Jody Jones’ day job sets her in the skies as a flight attendant for Delta Airlines, but her background in art has gone from dabbling with art to creating her signature mixed-media works.
Jones, who has a degree in art history, makes no pretense about her art. Comprised of china, beads, paper and oils, each piece is indeed an organic creation. Depicting flowers in casual arrangements, Jones uses 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 piece 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 the intricate detailing of glass beads, paper and, of course, china pieces.
When Jones participated in her first art show at the PACE Center in 2013, she says she felt 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.”
She became re-energized after she and a close friend went to Bellagio, Italy, in July last year to take part in an Art and Faith Retreat with Jeanne Oliver, an acclaimed artist based in Castle Rock, and Stephanie Ackerman of 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.”
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 hopes to have even more time for her art in the near future and recently converted the family’s study into an art studio. For now, she 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.”