OIL AND WATERCOLOR PAINTINGS
Style, technique and consistency are important components to the artist. Every artist seeks time to develop the craft and to create a unified body of work. Sometimes this comes later than expected.
After decades of raising a family and working full-time jobs, Jones retired and began pursuing her lifelong dream of becoming a professional artist. With a style unique as her signature, she creates memories with a select pallet of rustic colors when portraying aged buildings and vehicles.
Like many artists, Jones’s love of art began at an early age. “As young as four, finger-painting was a favorite activity,” Jones says, “I loved the feel and smell when smooshing paint around on the large pieces of paper.”
As a youngster, she received accolades from her teachers and parents, who provided basic art materials. As she was the only member of her family interested in art, art experience was her alone time. She received encouragement and praise, but no technical advice. During her early education years, she volunteered to do creative things, like painting seasonal theater windows, painting murals on bedroom walls, decorating at home and drawing cartoon characters in her spare time.
She worked in oil pastels and charcoal for many years while honing her drawing skills and moved to oil during her college years. Although she wasn’t an art major in college she enrolled in drawing, painting, art history and pottery classes to keep her creativity alive.
Jones found outside influences to spark her creativity. Norman Rockwell was her first inspiration and easily accessible from her mother’s collection of Saturday Evening Post magazines. After taking an art history class in college, her attention moved to the French Impressionists, particularly Mary Cassatt.
Jones recalls, “Cassatt’s rendition of mothers and children was so natural, lovingly warm and amazing.”
Jones married her high school sweetheart before finishing college and moved to New Mexico. They spend their first years together exploring, digging artifacts and old calvary ruins. As their family grew, Jones purchased a Potter’s Wheel and sold pottery at local markets to help with the finances. She took writing classes and was inspired to write and illustrate a children’s book. For the next few decades, Jones worked full-time at a school district and a rural electric cooperative. She received three national awards for her marketing programs from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, and awards each year from Colorado Rural Electric Association for her articles while editor of the co-op’s magazine. She collaborated with her daughter on an entry for the Art of Recycling exhibition at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. in 2008.
A recent purchase of Richard Schmidt’s Alla Prima II opened another door to increase her knowledge about color and technique. She reports, “This book helped me become less structured, to consider the effects of light on subjects and to keep a freshness of the colors from beginning to end.” After retiring in January 2020, her main focus became creating a collection of art that reflects the beauty of her rural roots.
“Farming and ranching is the main life-style of Southwestern Colorado, and the subject matter of my paintings reflects what I see in this region,” she said, “the abandoned vehicles, farm buildings, and domestic animals abound.”