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Meet Todd Jones

Today we’d like to introduce you to Todd Jones.

Todd, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I am an experimental artist working with painting, drawing, and sculpture. I am using a combination of traditional and modern techniques to explore the application of paint. I am currently living and working in Athens, Ohio and received my Bachelor of Fine Arts and double majored in studio art and psychology at Florida State University. Since graduating, I have been an artist-in-residence at Studio 209 in Thomasville, GA and have attended the Summer Painting and Sculpture Intensive hosted by the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, PA. I will be pursuing my MFA in Painting and Drawing at Ohio University starting in the fall of 2019.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The road to becoming an artist has not been smooth sailing. As someone who went to school for art, I found it difficult at times to continue my practice outside an educational setting. Once out of school, I struggled with finding balance with my day job and working in the studio. My production of art slowed down tremendously, but I switched my attention to showing the works I have previously completed. I also made it a priority to attend Artist Residencies and other professional development opportunities to take time for my practice. As long as I was doing something art-related, I came to accept that as a step in the right direction, and I slowly began to find balance as a working artist.

Please tell us more about what you do, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
Currently, my research shimmers between the boundaries of painting and sculpture. I am exploring the application of pigment on translucent and opaque surfaces, allowing the infrastructure to integrate within the image. These investigations can lead to sculptural objects, but also, engage with the history of abstraction by creating within the restraints of the stretcher and the rectangle. When the piece exceeds these constraints, an association is made with forms familiar to fabric and the body.

I paint through a variety of both traditional and non-traditional methods: by brush, marbling, or by pouring and drying pigment into skins. Discarded paint is found and recycled then altered and applied. At times, paint skins are rolled up, taking on the form of tongues or flowers. The artwork takes an investigational approach to new materials, manipulating them to gain a better understanding of their limitations. As a process-driven artist, I view my artistic practice as scientific experimentation.

I explore the ideologies of an image by deconstructing its properties. Ideas of pigment, surface, and stretcher are considered and repurposed. Color is taken from the industrial world and emphasizes the tactile quality of paint. This texture is cold and mechanic but stimulates the tastefulness of the color. For example, when blue, especially paired with pink is used it promotes sugary products and is associated with sweetness. The paint comes from every day such as places like hardware stores and advertisements.

This form of experimentation and results creates a sustainable and insatiable momentum to my studio practice. I discover unknown elements through layering, both concealing and revealing information. Throughout my work, there is a visual tension of control. This is the battle of self-opposition, a balance between the precision of painting with intention and the unexpected outcomes of a process-based approach.

A dialogue between the controlled aspects of painting and the unexpected outcomes of process-based methods give the artwork a visual tension of control, such as the battle of self-opposition.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The proudest moment of my career is starting my MFA degree in Painting and Drawing in the fall. I moved to Athens, OH, to attend Ohio University and will be receiving a full-tuition scholarship along with a teaching assistantship.

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