We sat down with the lovely, multi talented Pearl Bell recently and discovered she’s not only an artist but a stylist, a chef, and a devoted mother and wife with a solid appreciation for her simple life. Over a delicious breakfast we learned how her talents developed and what inspires her today…
I have always been exposed to beauty in so many forms. I was born in New York City then moved to Pennsylvania and always had an intimate connection to the fashion and art world. I spent most of my childhood surrounded by some of the most creative, inspirational people you could ever imagine!
I knew at a very early age I would definitely be an artist.
My father, a fashion photographer, who died when I was very young and my mother a fashion model, (very much still alive!) both European, fell in love in the 1970s while on set on a fashion shoot in Ibiza, Spain
There was an enormous amount of inspiration in my life from a very early age. I spent a few years doing modeling of my own as a child, travelled to Europe many times visiting family, but most of all I remember how lucky I was to be exposed to so many beautiful things!
(images above of pearl’s mother. photographed by pearl’s late father, hans pelgrom)
I can remember sneaking into photo shoots that my parents would be working on and before you knew it I was dressed up and in the shot! Some of the most important people in my life were friends of my parents. All artists, photographers, hairdressers, fashion designers, illustrators, dancers, the list goes on. But what I will always remember is that being one of the only children hanging around at that time, they always made me feel so special. They always allowed me to put on my performances, or pull their art studios apart so that I could spend that evening on the floor drawing. They always encouraged me to express myself.
I loved being around so many different, talented people.
(a note from the late Conrad Bell to Pearl. The family friend and fashion designer was one of Pearl’s greatest inspirations.)
My parents not only beautiful people on the outside but the idea of life that they created was always full of fine details. There has always been the right lighting, candles always lit, always a fresh flower, always the best music and the best tastes of food. My life has always been a place where friends would gather and enjoy the true meaning of life. Love, laughter, friends, food and living in that moment.
I came to Philadelphia in 1995 to study at Tyler School of Art. At that time I just knew no matter what I wanted to be at art school. For me drawing and painting made most sense as my medium, but later I came to realize its all my medium. I just love to be creative and love the opportunity to express what I feel and see.
Since graduating in 2000 I worked in many different fields. My boyfriend (now husband) at the time had just taken over part ownership of a magazine called Rockpile, I became the fashion editor and created an audience for the magazine through a monthly product page that I found the undiscovered products and stories of upcoming fashion designers and fashionistas that were just making a name. That for me was one of the most exciting jobs because I could combine all that I love!
We stopped printing the magazine the year our daughter Ava was born in 2005.
Plans of moving away and starting a new life on the West Coast quickly changed when we discovered we were having a baby and that is when we discovered the Main Line.
We knew we wanted to live still near the city and have the opportunity to visit our friends and do creative work, but we liked the escape. We loved the schools here and the quaintness of life here. So we stayed.
I have struggled to find my voice as an artist here, but this area is all about connections. I was introduced to one of clients a few years ago, Skirt in Bryn Mawr, and since then it’s been a dream to do work for them! Maureen Doron, owner, is one of those women that gets it, style, beauty, creativity and we connected immediately! Giving me total creative freedom to work on things like monthly mailers with fun themes, redesigning her shopping bags, and also designing wallpaper and awning design for the store in Stone Harbor, NJ. The relationship has been one that has paved the way for me as an artist on the Main Line. I realized soon after there are many more places for my voice to be heard! That opened the door for me to work with many other great private clients and businesses on the Main Line. There are many other people with creative ideas and styles out here, and I have been lucky to continuously find them!
I also created a line of hand painted plates that were a means for me to marry my love for home/art as something functional. The plates feature portraits of people’s homes, people’s pets and also my own images. They were featured in House and Beautiful.
Throughout my creative career no matter what I do, my home is my first canvas. There is nothing I enjoy than my life at home. I love creating little vignettes around my home with the things that are meaningful to me. My idea of relaxing is sometimes rearranging the house to bring new life to the things that surround me and then inviting all of my favorite friends over to enjoy it.
Everyday it is important to me, like my mother always has taught me, to have a candle lit, a fresh flower on the table and lots of love, laughter and warm yumminess for my family to come home to. I love to be surrounded by beauty.
scramble for one minute
add fresh basil and a slice of a plum tomato
top with a slice of parmesan and bake in pan at 350 for 3 to 4 minutes
serve over crispy baguette and arugula tossed with lemon juice and olive oil
To learn more about Pearl and her creative services visit her website