Artist Kathleen Jones’ Modern Abstract Still Lifes
I am crushing on artist Kathleen Jones and her modern abstract still life paintings sooooo hard. She’s based in Macon, GA, like me – but we haven’t yet been able to meet in person, thanks to a certain pandemic. (Probably best for her, since I would just swoon and fangirl and beg her to teach me everything she knows about mixed media!)
I absolutely love the large scale of her paintings and her use of color. She’s not afraid to mix demure pastels with electric blues and muddy earth tones, too. Her loose interpretations of real-life objects like ceramic jars have such life and movement to them, which is pleasantly unexpected.
5 Questions with Artist Kathleen Jones
Here’s what Kathleen had to say about the teacher that inspired her, why she switched away from using oil paint, and why a painting shouldn’t match your draperies.
What are you known for? Describe your artistic style in 3 words.
Ooh this one is tough! I think right now I am most known for my vessels and mixed media still life and abstract pieces. I would describe my work as fresh, sophisticated, and nostalgic.
What is your earliest memory of creating art?
My third grade teacher, Mrs. Judy Simpson, would always teach art instead of math one day a week if we were good. I remember excelling in art. She also let us paint all the furniture in her classroom. If you were done with an assignment she’d come tap you on the shoulder and take you to the furniture painting station and let you paint a chair leg with flowers or checks or something, it was awesome. She sent me a card when I started pursuing art full time – I’ll always love her.
What’s your favorite medium to work in and why?
I work primarily in acrylic with some collage and image transfer mixed in. I love working with oil paint and I love the smell, but the way I paint now I need the faster drying times of acrylic. Plus they make so many acrylic mediums now that you can get a lot of the benefits of oil without the dry time and chemicals.
What piece are you most proud of?
That’s hard! Like picking a favorite child. I’d have to say Fortune Finds I & II are my favorite pieces I’ve made this year. They are available at Hillary Whitaker Gallery in Ponte Vedra, FL. They feature wallpaper from my grandmother’s house so they are extra special to me.
(Sidenote from Lesley: these are my favorite pieces of Kathleen’s too! I made Fortune Finds into my iPhone wallpaper.)
What other artists inspire you?
Oh man, SO many! I love art history. Helen Frankenthaler, Louise Nevelson and Willem de Kooning are my tried and true answers, but I also love the work of contemporary artists like Patricia Trieb, Laura Owens, and Mary Weatherford as well.
What tips do you have for homeowners when choosing art for their homes?
Buy what you love! Don’t try to find the painting that matches your drapes. If you buy art because it matches your design you will absolutely grow tired of it. Buy art that excites you and makes you feel something, you’ll find away to incorporate it into your decor and it will delight you for years to come. Also remember that art appreciates in value over time. It’s an investment that pays you back in more ways than one.
You can connect with Kathleen on Instagram, and she’s represented by several galleries across the southeast – Anne Irwin Fine Art in Atlanta, Meyer Vogl Gallery in Charleston, Hillary Whitaker Gallery in Ponte Vedra, and SEA Contemporary in Rosemary Beach. She also sells works on paper on her own website. Starting in 2021 she’ll have a studio and showroom in downtown Macon, too! (Which I will TOTALLY BE VISITING.)