Born in 1976 in Reading, H R Bell graduated from the Courtauld Institute of Art with a First Class Honours Degree in the History of Art. After graduating she studied Fine Art at the Surikov Institute, Moscow and the Repin Academy of Fine Arts, St Petersburg, Russia. She has exhibited widely in the UK and in New York.

H R Bell is the great granddaughter of Newlyn School artist Frank Gascoigne Heath.