CatchLight Art Gallery

Illuminating the Work of Big Bend Artists

Jim Bones

Light defines the world we see, but we see only a reflection of Reality, never Reality itself. Art is Reality's Mirror.

Brilliant highlights and inky shadows, often softened by dust blown off the desert itself, conspire with high dry air and lower latitudes to make Southwestern light remarkable.

Photographs are "light writings." Recognizing the right time for the place, or the right place for the available light, and really being there is the trick. Show up, pay attention, and don't lose your sense of humor, no matter the weather.

My work is devoted to reaching into people's hearts through the beauty of Nature and showing them we and the Earth are one.

Born in Monroe, Louisiana in 1943 to an Air Force family that moved a lot, Jim got a Brownie 8 mm camera in junior high, and filmed a trip from Norfolk, Virginia to the missile base near Lompoc, California. He enrolled in the University of Texas to study aerospace engineering, changed to physics, the geology. He ended up in fine arts, as teaching assistant to Russell Lee, Dust Bowl era, Farm Security Administration large format photographer.

In 1965, Bones began working with a large-format camera and 4X5 inch color film. He spent a year (1972-1973) at the Dobie-Paisano Ranch, near Austin and the photographs he took during his residency were published in 1975 in Texas Heartland: A Hill Country Year.

From 1975 to 1978 he worked in Santa Fe, as printing assistant to Eliot Porter, widely respected for his large-format color work, especially of nature. Bones’ other books include Texas Earth Surfaces (1970), Texas Wild (1976) Texas West of the Pecos (1981), Rio Grande, Mountains to the Sea (1985), Texas, Images of the Landscape (1986), A long View Southwest (2013). Encino Press of Austin, Texas, has published two portfolios of Bones’ handmade dye-transfer prints, A Texas Portfolio (1977) and A Wildflower Portfolio (1978).