We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennie Bell and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jennie, as a parent, what have you done for you children that you feel has had the most significant impact?

Thank you, Nick for inviting me to this interview. I was recommended by my daughter, Karen McPhail-Bell, PhD, whose inspiring interview was recently published. So, I felt it fitting that my first question be about my parenting, and what I think is the most important thing I think I’ve done in terms of impact on my children.

From the viewpoint that each person is designed and created with a specific purpose, I truly take to heart the advice in Proverbs 22:6 ‘Train up a child in the way he should go; and even when he is old he will not depart from it.” By staying tuned into to each of my two girls as they grew up, listening to, observing how they responded to what truly lit them up, I could see the things that made them stop in their tracks and be utterly magnetized to. Children have passing whims, but once there is a deep understanding of their inner design, I was able to support them into the areas of their lives they were designed to function in.

As a child Karen used to love sitting beside me as I studied, and create art and write stories as I did the same. Karen’s successful career as researcher and artist continues to light her up with a passion.
Then along came Lecia Louise, who as a busy little child, would come to a halt with a mesmerised expression when she heard music. She is now an amazing guitarist/song-writer/performer and would love to buy every guitar she sees. Apparently, you can ever have enough guitars. Both embrace their God-given skills and don’t allow obstacles to deter them from their life calling. Both of them bless so many people with their dedication to sharing their gifts and talents. Only they can do and create what they do, and as a parent I felt it an honour to support their genuine passions.

As a mother, I led by example by staying true to living my life fully in my own design of being a creative amidst the busy life of being a working Mum.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?


I believe where I am today as a mixed media artist is on an ever-evolving path of growing, experimenting and trying new things. I’m also at a place of deeper listening in my spirit to our Creator God, and less fearful to experiment and make a mess. I watch artists from around the world on UTube, and Facebook to see what the latest things are and find these on-line communities invaluable. I did academic tertiary studies, and post-graduate studies in Art Therapy that helped in another strand of my life of helping people.

Late 2021 my book – Daily I Wait for the Word – became available on Amazon (linktr.ee/jenniebellart) which has 46 of my paintings plus daily invitations for contemplation and prompts for the reader to create their own visual/spiritual journal. This began in 2020 as I created a painting every day of Lent, including weekends, explaining the 46 days instead of the more commonly known 40 days for Lent. People responded from around the world to my daily Facebook posts of the new painting and accompanying single word each day, and next I knew the journey of writing the book began. It was a mammoth effort trying a new creative form and I was thankful for a supportive team to help me with the new challenges I faced.  

The themes in my art making have remained consistent over the years, but my techniques, methods and materials are continually being explored and pushed to new places. I always ask, ‘and where else can this go?” The themes fall into 4 main categories. The Byzantine Series; Music Series; Responsive Series and Spiritual Series.

In The Byzantine Series, I use architectural shapes from the Byzantine times with bright little shapes alluding to the ancient mosaics representing biblical stories.
The Music Series is a joyous experience. Being surrounded by wonderful musicians I love to paint in response to the music they play, be it at gigs, or rehearsals in my home.
The Responsive Series is purely that, responses to sights of our wonderful country, animals at play, and experimental creative play.  This is a good place to further develop my own visual language.
The Spiritual Series is grounded in my Christian faith experience.

I genuinely love creating in each of these themes, but am at my happiest and most fulfilled when creating spiritual art. This is also known in some circles as prophetic art; a prayerful act of creating in partnership with our Creator. When I am commissioned to paint in this way, I begin by spending time with the person to get a sense of what they desire. Sometimes this involves an on-site visit. Then I advise them that because it is a prayerful process I cannot give them a time frame for completion, nor show them along the way what the painting is looking like. This is so I stay true to what I feel the Holy Spirit is leading me to write and paint. I write the process, events, messages and responses to prayer along the way into a small book for the potential owner of the painting. When completed, they are invited to a presentation of the painting, and listen as I share from this book how the journey went. I assure them from the start that if they are not happy with the painting they do not have to have it. This is my guarantee to us both to ensure I’m listening to God clearly throughout the painting process. It can be scary when they burst into tears at the presentation, and I’m always relieved when I find it is from joy.

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?


There’s such a variety of things to see here in Queensland that the itinerary would be non-stop for a week.

Day 1. I would start by taking my visitors to the Hinterland behind the Gold Coast. Mt. Tamborine offers beautiful rainforest walks that are not too taxing for the less fit, and when emerging from the beauty of the rainforest the Gallery Walk offers a variety of restaurants and coffee shops with art galleries and gift shops filtered amongst the eateries. We would overnight in one of the lovely bed and breakfasts on offer to get a good start for the next day.

Day 2. Next we would head to Springbrook National park for more bush walking and especially to see the Best Of All Lookouts for the magnificent view. From here we would head down to Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast. A late afternoon walk on the beach and some refreshment at the Burleigh Heads Surf Club would allow the visitors to embrace the view of this favourite beach. We would go to the Outback Spectacular evening dinner show to see the beautiful horses and enactments of Australian stories and life.

Day 3. A trip to Peel Island in Moreton Bay next to see the remains of a convict settlement and a lunch with the historical re-enactment show. Back to the mainland we would then visit Beenleigh Historical Society for their Evening live theatre with dinner. Spirit of the Red Sand embraces Aboriginal storytelling through song and dance.

Day 4. Time to visit Brisbane city, and take the ferry up the river which gives a great view of the riverside. There are stops along the way where I would suggest hopping off to see some of the public art. Lunch would be at Southbank at the iconic Plough Inn. We would finish the day with seeing Bangarra Dance Theatre, a fabulous  Indigenous Australian contemporary dance company.

Day 5. Back to South Bank area again for more contemporary culture, we would visit the main art galleries, GOMA and QAG for the art exhibitions. There’s many places for lunch and a wander along the river.

Day 6. We would head north of Brisbane for a day at Australia Zoo (yes, Steve Irwin fame) and that is a full day in itself.

Day 7. This is a day of travel to get to 1770. This is where the guests will want to stop and rest in an idyllic little coastal town of beauty, probably for another week after the pace they have just raced through seeing parts of Queensland.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?


I am part of a very special group of creatives who meet with contemporary artist Donald James Waters. Don has taught and encouraged me, and critiqued my work on and off for over 25 years. Through his generous spirit our group also have the same attitude with each other of celebrating each other’s achievements, giving support when needed, and generally being uplifting for each other. This is all a reflection of Don’s forever-young and transparent honest attitude in life.

I also have an amazing creative family who are gold to me, and we all encourage each other and critique each other’s work honestly, wanting the best out of each other’s work to be achieved and shared.

Website: www.jenniebellart.com

Instagram: jenniebellart

Facebook: jenniebellart

Image Credits

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