1) Who is Laura Jones?
30 year old painter and printmaker from Sydney.
2) Explain your current body of work?
Currently I am working on a series of still life paintings. I bring flowers from my work at a flower shop to the studio and paint them over the course of 2 or 3 days. The paintings encapsulate their decay because I respond to them as I see them over that period of time. The flowers are always changing and so interesting shifts occur over the course of the painting, creating slightly abstracted forms that overall have the feeling of being a “flower.” I love the symbolism they hold and the metaphorical power that they have.
3) If you can pick one artist as an inspiration, who would it be and why?
Can I pick three?
Lara Merrett for her fluidity. I share a studio with her and her paintings are quite autobiographical in a way. I think she is a wonderful and clever colourist. Her work is reflective of her life as a vibrant woman and artist. Also, I’m looking a lot at Margaret Olley and Margaret Preston at the moment.
I love the strong graphic elements of Preston’s work. Her printmaking and compositional design is inspiring. I lived in Japan as a high school student and was drawn to woodblock prints. I am still influenced by this aesthetic when it comes to flowers, the simplification of them and strong use of shape, decoration and colour.
Margaret Olley- I delivered her some flowers once through my work as a florist. I told her I was an artist and she started to give me advice- she told me “whatever you do… don’t get a grant!”. She told me that she thought that work was very important to young artists, to learn the value of the money that they earnt. I have embraced my work as a florist and can see a synergy in the way I work. I draw from it to make my paintings better. She inspired me with her character, talent and drive.
4) With your own art practice, where would you like to be in 10 years.
I’d like to be making beautiful paintings in a studio in a country garden. Showing interstate and overseas. Working across mediums.
5) What kind of art training have you had?
I studied Art History and Theory in my undergraduate degree at Sydney Uni when I was doing an Asian Studies degree in Japanese language there. I did a few Tin Sheds courses as well. Then I completed a Master of Art at COFA in Printmaking and Painting. I’ve always done life drawing and did a drawing marathon in New York last year at the New York Studio School as well.
6) Can you tell us about your process when creating an artwork?
I like to paint from life whether it be portraits or still life. I like the challenge and the speed required for it! It forces me to be decisive and bold. I make a loose underpainting in bright colours and then work all over the whole surface evenly until it builds up. I work in bursts and sit back on my couch to look at it until I’m ready to jump up again. I like to keep moving through the work.
7) In the arts is social media helpful or not and why?
I use instagram to upload photographs of my work in progress and studio. I think it can support your online presence by being a more casual and conversational platform than your website. I love taking photos so instagram suits me. It has opened up my work to a wider audience and I’ve had a few opportunities come my way because of it.
8) What’s the funniest thing you’ve heard someone say about your own work?
I can’t remember. Plenty.
9) What’s next on the agenda?
More flower paintings and studio interiors, and nudes.
Maunsell Wickes Gallery in March.
10) What is your advice to children who want to be artists?
Draw, paint, make, do. Doing is the most important. You just know it in your bones if you want to be an artist, and you won’t
be able to help it anyway, so make sure you follow your instincts when it comes to deciding whether to keep going with it.
11) How are you finding the current art market?
It seems fine at my level but I think this current state of flux effects more established artists and it’s hard for people to find galleries to show with.
12) Name four things that you can’t do without in your studio?
My brown couch that cost $70 when I had a studio in Windsor. It’s been with me in every studio I’ve had, I’m so attached to it!
Tea or Coffee
Something to paint on.
13) If you couldn’t be an artist what would you be?