Rick Jones began his 46-year arts career in Dayton, Ohio at age eight when in 1956, his mother enrolled him in Saturday morning art classes at the Dayton Art Institute. She made sure he rarely missed a Saturday for nearly ten years. Now with a Master’s Degree in painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art Hoffberger School of Painting, he is an exhibited painter, author, and sometimes poet and retired arts administrator.
He directed the Fitton Center for Creative Arts in Hamilton for 25 years. He and his family own Renaissance Fine Art Supplies & Framing in downtown Hamilton. With arts degrees, teaching college art for six years, and a 40-year career running successful arts centers, he, in 1991, was presented the Ohio Governor’s Award for Arts Administration. He has played the piano and banjo, was a longtime collector of telegraph insulators and now in his spare time gives painting lessons while finishing his book. The OCAC exhibition is his third since getting back into painting in 2017 after a 44-year hiatus.
After getting my MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Hoffberger School of Painting in 1972, I taught college art for six years. In 1979 I switched to directing community arts centers in Ohio. Until 2017 and after getting our art supply and framing business off the ground, my last painting had been done in 1976. It’s nice to be back at it part-time and you can consider me a student since I truly am an amateur.
My early paintings after grad school ranged from large-scale abstracts to abstract landscapes. I dabbled a little in realism by 1976, but more in imagery than attempting to pull the viewer into the work with a lot of detail as I do today. I focus on light and color and I work from reference photographs. I would much prefer to paint from life en plein air, but my work schedule at sixty hours a week just doesn’t permit it. Some of a landscape painter’s best work is done outdoors, especially quick studies to capture the moment in light, color and value.
But taking a reference photo, adjusting the composition, manipulating the color to achieve a sense of space and time, can be challenging and exhilarating.
I make no effort here to rationalize what or why I paint. I just do it. I’ll let you and any critics (who are competent judges) make your own evaluations and decisions. Who am I to tell you what to see? My practice is that of any artist trying to achieve perfection, that elusive and unattainable state. I paint, I make mistakes, I scrape it out, overpaint, and keep going until I reach that equally elusive state of “finished”.
Rick H. Jones