News from J. P. Bell
January 2017: Colin Gower
I am sad to report that Con Gower, a friend, writer, and book publisher has died. Colin passed away in December 2016. He lived in Kent, England and visited the U.S. frequently. He even rode a photography special with me on the Arkansas and Missouri Railroad several years ago. Colin published my first two books on railroading in 2006 and 2014. He is survived by a wife and adult son in England. Colin, you are missed.
January 2017: Plans for the New Year
Best wishes for 2017.
The Texas galleries will be completed soon and online. Look for new images available as prints from the cities of San Antonio, Austin, and Houston. New prints are in the works from the northern Great Plains and Rocky Mountain Front. These photographs will appear in the gallery covering Montana.
As the celebration of the centennial of the U.S. National Park Service continues into 2017, I want to highlight the galleries featuring Yellowstone & Grand Tetons National Parks and the Glacier National Park. One of my favorite photographs from the past is the image of Old Faithful geyser from the 1980s. This print is available as 9x5," 11x14," and 16x20" prints in the Yellowstone & Grand Tetons National Park Gallery.
December 2016: Merry Christmas
As we enter a season of short days, long nights and cold weather, let us give thanks for health, life, family, and friends, and most of all, a Savior, Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas!
October 2016: J. P. Bell Photography to be Included in Arkansas Arts Council's SWOP 2017
J.P. Bell's photographic print of a tree and the Water Wall in Houston, Texas has been selected for inclusion in the 2017 Small Works on Paper show sponsored by the Arkansas Arts Council. This print will tour Arkansas during the coming year and is part of the gallery of photographs in the Houston, Texas collection that is coming to this website.
The print, "Tree and Water Wall - Houston," was also awarded a purchase prize and will become part of the Arkansas Arts Council's permanent collection. It is a great honor to be included in this traveling show and even greater to have been selected for this purchase prize.
June 2016: Three New Galleries Are Coming
Three new galleries of photographs are planned for this website in July 2016. The new additions feature the Texas cities of San Antonio, Austin, and Houston. Both black and white and color images will be added. Watch for these new galleries highlighting the unique architecture of these vibrant Southwestern cities.
March 2016: A New Gallery is Coming
J. P. Bell Photography is building a new gallery on this website in the weeks ahead. The addition will feature images of watermills in the Ozark mountains of Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. This will be an exciting look at these historic architectural remnants of another eara.
December 2015: Merry Christmas / Happy New Year 2016
Christmas in the U.S. is often a time for travel as people visit family and friends. Just before Christmas in 1958, my family traveled to northern California by train on the Santa Fe Railroad's "San Francisco Chief." I was ten years old.
I want to bring to the forefront of this website an image that captures my feeling about passenger trains. Santa Fe diesel locomotive No. 347C was photographed in 1988 at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento. Perhaps this locomotive was one that powered a portion of our trip from Kansas City to California. The "Warbonnet" paint scheme is iconic and symbolizes the romance of travel by train in the mid-20th Century.
This particular image produces a great print and I hope you enjoy one soon.
30 November 2015: Merry Christmas / Happy New Year 2016
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year for 2016.
On this last day of November 2015, we are still waiting for our first snowfall this winter. The rivers and creeks in the Ozarks are full of water with the rain of the past few days, so canoe season has officially begun.
And with this week of Thanksgiving behind us we have much for which we are thankful, food, shelter, clean water, and abundance of life.
August 2015: "Van Buren … And Beyond"
J. P. Bell and his friend and fellow photographer, Martin Duckworth, are showing a collection of photographs entitled, " Van Buren ... And Beyond." The exhibit at the Center for Art and Education in Van Buren, Arkansas opens on August 2, 2015 and runs through August 26, 2015. An opening reception is from 1-4 PM on Sunday, August 2, 2015. Bell will lead a short discussion on the "Evolution of Photography" at 3 PM. This will include a video presentation. The Center is located at 104 N. 13th Street in Van Buren.
J. P. will present images of Van Buren and the surrounding area made during the last 30 years. His photographs include images from movie productions, campaign trains on the Arkansas and Missouri Railroad, and river imagery on nearby Ozark streams.
Duckworth's work examines the "Beyond," aspect of the exhibit and features adventures with the camera in other regions of the United States. His photographs are from places as diverse as the Grand Canyon, Painted Desert, Glacier Nation Park, and the Great Smokey Mountains.
The photographs for "Van Buren ... And Beyond" will be unique in that most are 8x10" or smaller and are dry mounted on white archival boards. Special pricing for these prints of iconic places and events is in effect for this show.
We hope to meet you at the reception.
21 March 2015: Spring Arrives
Trees are budded out and early flowers are in full bloom. Spring arrived yesterday to pleasant weather in the Arkansas Ozarks.
J. P. Bell has several prints included in the eclectic traveling show put together by Chris Engholm. Englohm is an Arkansas curator, author, and photographer, and his latest show is entitled " White River Memoirs, 700 Miles of Listening." The exhibition includes paintings, photography, and artifacts from this major waterway of Arkansas and Missouri.
The show opens at the Butler Center Galleries in Little Rock, Arkansas on 10 April 2015 and runs through 25 July 2015. An opening reception is planned for 10 April 2015 from 5-8 PM. J. P. Bell's photographs, "White River Limited" and a series of three prints of Monte Ne ruins in NW Arkansas on Beaver Lake, are included in the exhibition.
January 2015: Arkansas Arts Council Small Works on Paper and Cantrell Gallery 45th Anniversary
The 2015 edition of the Arkansas Arts Council's Small Works on Paper Show opens 3 January 2015 at the William F. Laman Library in North Little Rock, Arkansas. A reception is scheduled from 6-8 PM on Friday, 9 December, 2015.
J. P. Bell has two B&W photographic prints in this show. One of the photographs, "Metrolina Geenhouses-Huntersville,NC" received a purchase award in this year's show. The SWOP show will tour the state during 2015.
Also on Friday, 9 January, 2015, Cantrell Gallery in Little Rock, Arkansas celebrates 45 years of service to the community. A special show consisting of two pieces from each of the artists represented by the gallery has been assembled for this special celebration. An opening reception is planned from 6-8 PM on 9 December 2015. J. P. Bell has two new pieces of work for this show. One is of the interior of the Arkansas state capitol dome and the other is an aerial of War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.
We hope to see you at both receptions this Friday.
December 2014: Merry Christmas / Happy New Year 2015
As we end the year, 2014, we want to wish our patrons and viewers of this website a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year for 2015.
A new print from an old negative has been added to the galleries of this website. The image is entitled Izaak Walton Inn Window. The photograph you see to the left was made years ago from a window in one of the guest rooms of this historic Great Northern Inn on the mainline of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad. This line through the northern Rocky Mountains was the original Great Northern Railroad route along the southern border of Glacier National Park, Montana. The depot seen out the window was torn down a number of years ago, but helper locomotives still idle in front of the hotel in Essex and assist freight trains over Marias Pass and the Continetal Divide daily. Amtrak's Empire Builder between the Twin Cities and Seattle and Portland still stops at Essex twice daily. There is not a better place to spend a winter holiday than the Izaak Walton Inn.
11 October 2014: J.P. Bell Print to Appear in Texas Show
J. P. Bell has a photographic print in the juried Members Only Show of the Texas Photographic Society for 2014. The print entitled Barrel Racer - Choteau, Montana captures the movement of a horse and rider copmpeting in Choteau, Montana's annual 4th of July Rodeo. The print is a 10x15" image and is framed to 16x20." The photograph is one of 30 prints in the annual show that runs this year at the Options Gallery of Odessa College in Odessa, Texas from 27 October through 5 December 2014. This particular framed print is available for purchase at this show and is also available online through the jpbellphotography.com website.
5 September 2014: New Gallery, "Grain Elevators," is Online
A new gallery entitled, "Grain Elevators of the West," is up and running online. This new portfolio of photographs showcases the rapidly disappearing wooden grain elevators of the North American Great Plains.
20 August 2014: Hot Springs, Arkansas galllery
A new gallery has been added to the website. The Hot Springs, Arkansas Gallery celebrates the history and architecture of this unique city in the Ouachita Moutains of southwestern Arkansas.
14 August 2014: Coming Soon: Grain Elevators of the West
Look for a new gallery coming soon to J. P. Bell Photography, "Grain Elevators of the West" Newly minted photographs for the book, Ghost Trains: Images from America's Railroad Heritage, are now available as fine art prints.
9 August 2014: New Images from Glacier National Park
We have just returned from time in Glacier National Park in northern Montana. Watch for new images of the northern Rockies in the Montana Gallery and the Glacier NP Gallery.
2 August 2014: Printing Paper Change
I have made the decision in the past few days to print on only two papers during the months ahead; Epson Hot Press Natural and Epson Hot Press Bright. The Hot Press Bright is an archival paper that has a bright white base with a matte finish. Hot Press Natural is an archival paper that has a warmer tone to the base because it lacks the optical brighteners in the paper's matte surface that are present in the Hot Press Bright. Both of these papers are acid-free.
Both Hot Press Bright and Hot Press Natural papers can be used for color and black and white photographs.
If you desire a print on a fiberbase glossy paper, please order the size print you need on the Hot Press paper and send me an email requesting printing on a glossy paper. I will continue printing on glossy baryta paper, but only by special order.
Each print produced from our studio is signed under the image on the right side and usually carries the title of the photograph on the left side under the image. Signature and title are done in pencil. Glossy prints carry a signature in ink under the image on the right side.
July 2014: Atlanta, Georgia - A New Gallery
Atlanta, Georgia is a new gallery of photographs from this vibrant city of the South. Two portfolios are added, color and black and white. These images were made in late 2012. The photographs are available for purchase as archival fine art prints or the images may be licensed for use in brochures and publications. Prints in this gallery will range across the central Georgia region as far south as Warm Springs, Americus, and Plains. If you wish to see an image from Georgia that is not on this website, please contact me by email. There are many images other images available.
May 2014: New Article about the A&M Railroad- May 2014- Railfan and Railroad magazine
J. P. Bell has a new photo essay and article in the May 2014 issue of Railfan and Railroad magazine. The piece covers the history of the Arkansas and Missouri Railroad in northwestern Arkansas and southern Missouri. The shortline railroad was spun off from the Burlington Northern RR in 1986 and J.P.'s black and white photographs document the history of the railroad since its early days when Universal Studios filmed the movie, Biloxi Blues, in the Fort Smith, Arkansas area in 1987 using the A&M's scenic line through the Ozarks.
28 April 2014: New Book, Ghost Trains: Images from America's Railroad Heritage is now available
J. P. Bell's new book, Ghost Trains: Images from America's Railroad Heritage, published by Chartwell Books is now available at our online STORE and at national bookstores and online retailers on the web. This B&W book consists of 23 chapters with 192 pages and close to 300 photographic images. The book is issued as a hard back publication with an embedded photograph on the front and back covers. The cover image is duplicated on a glossy dust jacket cover.
This book of railroad photography and prose covers topics ranging from the Transcontinental Air Transport System and its interchange with the Santa Fe Railroad in tiny Waynoka, Oklahoma in 1929 to the iconic sense of place given by Kansas City's Union Station and Cincinnati's Union Terminal. The filming of motion pictures using steam trains is told in chapters on filming of True Grit, Appaloosa, and The Tuskegee Airmen.
March 2014: A New Book is Coming Soon
J. P. Bell has a new book in the works. Published by Chartwell Books, this work is entitled Ghost Trains, Images from America's Railroad Heritage. The book tells the story not only of diesel and steam trains that made America great, but takes the reader to small towns like Harlowton, Montana where the Milwaukee Railroad had an important junction for the transition from steam to electric locomotives for the trip through the Rocky Mountains. Also explored are museums like the Virginia Museum of Transportation where Norfolk and Western steam locomotives are pulled from under their protective sheds for special night photography sessions. Smoke flares and charcoal fires create the illusion of trains under steam with actors dressed in period clothing adding authenticity. Colorful locations like Raton, New Mexico, where a historic rail line is threatened with abandonment are described in words and photographs. Ghost Trains should be available in book stores and from online book sellers after April 1, 2014.
March 2014: San Francisco Gallery is Added to American Landscapes
San Francisco has a colorful history on the Califronia coast. Much of the architecture remains despite earthquakes and fires. The San Francisco gallery will present black and white prints from the city and from the nearby coastal mountains.
January 20, 2014: Cinematic Rails Returns to Arkansas
"Cinematic Rails, Trains in the Movies" returns to Arkansas in February 2014. This collection of 36 photographs celebrating the use of trains in motion pictures will be at the Arts Center of the Ozarks in Springdale, Arkansas on February 5-28, 2014. The gallery is located at 214 S. Main St. in Springdale. A reception is planned from 6-8 PM on Thursday, February 13, 2014.
December 2013: Merry Christmas/Happy New Year 2014
With adequate rainfall and cooler temperatures, the Ozark mountains provided a spectacular fall season of color change. A late autumn snowfall on December 4-5, 2013 blanketed the region with 8 inches of snow from the Arkansas River Valley to Northwest Arkansas.
This has been a busy three months with the completion of a second book of railroad photography to be released in April, 2014. It is entitled Ghost Trains, Images From America's Railroad Heritage.
We have also just completed printing a large collection of photographs for the Bank of the Ozarks regional branch in Bradenton, Florida. The William Hartman Gallery in Sarasota will handle the framing and installation of the prints showcasing the landscapes and seascapes of South Florida.
Cinematic Rails, Trains in the Movies finishes at the O. Winston Link Museum in Roanoke, Virginia in early January, 2014 and moves to the Art Center of the Ozarks in Springdale, Arkansas in February 2014.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year for 2014.
August 2013: Cinematic Rails, Trains in the Movies in Roanoke, Virginia in September 2013
J. P. Bell's show of 36 photographs, "Cinematic Rails: Trains in the Movies," opens at the O. Winston Link Museum in Roanoke, Virginia in mid-September 2013. This collection of prints documents the making of five motion pictures and one television commercial that utilized trains in their productions.
The O. Winston Link Museum is located in the former Norfolk and Western Railway station in Roanoke. This striking N&W depot was designed by the industrial architect, Raymond Loewy. The Link Museum houses the print collection and tells the story of photographer, O. Winston Link, who documented the last days of steam railroading on the Norfolk and Western in the 1950s.
"Cinematic Rails: Trains in the Movies" is at the Link from 20 September 2013 through 3 January 2014.
June 2013: J.P. Bell Photography is moving to Fayetteville, Arkansas
J. P. Bell Photography is moving from Fort Smith to Fayetteville, Arkansas. After 19 June 2013, J. P. Bell will be based out of Fayetteville, home of the University of Arkansas. Internet business will be conducted as usual through this website. The gallery at 627 Main Street in Van Buren, Arkansas remains open for visitors and clients. Our new telephone number is 479 935-4925. The email address remains email@example.com.
With this move, the darkroom facilities of J. P. Bell are suspended. It is possible that new darkroom space may be secured in the Fayetteville area in the future. Our new studio in Fayetteville offers only digital printing. We use photographic files from DSLR cameras and digital files from scanned film negatives. Both color and black and white photographs are printed to the highest standards with Epson printers, archival papers, and K3 Ultrachrome inks.
February 23, 2013: Down Along the Cotton Belt
"Down Along the Cotton Belt; St. Louis to Tyler, Texas" is a show of 43 black and white prints by J. P. Bell that opens next week at the gallery of the Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau in Grapevine, Texas. This exhibit of vintage silver gelatin prints made in the early 1990s takes visitors on a geographic journey in photographs and words along the Cotton Belt Railroad from Union Station in St. Louis to Tyler, Texas, the starting point for the Cotton Belt in the late 1800s.
Photographic prints in this show are primarily 11x14" with one 22x28" and four 8x10"s. Text mounted adjacent to each group of photographs tells the story of the old Cotton Belt Railroad, now merged with the Union Pacific. Part of the former Cotton Belt line runs through Grapevine and is home to the Fort Worth and Western Railway and the Grapevine Scenic Railroad.
The show runs February 25 through May 20, 2013. Contact the Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau at https://www.grapevinetexasusa.com/Default.aspx for more information.
Prints from this show may be ordered through the Grapevine Convention and Visitors Bureau or through email contact through this website.
January 2013: J. P. Bell Photography is Featured in New Shows and Magazine Stories
J. P. Bell photographs are included in several new shows in 2013. J. P. also has photographs and text in several recent publications.
First, Bell and fellow photographer and paddling buddy, Tom Kennon, have a collection of photographic prints in the Community Room of the Fort Smith Public Library on Rogers, Avenue in Fort Smith, Arkansas. The show is entitled "Arkansas: Our Home.".
J. P. has a photographic print in the new Small Works on Paper show for 2013 touring the state and sponsored by the Arkansas Arts Council. Bell's print is entitled "In the Wheat Fields." See the full schedule of sites where the show will travel by visiting the website of the Arkansas Arts Council at http://www.arkansasarts.org/whats-new/detail.aspx?id=257.
Some of J. P. 's new photographs are in a show entitled "White River Memoirs," put together by Chris Engholm. Featured are four prints of the ruins of the amphitheater at Monte Ne, Arkansas that become exposed at lower water levels of Beaver Lake in Northwest Arkansas. The show is at the Arts Center of the Ozarks in Springdale, Arkansas January 3-January 25, 2013.
J. P. Bell's photograph of the Cotton Belt steam locomotive No 819 leaving Pine Bluff, Arkansas and passing before a market with the sign on a pillar advertising "Fresh Fish Daily" is included in the 2013 Delta Exhibit sponsored by the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock. The show dates are January 10 through March 30, 2013. For exhibition information visit the Arts Center website at http://www.arkarts.com/exhibitions/upcoming_exhibitions/delta.asp.
In the realm of publications, J. P. Bell has a new photo essay and text on the 150th anniversary of the Union Pacific Railroad in the magazine, "Railfan and Railroad." The text tells of President Abraham Lincoln's signing of the Pacific Railroad Act on July 1, 1862, creating the transcontinental railroad that would span North America. The article is illustrated with J. P.'s photographs of Union Pacific steam engine No. 844 crossing the "Overland Route" between Omaha, Nebraska and Cheyenne, Wyoming in June 2012. The article is in the November 2012 issue of "Railfan and Railroad."
In the literary journal, "Whitefish Review," published out of Whitefish, Montana, Bell also has a photograph and story entitled, "Welcome to the New Front."
December 2012: Happy New Year - 2013
To all visitors to this online gallery, I wish you a prosperous 2013. Let us be thankful for all of our blessings from God and look forward to the new year.
The Yellowstone NP gallery has been expanded to include Grand Teton National Park. You will find images of the Grand Tetons taken on the winter solstice, 21 December 2012 this year. The temperature was -15 degrees F. It was indeed cold. But, we can be thankful that the forest fires of September 2012 are long gone. The cold air was exhilarating.
Also new to the transportation gallery and the diesel train section are images of the Kansas City Southern Railway's beautiful business train in the Southern Belle paint scheme. This passenger train is pulled by classic F-unit diesel locomotives and carries the annual Holiday Express train around the KCS system each December. This annual excursion gives children in the KCS service area a chance for some Christmas fun and provides photographers a chance to remember what Southern Belle passenger trains looked like in the Ouachita and Ozarks Mountains in the 1950s.
The November 2012 issue of Railfan and Railroad magazine carries a feature story by J. P. Bell of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Union Pacific Railroad.This article includes photographs made during the June 2012 run of UP steam locomotive No. 844 across Nebraska and eastern Wyoming to home base in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Look for the magazine on the newstands now. This issue was delayed due to the devastation of Hurricane Sandy on the eastern seaboard.
J. P. Bell's show of 36 photographic prints entitled "Cinematic Rails: Trains in the Movies," moves to the Smith-Pendergraft Gallery in the Campus Center at the University of Arkansas, Fort Smith in Fort Smith, Arkansas. This show just returned to Arkansas from the Gallery in the Grapevine Visitors Center in Grapevine, Texas in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. This show opens on the UAFS campus October 4, 2012 with a reception in the gallery from 5-6:30 PM. The show will hang in the gallery until December 21, 2012.
Don't miss the October 2012 issue of eFort Smith magazine and J. P. Bell's story and photographs about flight and aerial photography over the Ozark Mountains in the clear autumn skies.
J. P. Bell's show of 36 photographs, "Cinematic Rails: Trains in the Movies." moves to the Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau Headquarters at 636 South Main Street in Grapevine, Texas. The Visitors Bureau has a new gallery space and "Cinematic Rails" is their first show. The exhibition runs from 1 August 2012 through 9 September 2012. Call 817-410-8136 for more information. The Visitors Bureau Gallery is open daily. All prints in the show are available for purchase.
May 2012: Frog Bayou Article and Photos in Entertainment Fort Smith magazine
J. P. Bell has photographs and an essay in the current May 2012 issue of eFort Smith, the regional magazine for the Fort Smith, Arkansas area. The story and images can also be seen online at the website of eFort Smith at : http://www.efortsmith.com/features/index.cfm/aid/37/Frog%2DBayou%3A%2DA%2DWhitewater%2DPlayground Take a look. Copies of the print magazine can be obtained at restaurants, hotels, bookstores, and retail outlets in the Fort Smith area
26 March 2012: J. P. Bell Photographs in
J. P. Bell has a new article and and photo essay in the magazine, "Ride Texas." Subtitled, "Your Guide to Great Motorcycling Roads and Destinations," this periodical out of Austin, Texas covers the touring scene in the Lonestar State and the surrounding region. The magazine article in the Spring 2012 issue tells the history of Texas railroads and has a number of J. P. 's photographs. The current issue of the magazine is in book stores and on news stands now.
18 March 2012: Sandhill Cranes Return to Nebraska
It is sandhill crane time again in the Cornhusker State. We just returned from a photographic trip to Kearney, Nebraska. It is always magical to be on the Platte River at this time of year. Hundreds of thousands of these beautiful migratory birds touch down to roost on the sandbars of the Platte for several weeks and to build fat stores for their long flight to Canada, Montana, Idaho, and even Siberia for spring and summer nesting. This natural event on the Platte is called staging. Their flights from the river to the harvested cornfields in the morning and back again to the river in the evening are spectacular. We will add a few new images of sandhill cranes to the Wildlife Gallery over the next few days.
Also, see the current March issue of eFort Smith, our regional magazine in western Arkansas, for an article and photography by J. P. Bell on the migrations of sandhill cranes along the Platte River.
January 2012: New Portfolio of Photographic Prints
"Cinematic Rail: Trains in the Movies" is a show of 36 photographic prints by J. P. Bell that runs from 13 January through 3 March 2012 at Cantrell Gallery in Little Rock, Arkansas. This collection of prints spans over 30 years and tells the story of just a few of the movies that utilized vintage trains in their productions. This show is a departure for J. P. in that the black and white prints were all produced digitally using scanned negatives and an Epson 3880 printer. The show covers movies such as "Biloxi Blues," "Appaloosa," "Truman," Tuskegee Airmen," and the remake of "True Grit," in 2010. Cantrell Gallery is hosting a reception from 6 - 8 PM on Friday, 13 January 2012. Stop by if you are able.Don't miss this show.
1 January 2012: Cinematic Rails, Trains in the Movies
Happy New Year!
J. P. Bell's show of 36 photographs in the collection, "Cinematic Rails, Trains in the Movies," is opening soon at Cantrell Gallery in Little Rock, Arkansas. Watch for further details.
October 2011: The Nautical Gallery
The romance and adventure of travel by boat have captured the imagination of men and women since the dawn of time. The new Nautical Gallery in the online gallery of J.P. Bell reflects the spirit of this human endeavor. From the classic lines of vintage wooden boats in Glacier National Park to the once glorious, now rusting hulks of passenger steamers from the 1940s and 50s, the Nautical Gallery brings you fine art photographic prints from around the world.
18 June 2011: A New Gallery with Images from Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park lies for the most part in northern Wyoming, but also juts into southern Montana and eastern Idaho. Yellowstone is America's first National Park and was established in 1872. Yellowstone is a wonderland of geysers and rivers with deep canyons. This high plateau in the northern Rockies provides refuge for an abundance of wildlife including such large mammals as grizzly bears, bison and elk. J. P. Bell's Yellowstone Gallery features classic black and white silver prints and color digital photography. Return often to the Yellowstone NP Gallery through the rest of 2011 as new images may be added monthly.
14 June 2011: A New Gallery - Taos, NM
A new gallery has been added to American Landscapes. Taos, New Mexico holds the imagination of those drawn to the Santa Fe Trail and the magical light of the Southwest. Ranchos Taos Mission Church has been photographed and painted by many artists. There is always room more for one more interpretation of this historic place of blue sky and earthen adobe.
April 2011: J.P. Bell at 2011
J. P. Bell is one of the invited artists participating in the annual "Wine and Roses" art auction for 2011. This event is a fund raiser for the Reynolds Cancer Support House in Fort Smith, Arkansas. The evening of food and art occurs on 9 April 2011, 6:30 PM at the craftsman-style home of the Cancer Support House on 3324 South M Street. Bell's photography for this auction includes silver gelatin, selenium toned black and white prints. Also included in this auction are J. P.'s digital color photographic prints using K3 Ultrachome inks on Epson Velvet paper. All prints for this auction are matted and framed.
4 February 2011: New Images from the Gulf and South East Coast
We have just returned from 10 days of photography in Mobile, AL, Savannah, GA, Bluffton/Hilton Head, SC, and Wilmington, NC. We photographed these locations with black and white film and medium format cameras to produce exhibition prints for the expansion of Bank of the Ozarks into these new market areas. Black and white photographs from these regions will be used as the fine art in the lobbies and offices of this Little Rock-based bank in their new coastal bank branches. Watch the website for portfolios of prints from each of these unique, culturally vibrant cities.
10 December 2010: Christmas Greetings
The winter solstice is upon us. Snow is falling in the northern Rocky Mountains and rains are coming to the Ozarks. Images of Winter 2010-11 are coming to the gallery.
The photograph, "UP No. 844_Blizzard_Near Cheyenne," in the Transportation: Steam Train: Color gallery has been accepted into the annual Small Works on Paper Show sponsored by the Arkansas Arts Council. This exhibition will tour the state of Arkansas throughout 2011. The exhibition opens at the AETN Atrium in Conway and runs from January 6-27.
Prints of this image, "UP No. 844_Blizzard_Near Cheyenne" are also available at Cantrell Gallery in Little Rock, Arkansas and Art Form Gallery in Van Buren, Arkansas.
14 May 2010: Spring Migrations
During the month of March and April, Sandhill Cranes made their annual spring stopover along the Platte River between Grand Island and North Platte, Nebraska. I had the privilege of photographing and witnessing this great wonder of nature. It is estimated that some 500,000 cranes stop over for 2-4 weeks along this stretch of river, and it has been this way for thousands of years. The Rowe Sanctuary on the Platte River is a protected section of river and wetlands that provides refuge for these migrating birds. The Iain Nicolson Nature Center is supported by the Audubon Society and provides the hub of operations during the busy crane viewing season from late February to early April.
Another annual migration occurred during the same period this year on Nebraska's Platte River. That event was the movement of Union Pacific Railroad's steam locomotive No. 844 east from Cheyenne, Wyoming along the old historic Overland Route. The short train of "Armour Yellow" streamliner coaches was named the "Valley Eagle." The train steamed down through Kansas, Oklahoma and into the Rio Grande valley of southern Texas on what the railroad called the "Heritage Tour." The steam train then came back north through Arkansas and I photographed it coming into Van Buren, Arkansas on a cool rainy afternoon. The next morning my wife and some friends rode the train from Van Buren to Wagoner, Oklahoma.
23 November 2009: A New Gallery is Added to the Transportation Section
Steam trains always photograph well in black and white. After all, during the heyday of steam railroading in the 1930s and '40s, most vintage photographs were made with black and white film. With today's digital photography, color images of steam locomotives and their trains gives us a new look at these romantic cultural artifacts from another era. Placed in the right landscape setting, steam trains in color become iconic pieces of art giving us a glimpse of life during our grandparents and great grandparents time.
This color gallery starts with images from Southern Pacific No. 4449's recent epic journey westbound back to it's homebase of Portland, Oregon. The steam train spent the summer in Michigan for special runs out of Owosso, MI. On this westward return, No. 4449 traveled along the southern border of Glacier National Park in Montana on 17 October 2009. The train crossed the Continental Divide at Marias Pass on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe's former Great Northern "Highline Route."
The other color additions to this gallery are from the historic Strasburg Rail Road in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. This is Amish country, and tidy farms and fields spread across the rolling hills on the line to Paradise.
Steam trains in color may be found in the "Transportation: Steam Trains: Color" section of this website. These prints are available in open editions and as digital color prints on archival papers.
1 November 2009: J. P. Bell Print is Chosen for Annual Show
One of J. P. Bell's photographs, " Santa Fe Depot, Newton, Kansas" has been chosen recently for the Arkansas Arts Council's annual Small Works on Paper show for 2010. This print, a digital photograph on Somerset Velvet paper, also won a purchase award and will be added to the Arts Council's permanent collection. The exhibit opens in January 2010 at the Searcy Art Gallery in Searcy, Arkansas. The show then travels to nine other locations around the state. Information about dates may be obtained at http://www.arkansasarts.com/.
This photograph is a black and white image of Amtrak's "Southwest Chief" at the former Santa Fe Railroad depot in Newton, Kansas. A sign dating back to the 1950s advertising the old Fred Harvey Dining Room is visible in this night time photograph made at about 3 AM. The "Southwest Chief" paused briefly in the night and then departed for Kansas City, Chicago and points east.
This print is available as both a silver print and digital print in open editions and various sizes in the "Transportation: Stations and Depots" section of this website.
September 2009: Two New Galleries Are Added
A new main gallery has been added. It is simply entitled " Wildlife" and will have images of birds and mammals from North America and East Africa. This past summer, my friend and fellow photographer, Gary Felker, introduced me to avian photography and rekindled my interest in ornithology. Birds in our lives give us daily drama and connection to the wilderness world beyond our towns and cities. This gallery will have images from our summer birding outings in Arkansas and archival images of wildlife from Montana and East Africa.
Another new gallery under "Transportation" has been added and is entitled, "Railroad Stations and Depots." This portfolio brings you images that convey the romance of travel, especially at night. There is adventure in just getting on a train and going somewhere.
April 2009: New Scans from Vintage Negatives
I am currently scanning hundreds of the negatives I made before 1984. I will place these photographs into various galleries on this website. Check back from time to time to see these new vintage images. Look especially into the transportation sections for some new glimpses of life before the digital age. We shot everything on film in those analogue days. Let us hope that the digital age does not give us a nasty little surprise if our hard drives fail and our images produced with digital SLRs disappear forever. We might loose a lot of visual cultural history if digital disaster strikes.
Look for a new photo-essay and article by J. P. Bell in the June 2009 issue of Railroad and Railfan magazine about the new streetcar system in Little Rock/North Little Rock, Arkansas.
20 January 2009: A New Year of Photography From J.P. Bell in 2009
Here is wishing that everyone had a great start for the New Year in 2009. The end of 2008 brought many new images from the Ozarks and northern Rocky Mountains. Look for new photographs of railroading, aviation, and whitewater canoeing. I am posting new prints of the beautiful Southern Belle passenger train used by the Kansas City Southern Railway for their annual Christmas tour and business train.
Also starting this winter we light up the night with a new series of photographs on some of my favorite Ozark rivers. Paddlers and canoes, bluffs and waterfalls are illuminated by a series of powerful flashes with an Alien Bees studio strobe, 11" reflector, and a portable battery pack. The rivers and mountains are seen as never before in this new series of nighttime photographs.
New photography from northern Montana and the Glacier Park Boat Company’s vintage wooden boats are coming in the near future.
A New Day. God Bless America.
23 October 2008: J.P. Bell's story of an Arkansas steam train in the new movie, Appaloosa
Read the December 2008 issue of Railroad and Railfan magazine to see a story and photographs by J. P. Bell on the use of Arkansas' Reader Railroad steam train used in filming the new western movie, Appaloosa.
Actor Ed Harris directed, produced and starred in this major motion picture made in northern New Mexico during October and November 2007. Joining Harris were actors Viggo Mortenson, Renee Zellweger, and Jeremy Irons.
Richard Grigsby brought his movie train from Arkansas to the Southwest for this production. Reader steam locomotive No. 2 rolled before the cameras for three days pulling a boxcar and two wooden coaches over the Santa Fe Southern Railway from Lamy to Santa Fe. The Reader Railroad included J.P. as part of the steam train crew to document the use of No. 2 in the movie production. Thanks are in order to Richard Grigsby and the directors and producers of Appaloosa for allowing Bell to photograph an Arkansas steam train in the movies.
Photographic prints of this train are available in the Transportation/Movie Trains/Color section of this website.
October 2008: New Updated Website
Welcome to the updated website for J.P. Bell's photography. This online gallery has been completely redone and should provide many new images from which to choose.
For the first time, digital prints are offered from this website. While the silver gelatin print from the darkroom remains the gold standard for black and white photography, the digital revolution changed everything. Digital color and monochrome prints are today works of art with their own high intrinsic value when printed with archival inks on fine art papers.
We are pleased to offer both traditional silver prints and digital Giclee prints in color and black and white from our gallery in Van Buren, Arkansas and from this online gallery. Cantrell Gallery in Little Rock, Arkansas now sells our prints. Stop by Cantrell Gallery when you are in central Arkansas and view many of the Little Rock photographs found on this website.
Our new website has photography that is as current as this month and contains favorite images from 20 years ago. Due to the increased functionality of this website, thanks to Jack Brauer's design and software, you should see many new additions to this gallery on a regular basis. So, check back frequently to view fresh material from recent excursions and photography out of the past.