Jennifer Leigh Jones: Respite

January 2020

Jennifer Leigh Jones was born in Colorado. She is currently a Visiting Full-time Professor in the Fine Arts Department at Ringling College of Art and Design. In 2003 she received her BFA in Painting from Baylor University in Waco, TX.  While there, she spent a semester studying Painting in Florence at Lorenzo D’ Medici.  She received her MFA in Painting and Drawing in 2009 from the University of North Texas where she taught as an adjunct professor until 2014. From 2014 to 2018 she taught as an Associate Professor and served as the Department Chair at Navarro College, located near Dallas Texas.
Her work explores the relationships between objects and the memories they trigger.

Her work explores the relationships between objects and the memories they trigger. She is fascinated by the way the mind processes life events, from extreme traumas that life can sometimes yield to the soft tranquility of the mundane. Each object she portrays is inextricably bound to the memory of events. She employs a range of materials to evoke the distinctions between disparate objects and memories within a frame. The material selection enhances the temporal and commemorative aspects of the objects. Some are brought to the fore, in sharp clarity, sometimes rendered in detail using oil paint. Other objects, drawn in fine pencil, preside silently over the scene in ghostly delicacy.

Artist Statement

In my work, I explore the relationship between objects and the memories they trigger. I am fascinated by the manner in which the mind processes life events, from the extreme traumas that life can sometimes yield to the soft tranquility of playing with a tea set. Each object I portray is inextricably bound to the memory of events.

The minimal field, in my works, reflects aspects of memory space where the objects reside. As the mind sharply recalls each detail and event of a specific object, the sense of time and space is blunted and falls away. Time-space collapses into the two-dimensional surface of the canvas and, simultaneously, extends to the infinite and distant horizon.

I employ a range of materials to evoke the distinctions between disparate objects and memories within a frame. The material selection enhances the temporal and commemorative aspects of the objects. Some are brought to the fore, in sharp clarity, and rendered in detail using gesso and charcoal. Other objects, rendered in fine pencil, preside silently over the scene in ghostly delicacy.

The objects are orchestrated and assembled, within the scene, based on my own associations and history. The internal narratives driving the selection and placement of objects and landscape are extremely personal and specific. However, by removing my story from the completed image, I allow the viewer to enter the reverie of his or her own memory space. The universal nature of precious objects and its attendant memories allows the viewer to develop their own narratives relating to the objects portrayed and the painting itself becomes a memory object with which the viewer creates a new and extending memory web.