Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Conversation With Betsy Jones

"Refractions"  18x24 inches, Colored Pencil on Paper by Betsy Jones
"Refractions"  18x24 inches, Colored Pencil on Paper

For me, Betsy Jones' artwork is definitely all about the color. Jones, an artist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, creates abstract beauties filled with a multitude of shapes and colors that seem to dance. Jones spoke with ArtSeen about her artwork and her artistic inspirations. 

Can you tell us a little about your artwork, artistic background and artistic processes?

I was classically trained throughout school.  I also figured a lot out on my own and through the support of my family.  I always received art supplies for holidays and birthdays. My dad and I would watch Bob Ross together and he’d explain the technique further. My mom would be quick to hand me pencils or markers and paper when I was bored.  I’ve just always been involved in something creative.

As for my artistic process, I tend to work in the abstract though lately realism is sneaking in. Right now I am focusing on my old friend; the colored pencil and have temporarily put my paints away.  My paintings are fairly loose and organic while my colored pencil works tend to be more technical and controlled and are usually focused on geometry and color.

For me, no matter what medium I use, color is the most important factor in my artwork.  I love everything about color and the relationship between hues, and most especially the effect and power color has on a person.

"Old Skool"  18x24 inches, Mixed Media on Canvas by Betsy Jones
"Old Skool"  18x24 inches, Mixed Media on Canvas

What inspires you as an artist? Why do you create art?

My inspiration is drawn from dreams and meditation, nature, color, and seeing the world in a different way – broken down into shape, form, and color.  Other artists and their work always inspire me as well, in one way or another.  I tend to be drawn to vibrant color, exaggerated lighting, and odd perspectives – no matter the genre or style of artwork.  

I create art because I have learned that I am miserable and pretty intolerable without creating.  Art is my therapy, my love, my fun and entertainment.  I like to think that all artists, and I’m no different, share bits of themselves through their artwork and you never have to speak the same language to understand where they are coming from. 

"Today is a New Day"  14x16 inches, Colored Pencil on Paper by Betsy Jones
"Today is a New Day"  14x16 inches, Colored Pencil on Paper

What types of themes, ideas, or concepts do you explore within in your artwork?

One of my favorite song lyrics says, “After the rain, there are rainbows”….  (DJ Okawari “Brighter Side”)

With that in mind, I like to bring color to the world and try to bring feelings of hope and joy through my art.  There's enough negativity out there, I want to enjoy and share beauty during people’s darker days.

Are there any artists that inspire you? If so who would they be and why?

Tons of artists inspire me!  Too many to name them all!  

Some of the most influential have been Monet for his use of color and love of water lilies; Degas for the grace of his brushwork and subjects; Satoshi Sakamoto for his imaginative sci-fi worlds; Peter Max for his use of color and impact; Stephen Cefalo for his atmospheric and angelic paintings; and Sherry Bruce Smith, Ester Roi, and Arlene Steinberg for their ridiculous color magic, composition, and colored pencil skills.

"The Night the Music Died"  30x36 inches, Mixed Media by Betsy Jones
"The Night the Music Died"  30x36 inches, Mixed Media & Gold Leaf on Canvas

What do you think the role of the artist is?

I think as artists, we have the responsibility of sharing ourselves with the world: a message, a record of our history, an opinion, an art medium or technique, an emotion, etc.  It all ends up being our take on the collective, our vision of the world at this moment, and the hopes and fears of the present or the future.  We have the duty of touching someone’s heart and affecting their lives even in some small way.  We are the people who continually promote humanity, culture, beauty, and compassion.  Artists aid in the medical field, entertainment, fashion, education, and language.  We have our pencils and brushes in most nooks of society and it’s our role to open the minds of society and teach people about others’ experience.

"Nova"  16x20 inches, Acrylic Paint on Board by Betsy Jones
"Nova"  16x20 inches, Acrylic Paint on Board

What other interests do you have outside of your artwork?

I am the owner of the Colored Pencil Artists and Lovers on Facebook group, which takes up (gladly!) much of my non-art time.  It’s the best art group I’ve ever been a part of, 1200+ members full of support and positivity.  

I also am finding that as I get older I am becoming a homebody.  I love to cook and try to spend every Sunday in the kitchen trying new recipes and making old favorites.  I’m also a bookworm and have lately been crocheting.

I’ve got a great little family with my musician husband and our cat and dog.  And we enjoy our quiet days of art, music, food, and movies or video games.
And I’ve got to say, my favorite pastime is what I call the art of sitting.  So often schedules are filled to the max, it’s nice to just pour a cup of tea or a couple shots of tequila and enjoy a quiet moment, or catch up with your friends and loved ones.

"Shattered"  10x30 inches, Colored pencil on Paper by Betsy Jones
"Shattered"  10x30 inches, Colored pencil on Paper

And finally, what advice would you give to other artists?

If you love what you do keep at it and never give up.  Create what makes you happy – the fans and the sales will follow.  Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. If people can’t see your work they can’t buy it or enjoy it. 

To view more of Jones' artwork and learn more information about the artist you can visit her Facebook Page for further details.

1 comment:

j.m.h. said...

I have known Betsy personally and she is a very colorful and bright light in this world. I am getting to know the art that Betsy does over time and i am a huge fan. I have to say that i am always going to be looking forward to what she has to offer in the future. The world of art as well as the world in general are very lucky to have Betsy. This conversation seems utterly genuine and informative and i'm glad i got the chance to read it!! Keep on creating Betsy!!

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