Pages of my recent sketchbook

Last week I finished the last page in a sketchbook that I began in October. Keeping a sketchbook used to be a practice that when people would suggest to me (professors, other artists, whomever) I might nod and agree, maybe an internal eye-roll, like yes, one more thing to do. But, over the past few years that I have made it a regular and integrated practice, it truly is invaluable to me. Having this small portable evidence of my thoughts and ideas to carry around is a mental boost, a surge of self-confidence. Seeing the work all together, flipping through pages, and recalling my thoughts at specific times is interesting, a visual chart of growth. Entries from seven months ago are as fresh as entries from two weeks ago. Time is a strange creature. 

And just as important is the act of making. Sometimes my entries are preparations before I paint on something larger, sometimes an entry is part of my quiet time, or it's at the end of a long teaching day, or made during the in between moments of daily tasks. Even at the end of teaching days when I'm too tired to paint anything else, if I have touched my sketchbook and put brush or pencil to a page, then I feel I have accomplished a moment of meeting my art on that day. So it is a communicative tool in that sense, a way for me to interact with my art, to keep the relationship alive. And the privacy of the format allows me to be open during the process. I know I don't have to share anything in it with anyone else. And while I do share some pages online on my public IG account, I still consider my sketchbook to be private and just for me.


My work in MWM Magazine

My recent works on paper and oil paintings were featured in the MWM, My Wildlife Magazine, an online and regional print magazine published by artist Kaley Rhodes and her husband. She describes the vision for the publication as a "rural Kansas magazine that documents our authentic perspective of life on the plains." I am honored to have my work included. 

MWM Volume 5 No. 2  “MWM 2016 Featured Artist Heather Smith Jones.” MWM Vol. 5 No. 2 The Art Issue, pgs. 33 - 42.


#CautionMayBeHot exhibition

From October 21 - November 27 Long Weekend in Oakland and Fayes in San Francisco are hosting a collection of altered paper coffee cups submitted by artists from all over, in an exhibition called #CautionMayBeHot. I sent two that I painted with acrylic after trying a few "warm up" versions in gouache. Painting in the round was fun and for some reason painting on a paper cup allowed me to work in an uninhibited way, similar to when I work in my sketchbook. Not sure why it was this way. But I also enjoy seeing my abstract work in a different form, seeing the marks "framed" in a way in which I am not accustomed. This process gave me ideas for future explorations...

View installation shots of the exhibit and entries #cautionmaybehot.

Two cups I painted for the #CautionMayBeHot exhibit on view at Long Weekend.

Two cups I painted for the #CautionMayBeHot exhibit on view at Long Weekend.

Two "warm up" cups I painted in preparation. 

Two "warm up" cups I painted in preparation. 

Palette exhibition at ampersand international arts

Have you ever been curious about the working process of others? What associations do they make when putting materials together, what do things look like behind the scenes, and simply, what does their palette look like? Well, this might be part of what curators Kelly Inouye, Theodora Mauro, and Lisa Solomon had in mind when they conceived the current exhibition called Palette at ampersand international arts in San Francisco. The pieces in the exhibit are not necessarily finished works but rather something like the brain-mapping or materials used to make finished works. I am happy to have two of my pieces take part. They put together a really nice online catalog if you'd like to see what I'm talking about. I wish I lived closer, I would like to see this in person. 

One of my watercolor paint brush blotters with a bit of letterpress printing, part of Palette exhibition at ampersand international arts.

One of my watercolor paint brush blotters with a bit of letterpress printing, part of Palette exhibition at ampersand international arts.

A tour of my work installed at Strecker-Nelson Gallery

I thought I would show you a few images of my work installed at Strecker-Nelson Gallery. I am so grateful to all the wall real estate my work has in this exhibit, two rooms! You can also see the individual works with pricing on the Strecker-Nelson website or on my previous post. Email me if you have questions about any of the pieces or contact the gallery owners, Jay and Barbara, to purchase.