Renewal Center’s International Salon, she won seven awards and two purchase awards, including 1st and 3rd in the Animal Category and 1st place in the Imaginative Realism Category. In November of 2015, she was awarded the Mountain Oyster Club’s Denise McCalla Memorial Top Choice Award. She was named a Living Master by the Art Renewal Center and was recently invited to show her equine paintings at the American Academy of Equine Arts Invitational Salon in conjunction with the Kentucky Derby.
“When I’m painting animals with all their beauty and wild nature, I experience the kind of at-one-with-the-universe feeling described by people who meditate. It’s both soothing and exciting, the way nature itself is. I know without a doubt that this is what I was meant to do.”
Julie has made a large contribution to the Fantasy and Science Fiction genre and her artwork has appeared on hundreds of book covers, comic books, trading cards, and various collectibles. Her work can be seen worldwide in major advertising campaigns, album covers, posters, and collectibles of all kinds.
Julie shares her life and her studio in Pennsylvania with her husband, Boris Vallejo.
Julie Bell has painted the cover illustrations of more than 100 fantasy and science fiction books and magazines since 1990, including more than 90 in the 20 years to 2009. In the early 1990s, she illustrated painted covers for video games as well as best-selling trading cards for the superheroes of Marvel and DC. A cover art image from the Sega Game Gear video game Ax Battler: A Legend of Golden Axe would depict the semi-barbaric world that the game took place in; thus being entitled Savage Land by Bell herself. She designed the award-winning Dragons of Destiny sculpture series, Mistress of the Dragon's Realm dagger series, as well as the Temptation Rides sculpture series produced by The Franklin Mint.
She designed the cover art for Meat Loaf's albums Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose and its first single "It's All Coming Back to Me Now", the album Hang Cool Teddy Bear, and the album "Crossroads".
In 2007, Bell and Vallejo illustrated the poster for Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters.
A yearly calendar of 13 paintings by Bell and Vallejo is produced by Workman Publishing.
Her personal fine art work would best be defined in the realms of contemporary imaginative realism, equine, and wildlife art.
"I had just started my career as an illustrator and I told them that "I want to be a Heavy Metal-ballerina-cowgirl". I think the spirit of these different parts of myself has always been at the core of my work. I just love that combination of gracefulness and badass, completely in tune with nature. So I don't see myself moving away from fantasy because the fantasy world is so open and allows for experiment."
Bell's work has won many awards including:
- Art Renewal Center, Multiple 1st place awards & honorable mentions.
- NJEAA, Art of the Horse, Best In Show.
- Mountain Oyster Club, People's Choice.
- Portrait Society of America.
- Named a Living Master, Art Renewal Center.
- Chelsey Award, Multiple Awards.
- Society of Animal Artists Southwest Art Editors Choice Award.
- Outwin Boochever semi finalist.
- The Julie Bell Portfolio (1994)
- Hard Curves: The Fantasy Art of Julie Bell (1995), with Hank Rose and Nigel Suckling
- Soft As Steel: The Art of Julie Bell (1999), with Brian Aldiss and Suckling
- Titans: The Heroic Visions of Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell (2000), with Suckling, Bell, and Vallejo; also issued 2000 with main title Superheroes
- Sketchbook (2001), with Suckling, Bell, and Vallejo
- Twin Visions (2002), with Bell and Vallejo
- Fantasy Workshop: A Practical Guide: The Painting Techniques of Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell (2003), with Bell and Vallejo
- Boris Vallejo/Julie Bell: The Ultimate Collection (2005), with Suckling, Bell, and Vallejo
- The Fantasy of Flowers (2006), with Bell and Vallejo
- The Fabulous Women of Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell (2006), with David Palumbo, Anthony Palumbo, Bell, and Vallejo
- Imaginistix: The Art of Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell (2007), with Palumbo, Palumbo, Bell, and Vallejo
- Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell: The Ultimate illustrations (2009), with Bell and Vallejo
- Dreamland: The Fantastic Worlds of Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell (2014), with Bell and Vallejo
- "Bell, Julie". Revised October 22, 2014. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (sf-encyclopedia.com). Retrieved 2014-12-19. Entry by 'GW', Gary Westfahl.
- "Julie Bell - Biography, Interesting Facts, Famous Artworks". Arthive. Retrieved 2019-02-19.
- "About Julie Bell". Julie Bell. Retrieved 2019-02-19.
- Julie Bell at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). Retrieved 2014-12-19. Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.
- "Ax Battler: A Legend of Golden Axe for Game Gear (1991)". MobyGames.com. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
- "King of the Mountain". Posterwire.com. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
- "Speak Softly by Julie Bell". Artrenewalcenter.org. Retrieved 6 February 2019.