It is always about the color to Leyla Bello, a Guymon artist. She notices color everywhere. She loves to combine color, whether it’s with her watercolor or in how she dresses.
And this love of color can be seen in her art. Her watercolor paintings use softer colors, quiet colors, colors that make you feel warm and happy. Her colors surround you with good feelings.
She says all long as she can remember she drew or colored. “I colored with my aunt and drew with my cousin in the countryside of Honduras,” she tells in her quiet voice. “I think everybody can draw. We just do it differently. I had no theory of color, I just did it.”
Bello worked and graduated from college and then decided it was time to make some dreams come true. She took private art lessons where she learned technique. “My teacher said I was a natural,” she says with a smile. “I just love all the possibilities of being able to create.”
Leyla Bello was born in 1976 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and grew up with her Chinese grandfather and Honduran grandmother. Their neighbors were American missionaries and so the young girl was exposed to English early. She attended the university in the Honduras and earned her degree in social work. Leyla was a preschool teacher in Honduras and works for the school today here in Guymon. The library is her favorite place to be. She and her Cuban husband moved to Guymon, Oklahoma, in 2016. They have two daughters, Jennifer and Adrianna. Leyla’s loves working with watercolors and often depicts her daughters, which is why those paintings are signed MOM.
You can see by Leyla’s whimsical children in her paintings, Jennifer has been her muse, or source of inspiration, for several years. Jennifer is 11 years old and has a sense of humor her mother treasures. You can see that sense of humor in each of the paintings of the young girl reading with a light under her blanket in bed after curfew, skipping through the meadow with her younger sister behind her, and peeking from behind a tree.
Bello’s paintings are most often purchased as notecards, where she sold them as a series of five in a packet at the Guymon Farmers Market last summer. They are now on the racks being sold as singles at Stanfield Printing Company’s (SPC) WOW boutique where there will be a reception when Kayla and Amanda will introduce Leyla and Jennifer to the public on Thur., Feb. 4, from 4 to 7 pm. SPC is located on the corner of 4th and Main at 322 N. Main in downtown Guymon.
This reception is the fifth artist reception in the Main Street Guymon Bringing Creativity Downtown program, which is sponsored by TCEC and partially funded through an Oklahoma Arts Council grant.