Inspiring Artist, Susan Jones

This week I would like to introduce you to a local North Carolina photographer, Susan Jones.

Please introduce yourself and your art a little bit.

Hi, I’m Susan Jones. I’m a fine art photographer from Raleigh, NC. I began studying photography and illustration in 1996 at Meredith College. I couldn’t choose between the two so I combined them! I have been creating hand colored, black and white prints since 2002; currently I am using colored pencils on archival ink-jet prints. I have a working studio, Without Borders, in The Carter Building on Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, NC that I share with two other visual artists from the area, Lee Ball and Tunde Afolayan. I am having a show August 5th at Local Color Gallery and participating in a group show at The Carter Building entitled “Re-imagining Blu” sponsored by triangle.com in October. I am also having a show in November at The Electric Beanz in Raleigh, NC.


For me art is…

Art is the opportunity to slow down and rejuvenate. I am a mixed media artist, colored pencil and black and white photography. My photography helps me ‘see’ the world in some very interesting new ways. Sometimes we forget to look and we take everyday things for granted. I teach photography to middle school students in the summer, my goal is to teach them to look at things from new and different perspectives. I am always inspired by their ideas, following along and learning to see with new eyes too. The act of coloring is very meditative to me. When I’m mixing colors, everything else receeds and I feel calm and happy. By applying translucent layers of colored pencil to my black and white images, I am able to show others what I see.

What are you currently working on?

I am working on an exhibition of anthropomorphic images featuring characters I see in nature. My next big project combines old buildings, porches, etc. My on-going work includes botanical pieces and other things that strike my fancy.

Who has inspired you?

This is a tough question. It seems that the list grows as I write! The artists that have inspired me the most are probably:
Beatrix Potter and Mary Engelbreit for subject matter and media’
Georgia O’Keefe’s close – ups of botanical subjects.
Photographer Imogene Cunningham provided early inspiration as a woman beginning a career while maintaining her role as full time mother. It was important to see that you don’t have to travel beyond your own little corner of the world to make great art.
Photographer and author, Dare Wright has also been a large inspiration. One of my favorite on-going projects is photographing 2 hand carved wooden dolls to create stories.
Books that have also influenced me include Hitty, Her First 100 Years, Eloise, The Borrowers, Miss Hickory.

What is your favorite inspirational quote?

“Bloom where you are planted.”
There have been many times over the years where I have felt like everything would be perfect if I was just somewhere else (time, place, circumstances…) This quote reminds me that I can bloom anywhere if I put my mind to it. I am a collector of quotes some of my favorites are by Mark Twain, Jimmy Buffett, Thoreau, and Einstein on creativity.

Are there any tips to living a creative life that you’d like to share?

Nurture  relationships with artists. The art world, or any situation where you work alone, can be very stressful and fill you with insecurities. Having other artists around to share experiences is amazing. I have gotten involved in the art community, serving on the Board of the Visual Art Exchange, founded the Carter Building Alliance, and am an active member of the Glenwood South Merchants Association. I don’t have time to disappear into that black hole I used to spend most of my time in. Sharing a studio with 2 other artists is a big plus; aside from sharing expenses, we share ideas and work on common projects. Together we will succeed in a way that would be very difficult on our own.

Where can people find you and your work?

My studio is at 18 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, NC behind the bright yellow door. We are open on First Fridays and during the week by appointment – the times we are there are flexible so it is best to double check to be sure someone is there. http://withoutborderstudio.com/;
My personal website is http://www.skjonesart.com/ which has a link to my blog http://skjonesart.blogspot.com/ and Yessy site http://www.yessy.com/susankjonesart/gallery.html;
I teach classes and workshops at the Carter Building Art Center, http://www.cbaraleigh.com/Pages/classes%20and%20workshops.html.
Find out what’s going on with the artists at the Carter Building, http://www.cbaraleigh.com/index.html
My facebook link is http://www.facebook.com/pages/Susan-Jones-Fine-Art-Photography-Web-Design/125783400824764.

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