I am so in love with my latest Artist Spotlight Series feature.

 Her work is so interesting and her palette is really sophisticated and unusual.

I dig it!

Enjoy getting to know

Kathleen Jones

Macon, Georgia

 

What is your training? 

I feel like I have been training for this my whole life! As a child I was bad a sports so my mom put me in private art lessons that I continued into high school. I took every art class then and painted several murals in my community by the time I graduated. I went to a few different colleges, the Art Institute of Atlanta, Georgia State, and finally graduated from Valdosta State with a BFA in Art Education. I had great professors at VSU, I feel like its a hidden gem. After college I taught high school art for four years and spent two of my summer breaks working as an artist apprentice at multiple workshops in France at La Bonne Etoile. I had the opportunity to study under some incredible plein air and pastel artists while I was there- I feel like it really rounded out my artistic training. 

What inspires you and your designs?

I am very inspired by my surroundings, both past a present. I’m such a nostalgic person- song lyrics from a dance in the 8th grade, rug patterns from my aunts house, my dad’s favorite shirt- I keep it all in a mental file that my subconscious pulls from. I also take a lot of photos of patterns, colors, etc when I visit new places now so that I can build collections from more recent experiences. I feel like I am still in the “figuring it out” phase of my art- it’s still evolving into my own style.

What is your favorite piece?

This is a hard one. For a long time it was “It’s Just A Wave” because it felt like such a breakthrough for me.

I still love that painting, but my style has evolved so much since then. Right now I would probably say its a tie between “Bless Your Heart” and “High Tea With Anna Lee.”

Bless Your Heart has patterns pulled from my mother’s brown quail dishes and is a nod to my southern upbringing, and High Tea With Anna Lee is about my trip to Scotland last year with my husband and brother in law and his wife Anna Lee. It was a magical trip and I feel like I captured that feeling in that painting, even if the aesthetic does not feel anything like Scotland haha!

How has the your area influenced your work?

It’s everything! I live in Macon, GA which is a pretty historic place, so there is so much inspiration to drink up just by strolling around town. So many creative people- Otis Redding, the Allman Brothers, etc are from here, you can feel that creative vibe in the air. But when I travel, I take hundreds (ok, thousands) of photos and usually try to build collections around those experiences. Travel in any form is my absolute favorite past time. 

What is your favorite restaurant in Macon?

Oooh that is also tough, Macon is a great place to eat! If we want a more formal meal and a good cocktail we love Dovetail  

or Lazy Susan

but if you want down home cooking, then H&H is THE place to eat.

The Allman Brothers used to eat there often (their old house is right up the street from mine) and they have done such a great job of preserving the history in there. They are always playing great music and their home made biscuits and jam are to die for!

What is your favorite cocktail?

So my husband has really opened my eyes to cocktails- he is a great bartender and loves to make fun drinks at home. Depending on the season, I love a classic Negroni

when it’s cold and a tiki drink or a classic Hendricks and soda when its hot. I also love a good Aperol Spritz, but I make it with less Aperol and more champagne that most- its lighter that way.

How do you balance personal life and work?

This is still something I am mastering! I work from my home and I have very little control over when inspiration will strike, so the two are very interwoven. I try to stop painting when my husband gets home from work so we can spend time together and cook dinner, but a lot of times that’s when ideas will flood in so I have to try to balance that. I am not a 9 to 5 person, so I definitely don’t adhere well to a schedule like that. I draw on an app on my phone ALL the time, so that is usually what I will do if I am “off the clock” but don’t want to lose an idea- I will try to sketch it down quickly and then put my phone away. My husband is also a big part of my business- he manages my website, builds my frames, and does most of my packing and shipping so honestly we probably don’t balance it well because its such a big part of our life. We do make time to see our friends and family often and travel whenever we can for fun- we are not a workaholic household!

 

Dream trip?

Ooooooh how long do you have? So even though I’ve spent substantial time in France, I will always want to go back as many times as I can. My heart is very connected to that country. I would also love to go to Portugal and then work my way back to Spain- I have only been to Madrid and want to see more. Greece, Italy, and Costa Rica are also very high on my list. I want to explore more of this country as well- I loved my road trip out west a few summers ago and want to see more of it. I am seriously considering trying to thruhike the Pacific Crest Trail in the next few years, so lots of hiking and backpacking too. I could keep going but I will stop. Travel is by far one of the best ways you can spend your time in my opinion.

Dream commission?

Really any commission where I have the freedom to create whatever I want. I love working with clients to create something special, but I dream of the day where someone will just give me a size and tell me to go nuts. That requires such a trust and strong belief in my art and I think that will result in some amazing work. I’m also a big Mindy Kaling fan and have been forever and I love her personal style. I know that she is a big collector and I would love to work with her one day.

Your favorite host / hostess gift to give?

I typically take a bottle of wine or a really great scented candle. It’s simple, it’s been done before, but those are two things that I know anyone will be happy to have, ya know?

Who is your style icon?

Woo baby, do I love fashion! I love Leandra Medine of the Man Repeller because she is very avant-garde and creative with how she dresses which is very artsy of her.

I also love Katie Sturino who is a plus size blogger that showed me that I can embrace fashion at full force even if I’m not a sample size (I am not.) I wish there had been more people like her on TV when I was growing up.

I also really relate to the Scumbro movement (think 2019 Pete Davidson and Jonah Hill) because I feel like that is my natural state- funky but comfy with a mix of high and low.

Your favorite up and coming artist?

I’m really into Brian Rattiner’s work right now. Its so mesmerizing. He has been making work for a while, so he may not be considered “up and coming” but I think he is spectacular.

What is your most treasured possession?

My grandmother, who we call Doll, recently gave me her grandmother’s wide gold wedding band. She wore it every day since her grandmother basically raised her and it’s engraved on the inside- “Ivan to Julia.” It’s just a very old, very special piece and I am one of 7 grandchildren (next to the youngest actually) so I am honored that she chose to give it to me. 

What are you reading?

I am not a big reader, it’s hard for me to keep my attention on the page, but I am reading a few books right now. Some are for business (Art/Work and You Are A Badass At Making Money)

but my book for pleasure is called Meet Me In The Bathroom.

It’s a history of the rock scene in NYC during the late 90s and early 2000s told by the artists that lived it. It’s amazing! It’s the Strokes and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and LCD Soundsystem talking about how they came to fame and what it was like living and working in NYC during that time. I grew up listening to a lot of that music so it’s really fun reading about it from their perspective.

What are you listening to?

My music taste is all over the map and music has always been a really important part of my life. I love indie electronic like Toro y Moi,

Washed Out, and Tame Impala to paint to. I also love jam bands like Phish and the Grateful Dead. Lots of hiphop in the mix like Travis Scott and Kendrick Lamar. And can’t forget all the classic rock and jazz fusion like Weather Report I grew up listening to. It’s probably shorter to tell you what I’m not listening too haha! Pop country and scream-o are really my only no-gos.

What are your favorite blogs / publications?

Man Repeller, The 12ish Style, Skinny Confidential (by looking at her page this might surprise you but she is a business genius and is actually VERY down to earth) New American Paintings, Art Papers

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Be sure to follow Kathleen on her Website Kath Studio and Instagram(Obsessed with her recent posts). 

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