We are very pleased to throw a spotlight on the work of Stuart Jone, our February Artist of the Month.
How would you describe your current practice (e.g. materials, techniques, themes, key questions, approach)?
I am a painter interested in the environment and the way we view and experience it. My work is informed by the urban and rural landscape and ideas of utopia, dystopia and the sublime. I create work exploring reality within environments and our relationship with them. I am intrigued by places and spaces that exist within our lives and ideas around natural disasters, climate change and current social and political issues. My work explores our relationships and connections with the landscape and how this is consistently in flux. I am a predominately a painter interested in how paint behaves as a material. I like to experiment with using paint in a variety of ways including, staining, runbacks and the use of stencils, mainly on canvas. I use a range of materials predominately oil paint but also spray paint, marker pens and ink. I am currently using a lot of collage techniques as starting points for ideas and other ways of working.
What are you working on at the moment (forthcoming exhibitions, events, workshops, etc)?
I am currently busy working on a large scale canvas in the studio. I have also been experimenting on un-stretched pieces of canvas and I am planning to develop these in new and different ways, maybe thinking and working more sculptural with them.
What are your plans for the coming year?
To continue to experiment and explore ways of working in the studio and produce a new series of paintings.
What is the question you get asked about your work, and how do you answer it?
Q- Why do you work so big?
A- Because I want too. It feels more natural working on a large scale I like the physicality of it.
What or who inspired you to be an artist, and why?
An artist in residence we had during my education at school and college in Wigan. His name was Ian Murphy. He inspired me because firstly I saw him as an artist and not a teacher. He was attracted to the same landscapes as me and he used a wide range of mixed media within his drawings and paintings. He was a local bloke from Wigan who happened to be an artist. It made it seem more tangible the idea of becoming an artist myself.
Which artist do you admire and why?
Contemporary artist would have to be Frank Bowling. Visiting his recent exhibition at the Tate Britain just blew me away, his use of paint is fascinating and inspiring the way he lets in run, flow and bleed.
Historic artist is J.M.W Turner because of his radical and innovative approach to the landscape and how he captured the energy, mood and atmosphere of these places in his paintings.
How has your relationship with Digswell Arts strengthened your practice as an artist?
It has helped me have more of a professional approach to my practice by having a large scale studio space enabling me to be more ambitious with my artwork and specifically last year as I sold quite a few paintings and the space made it easier to construct crates for my sold work to be shipped in and also access via an external fire escape staircase to the carpark to enable the work to be collected for transporting.
Also working alongside a group of artists in terms of sharing knowledge, ideas and ways of working is crucial in terms of sustaining a practice and surviving as an artist.