On a brisk, chilly waterfront morning with the mist flying and the sky seeming to touch the water, one would think it not a good day for painting. On the contrary, fine artist Jacqueline Jones smiles and shakes her head. “I like to paint in different weather conditions,” she says. “I love the warmth of the sun coming through as the fog slowly lifts.”
Jones is well-known and admired in the local art world, and her work will be featured as “Summer on the Sound” at The Gallery at Firehouse Square in New London, opening on June 22 and running through July 27. She has shown her work at the New Haven Paint and Clay Club, The Lyman Allen Museum, The National Arts Club, and the Salmagundi Club, among others.
“I’m excited about the New London gallery because it’s my first solo show,” she says. The show will be a body of all new work, depicting the Connecticut shoreline. She has painted in Mystic, Noank and New London, and plans to include work from Branford and Stonington. “I will paint right up to the week of the show.”
Jones is a Connecticut native, having grown up in Colchester. She has loved art all of her life, starting at a very early age. “In the third grade, I knew I wanted to be an artist, a painter,” she says. “My mom always encouraged my art and she found a teacher of oil painting.” Jones studied with that teacher for three years, during which time she learned classical oil painting.
One usually expects artists to be employed in a job to pay the bills, while practicing their art on the side. Not Jones. After high school graduation, she didn’t want to teach art — she just wanted to make art. At the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, she studied graphic arts with a minor in illustration. While in school, she freelanced and sold oil paintings and watercolors. Later, she returned to school at Lyme Academy College of Fine Art to gain a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting so that she “could really learn the art in the full form.” For her entire career, Jones’ talent has supported her.
Her passion for nature influences her art, but so do some of her favorite artists. She muses, “there are so many, but the lesser known Matilda Browne of the Old Lyme Art Colony has always been a favorite. I often paint in her footsteps after viewing her paintings at the Florence Griswold House. Guy C. Wiggins, taught my first teacher in nearby Hamburg Cove. Then there’s Cecilia Beaux, a rival of John Singer Sargent, who painted bold and fearlessly,” she says. Another favorite is Frederick Church of the Hudson River School, also born in Hartford, whose work reflected a love of nature.
What is her favorite piece of her own work? A new painting of a sailboat in Noank occupies that niche right now. “The sail took on this special luminosity, a gift while I was painting it,” she says. “‘Sail Away with Me’ has already won two national awards and has appeared in two national art publications. I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback.”
All of Jacqueline’s work shows attention to detail and the intense emotion the scene generates in this talented artist. During the summer and all fair weather, Jacqueline paints “en plein air”—outdoors, in life. She loves getting out to paint and meeting people. Passersby often come up to her easel to talk, and she loves that. She explains, “I always feel a painting contains the voices of the people, the memories are sort of woven in.”
On the waterfront, the wind has died and the sun is slowly burning through the mist. Jacqueline adds a line to the sketch on the canvas. “I paint not only for the love of painting itself but for my love of life, people and nature — just staying true to my heart,” she says. “It’s all about connecting and sharing that love.”
And it shows in every brush stroke.
For more information, visit jacquelinejones.com.