Bell's favorite subject is the female body and land around his former home of Charleston, South Carolina, and those near his current home in the Mexican state of Guanajuato.
The youngest of five children of Elwood Bell and Lily Benson, Elwood Cranmer Bell Jr. was born in Wilmington, North Carolina. He began painting at an early age and was commissioned for his first portrait at 11 years old. In 1966, at age 19, he enlisted in the Army. EC Bell attended the University of North Carolina and studied art under Claude Howell, Jack Berkman and with Roy Schmultz in Kaiserslautern where he was influenced by German Expressionism.
He has tended to gravitate to several identifiable landscapes to which he has returned repeatedly over a period of decades. He typically begins a painting with a sketch on canvas in pencil followed by a loose brushed wash before executing a finished painting with acylic paint in washes, drybrush and numerous layers of color. His works have fetched increasingly higher prices with his growing fame, and today Bell's major works sell at an excess of ten thousand dollars from private dealers and at auction. Though the female nude is a classic subject, much of EC Bell’s struggle as an artist has been combating narrow-minded attitudes towards erotic art. Bell’s delicate approach to the female nude as well as his mastery of form has changed many minds.
He lives and works in the art mecca of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.1964-67
Amsterdam & in Vogelweh and
Kaiserslautern, Germany (Solo)
Wrightville Beach, NC (Solo and Group)
St. Johns Gallery, Wilmington (Solo)
Southport, NC (Solo)
Wilmington Art Gallery, NC (Solo)
Jan Goin Gallery, Charleston (Group)
Hilton Head, SC (Group)
Exhibition Curated by Leo Twigs, Berkley, SC (Group)
Charleston Art Trading Company(Featured Artist)
New Life Art, Charleston, SC (Solo and Group Shows)
Greenwood Museum, SC
McCormick Museum, SC, Sponsored by SCArts Commission
CrazyHorse Art Gallery, Charleston, SC (Solo)
Exhibition Curated by Brenda Cook, NYC (Group)
Owned and Showed at the Belle Muse Art Gallery and EC Bell Fine Art, Charleston, SC (Solo and Group)
Different Artists, Different Mediums Curated by Brenda Cook,West Ashley, SC (Group)
Galeria Aspen, Guanajuato, Mexico, (Featured Artist)
Annual Erotic Art Invitational, Belle Muse Art Gallery, Spoleto Festival USA, Charleston, SC 2003-6
Over 60 shows 2002-7 at galleries owned by EC Bell to support new artist
Berkley County Courthouse, South Carolina
Wilmington Board of Education
Jewish Community Center, Charleston, SC
Private Collections in the US, Canada, France, Poland, the Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, England, Venezuela, Columbia, Mexico & Puerto Rico.