Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Artist Series with Laura Jones







Oh, would you look at that! It's actually October and I still haven't introduced you to Laura Jones, our Artist from this month's Artist Series. How rude of me.

I must confess to being a serious and long time admirer of Laura's work. It is strong yet feminine, vibrant yet subtle and ooh so touchable. Don't you just want to reach out and run your hand over those textured canvases? I do.

In my dreams, when I'm a real adult, I'll have one of Laura Jones works hanging on my living room wall. For now, I'll be satisfied with the stunning header she created with ink and oil for The Beetle Shack.

So please, read on and fall in love with Laura. If you'd like to see more of her work or enquire about a purchase, Please contact Gallery Ecosse or visit her website.



What inspired to to be an artist?


I am a painter and love to paint flowers and people. I recently moved to the Southern Highlands in NSW where I rent a studio in a potato shed and pick local flowers and paint them. I have been an exhibiting artist since about 2006 when I finished a Master of Art at the College of Fine Arts in Sydney. I have always been interested in art, and have been busy with my hands ever since I was little. It's been quite a journey to get to this point. I studied Japanese for my undergraduate degree. I think I felt the pull of art so strongly that I followed my gut to be an artist. There were some timely influences as well, such as meeting visiting artists in the printmaking room at COFA. I asked them lots of practical questions about how they became artists and learnt that it was a possibility if I worked hard at it. I got my first studio back then and have worked very hard towards being an artist ever since. There is a longer and deeper answer to that though, and the thing that really inspires me to be an artist is a desire to somehow document the beauty I see in things or contribute to the world in a positive way by participating in art and culture by developing my particular creative language. 

Can you describe describe your practise for us?

I paint with oil paints. I love describing form in a really bright, energetic and spontaneous way. I try to keep the surface of my paintings as fresh and as loose as possible. At the moment I am working on using interesting underpainting, large brushes and really simplified forms that are still descriptive enough to show the viewer that yes, that is a flower, or a vase or a window. 
Usually I make an arrangement of flowers at the start of my painting day. I worked as a florist for years and I love the act of renewing and refreshing my painting space. I clean up all the old flowers, rinse out vases, change water, move paintings around, and just do a bit of pottering around. Then I usually plonk a vase on a stool and start making an arrangement. Lately I've been picking flowers off the side of the road and out of my garden. There's also a local still life artist who lives right near my studio. She lets me raid her garden and it is full of rare and wonderful flowers. 
Anyway, I do a rough colourful underpainting and get stuck in to painting straight away. I try and finish the work over about 2 or 3 days or the life span of the flowers. I listen to loud music when I paint and try and get into a bit of a zone.

 Is there an artist that you turn to for inspiration when you need it? 

There are many. I like to flick through different art books all the time. At the moment it's a book on Monet. I also just saw the Sydney Moderns show and loved the paintings in that so I bought the catalogue and have been looking at that lately too. The artists that inspire me change all the time and I am constantly inspired by my artist friends.

Is there a colour that you are drawn to when working?
Pink! Although I do go through phases. I'm leaning towards purple at the moment. I think it might have to do with the seasons.

Is there a symbol that you find yourself using repeatedly in your work? Can you explain it to us.

I often use two vases in particular. A very bulbous lime green one and a spotted orange jug. I'm attached to them in a sentimental way and they work well with flowers. I think I am drawn to the green one in particular because it has no straight lines or angles. It is feminine in its shape and purpose, holding the flowers like a cradle. It's a strong symbol for life, water and femininity.

What is your happiest childhood memory?

My dad and I made road signs for ants out of tiny bits of paper stuck to toothpicks. We poked them into holes in the bricks on our garden path. I remember us watching the ants to see if they paid attention to the signs. I loved that.

 What is your greatest achievement?

I was very happy to be selected as a finalist for the Doug Moran Prize for Portraiture last year. It was for a painting of my brother.

Did it take long to truly develop your own style? It is so unique and identifiable, not to mention lusciously textured.
 I think I have always had my own style but as I get older I get better at expressing it. I think that painting is like learning a language. The more you do it the better you get. I am becoming more and more fluent in painting.


Thank you Laura Jones!



thanks also to Lauren Merrick for getting the digital gear covered.





10 comments:

  1. Eeeek! My favourite artist!! Oh how I have coveted the last artwork pictured, the camellias! I actually considered stopping my maternity leave just to earn money again and but that piece of beauty! Gallery ecosse torment me often with news of her works but sadly at the moment, they're out of reach. One day, one day, such beauty will adorn my walls. For now I'll appreciate your new header!

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    1. oh man, i'm so with you! I hope the workforce will take me back so I can one day purchase one!

      xx

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  2. stunning!.....absolutely stunning. I could gaze for days. xx

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  3. what lovely work!! i am blown away, and your header looks phenomenal of course!!

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    1. Gosh, I agree, her work is just so delicious. I'm very lusty for a piece for home!

      x

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  4. I used to paint florals, now I'm a little bit more abstract....but we'll see what the brush does tomorrow?!
    Spectacular x

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  5. So lovely. I adore the new header, such a sucker for hand drawn type, especially with such expressive brush stokes

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  6. I adore your new header BTW forgot to mention that in my last comment it is so pretty and I so wish I could paint or draw ,I love this artist series beautiful,Thankyou xx Lisa Mckenzie

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Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, advice and solidarity.

xo em