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Jeffrey Catherine Jones


There is a print of a painting by Jeffrey Catherine Jones (who preferred to be called C.J.), in the corner of my private office in the Studio, just above and to the left of the chair.



There is a Jones print on the opposite wall, above my television. There are Jones books on display on the perpendicular outer wall; in the library in the next room; and in the lecture hall.

There are several more Jones prints in the Studio, and in my home. In the Studio stairwell, there is a photo of C.J. with the other members of "The Studio": Barry Windsor-Smith, Berni(e) Wrightson, and Michael Kaluta.

The Studio, where these four incredibly talented artists shared a working space for a brief time, inspired a legacy that shaped my own views of what a creative space should represent. It is the reason why I capitalize "Studio" when speaking of my own workspace. Mike and Bernie became friends of mine; I got to interview Barry, who was, for a time, my largest illustrative influence - but C.J. was, to me, the true Romantic.

C.J. was one of the best painters, ever; one of the most elegant draftspersons, ever. And a very gentle soul who was trying to make her way in the world.

We only met once in person, and in recent years, had corresponded, and become friends. And I will say, to my great relief, that C.J. IS one of those people to whom I expressed my full admiration, and full appreciation for their influence on and in my life. An expression which C.J. gratefully accepted.

Her paintings are human, and beautiful. Her drawings, more so. And I cherish the work that is still here to be emulated, and aspired to.

And right now, I feel a great urgency - an urgency to do more good work, faster; an urgency to tell people close to me how meaningful they are.

I don't recall the exact details of my last exchange with C.J. except that the response was perfect and gracious, and as an artist, I felt as if I had truly been offered a seat at the grownups table; that one of the greatest of the generation before mine was treating me as a colleague, not just a starstruck young hopeful.

I will miss those moments. But I'm glad that I got to have them. And I hope, I know, that C.J. is finally at peace.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
quennessa
May. 19th, 2011 07:39 pm (UTC)
*sitting here, weeping in McDonalds*

I still can't find words. She was just such a staggeringly brilliant artist.
jhkimbrell
May. 19th, 2011 07:46 pm (UTC)
Beautiful.
vdmorris27
May. 19th, 2011 09:09 pm (UTC)
Heaven needed a new painter for the clouds.
galdrin
May. 19th, 2011 09:16 pm (UTC)
I believe my introduction to Jones was Idyll.
kythiaranos
May. 19th, 2011 11:09 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry for your loss, and hope that the legacy of her friendship and art will buoy you. Her artwork is beautiful. I love the picture you posted--that girl has a story in her countenance.
blackdragon23
May. 19th, 2011 11:56 pm (UTC)
I also posted on my LJ and I feel I fell short of saying anything meaningful there.
I feel a loss...
lois2037
May. 20th, 2011 01:03 am (UTC)
When I first joined Facebook, one of my pals shared a link to one of her paintings. I commented on how lovely I thought it was, and was in complete fangirl heaven when Jeffrey Catherine Jones sent me a friend invitation! I think she "friended" any number of people who expressed joy and appreciation for her work. I'm betting we all were thrilled. She posted many amazing paintings and drawings, sometimes 3 or 4 a day, and I already miss them. I don't think there is any way to adequately measure the loss of such an amazing artist. And I envy you that you knew her.
klwilliams
May. 20th, 2011 04:11 am (UTC)
I'm sorry CJ is gone, but glad that the art is still here.
christymarx
May. 20th, 2011 05:05 am (UTC)
This jolted me on a number of levels. I have long deeply admired the work of the artist I knew only as Jeff Jones.

I had no idea Jeff Jones was a woman! I wish I could have met her.

And I'm saddened by her passing. Another bright light has gone out in the world.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )