Monday, August 3, 2009

An interview with David H Jones

Q – Could you introduce yourself briefly to the readers?

My roots are in Wallasey, Merseyside. Foundation studies at at Wallasey School of Art, and then graphic design at Leicester Polytechnic. Not happy with the prospects a career in advertising, I left and transferred to fine art painting at Bristol West of England College of Art. Which was really what I wanted to do. Whilst there I married Judith a fellow student, graduated, moved to Berkshire, had three children, established a paint-work restoration business and tutored painting and drawing. I have lived in Lambourn for the last thirty years, and I balance restoration work with doing my own paintings. I have a large studio and workshop space at nearby Foxbury Farm.

Distribution 2 -2008-Acrylic on canvas (46 x 46cm) by David H Jones

Q - How did you become interested in art?

I was fortunate to have parents who didn’t mind a mess and they encouraged creative activities and a grandmother who loved impressionism Like most children I loved to paint and I have an early recollection of the frustration of trying to get hold of a paint box which was out of my reach. When I was about eight, whilst on a family holiday, I met an artist selling his paintings half way up a Welsh mountain and thought I’d like to do that. I bought a postcard of his painting which is now pinned to the studio wall. As a child I was afflicted by a speech impediment, a combination of a stutter and speaking nonsense. I overcame the stutter through speech therapy which was great because it meant getting out of school early, going to a clinic each week and just sitting on the floor painting, whilst a very nice lady chatted to me. I overcame the stutter, the nonsense is sometimes still a problem.
So from childhood I got it into my head that I was going to be an artist.

Q - What inspires you most as an artist?

My inspiration comes from near and far, the exotic and the mundane. Visits abroad, India, Turkey, North Africa, ancient cultures and the work of generations of artists.
But on a daily basis it is the wonders of the everyday visual experience; the energy of colour and the changing light of day, the progression of the seasons, the rhythm of life and natures patterns.

2009' Circulation-on-R by David H Jones

Q - What is your favourite medium or media? Why?

No particular favourite although I work mainly in acrylic.
I like oil paint for its richness and smell, acrylic for its speed of application and water-colour for its directness.

Q - Could you tell us some more about your work?

At art school I produced large abstract paintings. After art school I didn’t do any of my own work for about fifteen years. In the late 1980’s I was invited to tutor water-colour classes for adult education. I didn’t really have a clue about water-colour painting, but it was an opportunity for me to learn, as it was for my students. This brought me back to basic traditional disciplines of observational drawing and painting; still life, landscape and the figure. During the 90’s I took on more classes, teaching painting and life drawing. By the late 90’s my interests had shifted back to earlier abstract ideas about pattern and colour although informed by my work on landscape and the figure.

My Recent paintings explore themes of circulation and rotation. Visits to Turkey and Tunisia in 2006/7 had an important influence on this work. In Turkey I was mesmerized by Islamic ceramic tiles. In Tunis I visited the Archeological Museum to see the collection of Roman Mosaics. The tessellated surface patterns of the mosaics and repetitive motifs of tile patterns initiated experiments which developed into this series of paintings which play upon the viewer’s cognitive response to pattern and contrasting colour. The sequences of colours on a common ground create a restless and often alarming visual response as patterns emerge from seemingly random marks. The paintings are further enriched with a high build of paint and textured surfaces.

This year , these ideas have been further developed in a series of painting entitled Arboretum, inspired after visiting Westonbirt last autumn.

2009 - 'Arboretum - Autumn Yellow' - acrylic on canvas (95x74cm) by David H Jones

Q - How would you define your style?

I don’t really know. Contemplative – Energising - Colourful Abstract Painting.

Q - What are your influences; artists from the past or present who inspire you?

Too many to mention mostly gone before.: English Romantics: Turner, Palmer,- The Impressionists Monet, Pissarro,- Masters of the modernism, Kandinsky, Picasso - Constructivists & Cubists, American & British Abstract painters, - Tutors Paul Feiler & Terry Frost.

Q - How do you choose the subjects of your works?

Often from a momentary observation. A combination of colours.

Q- How do you prepare yourself for an exhibition or a show like the Open Studios?

Usually at the last minute

2009 - 'Circulation on Yellow Orange' - acrylic on canvas (95x74cm)

Q- You took part in the Swindon Open Studios in the past, what did it bring to you?

In 2007, I exhibited several paintings at the old railway museum in Faringdon Road.

Q - Are there territories (media, subjects, etc.) you want to explore in the coming years?

Yes, but no specific objectives apart from trying to get present projects completed.

Q - As an artist, what would be your dream?

More Time

Q - Could you share one thing that you have learnt in your own art practice that would be useful to other artists?

Have faith and conviction in what you’re doing.

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