With a highly celebrated career spanning over three decades, all eyes will be on visual artist Dan Jones’ new collection and his progression since his last showing.
The show, opening Thursday at ecce gallery, consists of Jones’ iconic landscape work including both oil paint and charcoal media. Variances in the combination of realism and ambiguity projected define this collection in comparison to the overall body of work.
“I think there’s a lot more improvisation in this set. They’re not as based on actual scenes,” Jones said. “… Now I’m a lot more open to the ‘Aha’ moments or making a mistake and chasing it down to see where it goes.”
His unafraid approach comes from experience and allows more honesty in his projections. Deviating from the expectation of perfecting every brushstroke, Jones said mistakes lead him in different and often more effective directions than he would have first anticipated.
The relaxed approach is beneficial to Jones’ relationship to the work, as well as the viewer.
“Tim Ray told me one time,” Jones said, “when you make a mistake get down on your knees and thank God.”
Jones’ use of oil paint and charcoal are equally intentional in their desired outcomes.
“I started doing oils because of the traditionality of it. There’s so much that you can learn,” Jones said. “That’s a big part of art for me, being able to learn something every day.”
He highlighted the importance of art history and looking back to specific artists like Milton Avery as influence to his large-scale oil paintings. Jones examines the nature of abstract expressionist work and using shapes to define the space on his own canvases.
With his charcoal usage, the majority are derivative of paintings or drawings already previously created.
“If you find an image you really like, that you feel good about, it’s fun to do it in different sizes and media,” Jones said. ” … To explore that image in every way you can.”
In terms of viewer experience, Jones was candid in regard to his methodology.
“People seem to like the stuff, and it makes them happy,” Jones said. “That’s not my goal when I make it – I’m trying to make myself happy. But the fact that other people have a positive experience with it is wonderful.”
Jones has served the art community through a variety of roles beyond a studio-practicing artist. Serving early on as a framer, and eventually a gallerist, he specified that his rare, widened perspective has not influenced his creative processes.
Jones also offered advice to young artists.
“Run away,” he said jokingly. “… You’ve got to learn the rules of how to build a painting. You’ve got to learn the rules in order to break them.”
Overwhelmingly, Jones expressed pride in the new work, his increasingly easygoing methodology and the support he receives from viewers and those closest to him.
“It’s a different life, being an artist,” he said. “It’s different being the wife of an artist, (or) the kid of an artist. I’m lucky my family is so supportive.”
WHEN: 6-8 p.m. Thursday
WHERE: ecce gallery, 216 Broadway N.
MORE INFO: ecce216.com