"Still Life with a Guitar" 24 x 24" acrylic on canvas
Lots of artists find their "thing" and explore it in every way possible. Evidently with me with this "Still Life with a Guitar" series.
I like the flat shapes with the enticing lines that move your eyes around like a road map. Or an Etch-a-Sketch.
It's been a little strange with this corona virus thing, but I've found that for the most part, I've been social-distancing all my life.
Artist's do that. We want to be alone while we're painting, while we're thinking about painting, but when the piece is finished, the artist suddenly needs his work to be seen by the world.
I hear that there are artists who never show their work to anyone. Is that pure creativity?
That zen philosopher ( I'll think of his name the second after I sign off here) says if you're truly creative, you will make your painting, then burn it, without showing it to anyone.
I'm not there yet.
24 x 24" acrylic on canvas.
I am seriously so happy that I have my painting to occupy my time during these times.
It calms me. It satisfies me.
In fact, this is probably what I would be doing even if there wasn't a Corona virus.
Be safe. Make things.
"Morning Mist" 24 x 24" acrylic.
It doesn't take much to move me to a different portfolio of work. Seeing all my "Origins" paintings hung in one place (CHOCS in Tulsa through March 2020) made me see once again, the magic of interpretative painting. These paintings are narratives of early man, vaguely aware of the viewer, interacting with nature as a primeval force.
It's a bit more "in your face" in regards to subject matter. The figure at lower right is actually acutely aware of the viewer, and even seems a little oppositional. In contrast, the color scheme is calmer than previous "Origins" paintings, but with a slash of cadmium red to remind the viewer that tension does exist in their world and ours.
"Origins" an inexpensive exhibit at CHOC...."Coffee House on Cherry Street" in March 2020.
I'm working on a new collection of 12 x 12" acrylic paintings I'm calling "Origins".
Although it appears to be totally random, it's not. I have been developing paintings dealing with "origins" subject matter for several years.
All the symbolism is in your head.
Is it shamanistic? Is it hunting magic? Is it a celebration of life? Are men on an equal level with the animals or just the opposite? Or is just good colors and patterns applied in stream of thought consciousness?
I don't know. You don't either.
"Spring" 8 x 10" acrylic study
A few years ago, I went camping with a friend in Southwest Colorado.
It rained every day. Looking back at photographs, it's funny now. Pics of me in a poncho, wrapped in a blanket. Pics of us both trying to find dry wood. Pics of my heavy wool sweater hanging on the clothes line, in the pouring rain.
Despite the rain, we had a great time...an adventure of sorts.
The upside of the rain was that the forest was alive with spring growth...flowers, grass, and healthy trees. In the mornings the fog made our campground into a magical place, even if it was cold and wet.
This study is from a watercolor sketch made early one morning.
"St. Aloysius" 8 x 10" acrylic study
As you pass Raton New Mexico, and head into Colorado over the Raton Pass, if you're vigilant and lucky, you might gatch a glimpse of the ruins of St. Aloysius off to your left. It's not easy to find, and it's harder to look at or photograph, since you are chugging along a 4 way highway over the mountains.
I have to say that I passed it and glimpsed it like a ghost in the mountains many times before I had the forethought and planning to be able to pull over to the shoulder "pullout" ramp and photograph it.
Thanks to my telephoto lens, I finally caught a reasonable image of the ethereal church ruins.
Now, before anyone decides to say that this is not a direct representation of the church ruins (I'll be the first to admit) surely you know my penchant for simplifying and reworking any and all of my sketches to my liking. In fact, this in no way resembles the ruins.
It does, in fact tell MY story of a long forgotten chapel in the mountains, wracked by age and time.
Recently I was contacted by the owners of the land and chapel and they are (or were at the time) raising to try to restore it.
I'll bet you can google it and find some link to show the original photos and plans.
"Farmer's Market" 8 x 10" acrylic study
Here's an example of letting go of your preconceived notion of subject matter.
One hot spring day, I was painting in the back yard of a friend, along with a few other devoted watercolorists.
This simple motif was just an umbrella on the other side of the cedar fence in the next neighbor's yard.
I sketched the umbrella and fence and thought little about it until I decided to paint it. As I worked on the design, I added the flowers in the foreground, and a tree in the background to emphasize the umbrella, but the painting had no meaning, until I added the market vendors.
The fence became a booth with produce on top, and the flowers created a park.
Voila! a farmer's market.
"Feed Mill" 8 x 10" acrylic on canvas
Many years ago, when I lived and taught in Mangum, Oklahoma, there was a feed mill, called Honorbilt. It was a Purina feed mill, and it was huge and convoluted with towers and buildings like a lego village.
I sketched that feed mill dozens of times. I'm sure I photographed it too, but those are lost. Anyway, the more I sketched the mill, the more liberties I took with the composition, until it became an abstract composition.
Years passed, and although I painted the mill several times, I found the most joy in painting it as an abstract watercolor over and over.
This acrylic painting is a "third generation" representation of Honorbilt. First as an abstract sketch, second as an even more abstract watercolor painting, and now, as an abstract rendering of an abstract watercolor rendering, of an abstract sketch.
I think that art has life. As such, it is desirable, even necessary for it to evolve.
Who knows how the next rendition of the mill will play out? As they say tritely, "stay tuned".
Micheal W. Jones
Thoughts and work from a mid-career artist working his ass off every day
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