A portrait, if done right, has the magical ability to capture a person’s soul on canvas, immortalizing them forever.

“It’s what I’m known for, and that’s what I’m always after with every portrait I paint,” explains artist Michael Bell.

Bell has been painting people’s portraits since the age of five – his earliest were of Super Heroes. But his latest, over the past decade – have been for the likes of: Maryland’s former State Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Nancy S. Grasmick; Al Capone’s great nephew Dominic Capone III in Chicago; numerous actors from HBO’s hit series The Sopranos; and most recently for John Gotti, Jr., former Mob Boss of New York’s most notorious Gambino crime family, whom Bell unveiled his portrait as well as one for his brother Peter J. Gotti the day after Christmas in New York along with an eclectic cast of characters including famed actor Mickey Rourke.

To say Bell’s work is well known in colorful of circles is an understatement.

But, for this artist, it’s all about making the experience a memorable one for his painting clients. It’s his process of painting that separates him from the pack.
“Capturing a likeness, that’s the easy part,” Bell explains, “Capturing someone’s soul…that’s a different ballgame. That’s a job for a real pro. I liken this moment of actualization to when you meet someone for the first time, and as you get to know them on a deeper level their face changes right before your very eyes – that’s their soul emerging - their true personality rises to the surface. Arriving at this moment in a painting over the accumulation of time versus just capturing the moment in a photograph is the difference between reading hundreds of love stories and actually falling in love. It’s light years apart. So, while I spend a lot of time on the surface, it’s the inside of my subjects that I’m really after.”

Can Michael work from a photograph you send him? Absolutely! It’s a very easy process.

Whether it’s a charcoal drawing or a portrait in oils on paper or canvas from a photograph you provide – anything can be done! Have an idea for a custom portrait but don’t have a photograph of it? For a little extra, you can arrange for Michael to take your photograph as a reference for the painting.

Need more ideas? He’s also created montage paintings, which consist of a series of photographs combined as one grand finale image in order to breathe some new life into an important memory or captured moment. He’s created portraits from people’s favorite wedding photos, family portraits, paintings of children, spouses, even tribute portraits of loved ones that have since passed away.

So, want the perfect gift for your loved one this Valentine’s Day? Why not give the gift of immortality – a portrait by Michael Bell.