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Featured Artists

Elaine Jones

 

Ever since I can remember I have always wanted to paint. At school I spent much of my spare time in the art room. Once in the sixth form I was advised to do a Foundation Course at Newcastle-Under-Lyme where I was awarded a distinction along with the Fine Art Prize. I was very lucky and had a fantastic tutor who encouraged and gave me the confidence to pursue life as a Fine Artist. I was taught to experiment freely with an unrestrained approach. I continued my education at Loughborough University where I became interested in studying landscape and developed a taste for travel when I spent six months of my degree studying at Granada University in Spain. When I graduated I sold my degree show to ‘Welcome Break Hotels’ which gave me the boost I needed to pursue painting as a career. Since 1998 I have been based in Bristol in my city centre studio where I have experimented considerably from abstraction through to figuration and collage which included sticking computer circuits onto my paintings. All of this contributed to the understanding which I feel I have now reached within my work today.

My paintings are primarily abstract, although my new work contains references towards landscape. My partner is also an artist and we both spend time researching our subject matter through travel and by both being self employed we find that we can be more flexible with our time. I get a lot of my inspiration during these periods and spend much of my time sketching, although I rarely use this information to literally translate into a painting. My work doesn’t draw reference to any particular place.

Colour, alongside texture, is the main ingredient to my work. I am particularly interested in the contrast between heavily textured areas and the very flat, serene and blended areas of paint. Many ideas for my palette stem from colours experienced in different places, such as those from the Mediterranean, Africa or the South of England. My friend has a cottage in Cornwall and I spend as much spare time as I can in the summer sketching, occasionally dolphin spotting and speeding on my little dingy over to Padstow.

I get ideas for my work from everything and anything. Building structures in the city or random objects, in contrast, to more natural subject matter give me constantly varied compositional ideas for my paintings.

When painting a picture I rarely have the end product in my mind, my work develops spontaneously and the painting is finished for me when it works. My paintings are made up of layers and as I paint in oils I tend to work on more than one at once; this helps me to be less precious and less likely to overwork them.

Each series of paintings generally tend to be linked with a particular theme, idea or colour palette. I push these ideas to make sure that my paintings are constantly changing and developing. My techniques vary from painting to painting. When painting I very rarely use a brush and instead put on and take away paint by scraping card, rags or poured paint across the surface.

A typical working day in my studio is often nine till five and not at all glamorous. I usually work to a routine and I am not very good at interruptions. When painting I like to stick at it until I have achieved an end result.

I am based in a lively studio which is a constant source of inspiration with artists producing anything from resin jewellery to installations of singing trees. I share with forty other artists and it is always busy and varied. Coffee breaks are often spent exchanging ideas and criticisms or at least discussing the events of the previous weekend.

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