My ‘Inspired By’ posts began as a way to explore what makes me tick as an artist, what I’m drawn to, what makes my heart sing, what I might want to try out in terms of marks or colour combinations or compositions. They are also a way for me to share the work of artists whose work I love. I don’t advocate copying other artists instead of making our own work, however inspiring they are to us, but I do believe that we can learn from each other on our solitary artist journeys. This website is dedicated to the philosophy that you have a significant and unique offering inside you, waiting to be released. I created a course to help you with this very thing, which you can find by clicking here. May you be inspired to bring forth what’s within you!

You will not be surprised to learn that I love Kathy Jones‘ work. It’s figurative, it’s textural, it’s expressive and the colours are lush and also in some ways I think unexpected.

Kathy is a Californian artist and says of her work:

My paintings are about silence, solitude, space, and shadows—about the moments between actions. I paint people waiting, or gazing, or pausing, or moving from one place to another.

I love that as a subject area; it’s as though she paints the spaces BETWEEN, the ones that don’t get noticed, or given any kind of significance in our day to day lives. It makes me think of how writers talk about the spaces between words and sentences, or musicians talk about the pauses between notes. Just as important in creating the shape of the overall picture, but in a much more subtle way than what we read, hear or see. Sometimes things are best or most easily defined by what they are not.

Of her process, Kathy says:

The surface of the painting is as important to me as the image. I am always experimenting with surfaces and textures. I explore color relationships and the unexpected juxtapositions that happen while painting: the surface of the painting and layers of paint must be rich and exotic, the colors luminous and mysterious. I pull colors up– push them one against the other and look for places where the colors make the most of each other.

I am seriously starting to think I need to investigate oils more. They seem to offer a depth and luminosity that acrylics don’t, and all my favourite art lately is done in oils.

These paintings are so warm and, well, interesting. I’m intrigued by the colour choices, the placing of tiny sections of brights amongst larger areas of neutral, lower intensity colours.

From my own experience with semi abstract, expressionist painting like this, it’s a lot harder than it looks. The more abstract you go, the more you have to rely on your intuition and understanding of colour theory to produce a painting that is seamlessly balanced. The difference between a beginner’s painting and something that looks like a lifelong professional did it can sometimes be so subtle you can’t even describe it.

Kathy also paints some landscapes, but the figurative work is what I’m drawn to most. I notice that she talks about how her paintings evolve while she paints them, much like mine do for me, so we never know where they will end up. That’s one of the deep joys of painting for me; the mystery and the not knowing.

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