Jody Jones’ day job sets her in the skies as a flight attendant for Delta Airlines, but Jones holds a degree in art history. She went from dabbling with art to creating her signature mixed-media works four years ago, the kitchen serving as her workspace.
Jones has no pretense in her art. Comprised of china, beads, paper, and oils, each piece is indeed an organic creation. Her aesthetic leans toward the free-spirited and even bohemian, with strong textures to draw the viewer. Depicting flowers in casual arrangements, Jones uses a tweezers to painstakingly create each composition, which can take two to three months to complete.
Originally from New Orleans, she moved to Parker with her husband, Steve, and her three children 14 years ago. She is resourceful and finds beauty in the unexpected. “Sometimes my kids would break a special piece of my china. Instead of throwing it out I’d use it in my art,” she explains.
Jones begins each work by sketching the design in pencil on masonite board, then fills it in with layers of oil paint. From that first phase she continues with intricate detailing of glass beads, paper, and of course, china pieces. She also has a foolproof method for fixing mistakes, she explains, “if there’s something I don’t like, I can use black and white gesso (the mesh-like material that covers the outside of sails) and cover it up.”
Looking to dig into the art scene, Jones took part in an art show at the PACE center in 2013. She says she felt a little like a fish out of water. “All of the artists there were real artists. I felt like…I was a bit on the fringe. These were artists who lived and breathed their art.” Jones’ modesty translates well into her unaffected art.
Her pieces are generally received with a sense of surprise. “Whenever I bring one in to Hobby Lobby to be framed the ladies will say, ‘oh wow, these are so different!’” For Jones, reactions like that are confirmation that what she’s doing is unique.
Originality isn’t her motivation, however. Jones has sought to use her art as a means for relaxation and spiritual growth. “About four years ago, I was cranking out paintings. I was very motivated and was in my zone. But art making can be expensive and my husband wanted to see some return for his buck,” she laughs, “I kind of lost my mojo.”
In July last year, she and a close friend went to Bellagio, Italy to take part in an Art and Faith Retreat with Jeanne Oliver, an acclaimed artist based in Castle Rock, and Stephanie Ackerman, based in California. “Going to Italy really inspired me,” she says. ”Jeanne taught us to make our art portable and to bring it wherever we go and sketch, sketch, sketch.
Every day I find I must do something in art, even if it’s bad, because that keeps me going in the process of creating.” Ackerman ’s portion of the retreat focused upon bible journalling, lettering, and keeping journals.
One of her biggest inspirations is the Anthropologie catalog. “I keep them all,” she says. “I use them for their patterns and apply that to my art.” Jones also finds inspiration in several mainstream artists. Her favorite is Matisse. “He started out very realistic and moved toward his stylistic work. I love his colors and how he made his his art look easy.”
She continues to find strength from her experience in Italy and hopes to have even more time for her art in the near future. She recently converted their study into an art studio. “Last summer when I went on that retreat truly gave me a new boost.” Right now Jones is working on “just being open and free to learning new techniques and enjoying being creative. I feel truest to myself when I am creating.”