Back in August we attended a Vivienne Westwood showcase with an art theme and met the most wonderful woman — an artist named Yvonne Bellamy from just outside Sheffield. Her work was being showcased on the night, notably her exceptional portrait of Vivienne Westwood, and we had the privilege of her explaining each piece to us. We also had the chance to learn more about her and her Liverpool roots, so in this feature we bring you more about her story and her art….
Yvonne Bellamy is a well respected classical oil artist who has painted many one-off masterpieces such as the aforementioned Vivienne Westwood portrait and her version of ‘The Painted Lady.’ Much of her art is highly sought after, with some of her work selling for thousands but money is not the reason she paints. A retired podiatrist, she paints purely for passion and what is primarily a hobby has evolved into a business simply because of the quality of her work. Yvonne told LVL: “It’s never about selling. I paint what I want to paint and sometimes I’ll paint for other people — but it’s never seen as a business transaction.”
Yvonne paints from her workshop in Yorkshire but her story started in Liverpool and she often comes back to visit family in Merseyside. Yvonne was born in Toxteth (L8) and lived there for the first few years of her life before her father relocated them due to finding a job in the Yorkshire coal mines. Yvonne recalls: “We lived on Upper Stanhope Street and my earliest memories are of hearing the fog horns from the docks. It was the 50s and we were still affected by the war so all lived in one room — where we lived was where the last bomb was dropped on Merseyside in World War II. My Dad worked on the railway and the docks and I can remember him working very hard.”
After Yvonne moved to Yorkshire and grew older, she developed a passion for art however her parents had limited income so allowed only one of her brothers to train in fine art. Instead, Yvonne went from school into nurse training and spent 12 years in the NHS before becoming a podiatrist in private practice for 30 years. It was only when she retired that she delved into art again and as such, turning her surgery into an art studio, being re-acquainted with her passion is somewhat a renaissance for Yvonne. She explained: “I’ve always had artistic passion and flair, it’s just that it’s been suppressed for years. I wasn’t allowed to pursue it as a child, so I just chose my career and focused on that.”
This re-kindled love has resulted in Yvonne making quite a name for herself. She is often approached to do private and commissioned work, such as paintings for her favourite Indian restaurant and a grand old hall recently, but insists that she only paints what she wants for the passion and desire — it’s never a financial thing. She sells some of her work privately, but much of it is for sale at Liverpool’s Rennie’s on Bold Street.
On coming back to Liverpool Yvonne said: “I just love the city. The people are so friendly. I’ve still got family who I come and visit and I’ve struck up a great relationship with people like Darren from Rennie’s and Chris over at Vivienne Westwood, and of course Justin and Amanda from La Vida Liverpool now. I always come back every few months with my husband Ian and stay for a few days — it’s a place that will always be close to my heart.”
Check out Yvonne’s work at Rennie’s HERE
Check out Yvonne’s work at Limited2Art by calling 01302 711189
To contact Yvonne directly for current art available or to enquire about a personal requirement email Yvonne on email@example.com