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Sunday, March 10, 2013

On Light

Where does your inspiration come from?  Your work has a spiritual quality...

As far as what I think when I paint is a mystery to me. I think it must be so second nature to me that I've stopped thinking about it. I can drive around and see 100 possible visions for a painting but only 1 ever ends up as a possibility. And that's just a possibility, not definite. Maybe someday it will be a project. When I used to go to Vermont (to visit my parents.......out of guilt actually) I would drive around northern VT looking for images. I have enough possibilities now that if I live to 200, I have enough subjects for painting. I've stopped looking.
 The sun seems to be a singular quality in your work.  I love the dappled light in 'Quiet Time' (sic).   Some work, like 'Portrait of a Young Man', has "orbs" of light. Do you "see" those orbs, as Van Gogh saw the haloes around light objects in Starry 'Starry Night' , which some attributed to his epilepsy?

QUIET SPRING

  If you look at the side of an old house, it is so much better a subject for a painting if it has dappled sunlight rather than just sun. It depends on other ingredients too but dappled sunlight is a starting point. I found (I think you meant Quiet Spring) COMPLETELY by accident....as I have others. I was turning around on a longish dirt road when on the way back I passed the picture. It wasn't exactly like that, none of them are, but editing pictures for a painting is the thing that comes to me without that much conscientiousness. (Is that a word?) I have read much about other artists in my younger years and I have always had the feeling that they were making up most of what they said. Not that it's a lie but I think if one is a real artist, he doesn't follow the 'rules' that we are taught. I'm not being humble...but maybe I'm wrong.

 
MIDSUMMER SUN

  I am not an Alien. I don't have epilepsy. Nothing out of worldly with me.I guess using light that way is a technical feat if it works. I like light, you've noticed that before and I wish more people did. I don't paint a window or a door just to paint that.........I usually paint light (the sun) as a diagonal which sunshine can usually be. I went to school as an advertising major at first. Putting things together was more interesting to me then just painting a picture. In advertising you learn to use a focus point as a diagonal to get attention. I hated the painting teachers work at school so I never wanted to study with them. (This was the art school at University of Hartford.) I did have some painting teachers as you had to have them to get credits for your degree, but I was just playing along until I was an adult out of school.

Portraits was next for about ten year. It just got started because I was asked to do some so the career grew out of that. I can't tell you how sick I got of that after all the years were going by. (This has nothing to do with 'light' but it was the course of things.) 1. 


 

CHURCH WINDOW

 I did the 'Church Window' right after the portrait decade as a break away from portraits which just got me some money. I loved that drawing. The light over the window I emphasized just a little (because I can) but that is something that goes on anyway. The sun hits a surface and reflects light back in any direction. It hits the clapboard immediately above the source. It is totally natural. Whether or not the artist wants to take advantage of that fact is up to his discretion. Since I loved what light can do I took advantage of it. Over exposure is basically what a camera can do but I have used it to some extent in my drawings. A little in some and more in another.Not that often. In 'Portrait of a Young Man' it was used to my maximum as sort of an effect but it added a dimension to what could be another boring portrait. That one and another were for Portraits Inc. in NY were advertising for me. They choice not to use them as they didn't 'fit'.(1.)

 


The 'Sun's Advice' (2.) had light used as I wanted it to be. Almost a flooding of light as if there was a presence of God. That was from a Church on Martha's Vineyard in the seventies. The image wasn't going on until I put open bibles all over the seat and floor to (once again) bounce light back into the image. In actual real life, I don't think God is represented by sunlight. He is in everything but the affect of having that scene bathed in light is what I wanted. I don't know anything about Van Gogh's painting 'Starry Night'. I have never studied it. I don't have that intellect. It looks more like a cartoon to me. I know if I said that to an audience I would be booed off the stage. I did take a drug given to epileptics in the 60's. Tegretol I think was the name. It was for left sided face pain (Ticdelarue) which worked in a week. I'm telling you the whole story.  I only paint or draw ONE window or ONE door because I think it's a waste of time saying the same thing over again in another window or door unless is a major part of the composition. I put patches of light in some drawings (vignettes usually) for the same reason. A full drawing of everything isn't always necessary. 

 

What differentiates on image from another I can't tell you......sorry. That is something that goes on in my artistic mind that I can't explain. If I could tell you everything it would be like a magician revealing how he does all his tricks. I am not a magician and there are no secrets. I only telling you what I have because you are really interested to know. I'm trying anyway. I don't know if I didn't answer everything so ask again if you need. Your questions have made me question myself. I usually don't think that much when I do a painting. It all goes on in my head and I can 'see' a finished image there and I go for that. If I say Clark Gable, you can 'see' a picture in your brain somehow of what he looked like. That's where I see the picture I guess.

 




1. Following Graduation, Mr. Jones did over 350 portraits in 10 years. The picture below containing 'Portrait of a Young Man is taken from 'Jones III', a catalog of his prints produced in 2013 and reused with his permission.
2. Picture taken from 'Jones III' copyright 2013


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