Monday, December 20, 2010
"Red Canyon" 8" x 10" oil/c
My second painting from Canyon De Chelly.
Canyon De Chelly is an inspirational place
to paint and well worth the trek to Northeast
Arizona. Painting from the base requires hiring
a Navajo guide but it is worth the expense.
To paint from the base as Edgar Payne and
many other notable American landscape painters
have is an awesome experience. There are
paintings everywhere you look.
I spent three days painting from the base with
William Kalwick, Jr., Kaye Franklin, Fran Ellisor
and Steve Atkinson. It was a trip of a life time and
I can't wait to go back.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
"Color Change in the Canyon" 8" x 10" oil/c
With this painting I start a new series
called "Canyons and Badlands" based on trips
I have taken over the past two years
to Big Bend, the Grand Canyon and Canyon
De Chelly. I finally had to admit to myself that
I went into a semi-funk after my one-man show
last month. After working so hard over a
period of months to create 35 worthy paintings
and then there was the high of the show weekend,
I guess it is only natural to feel a bit down
after such an event.
I took a couple of weeks off from painting (big mistake).
I sat around FaceBooking and blogging about the show
which was an important thing to do, but it kept
me away from the studio. I think my outdoor gear
hates me now. So, yesterday I started going through
pictures of my recent trips looking for something to
paint and that's when I realized how much great reference
material I have on the three canyons I've been to recently.
I did two small paintings yesterday just to see if I
still knew how to paint. Today I'm starting a larger
painting (20" x 24") and next week I hope to go even larger.
Don't know how many paintings there will be, but hey,
it gives me focus and that is apparently something I need.
Otherwise the social media thing takes over. Ironic
that I'm sitting here blogging when I have a blank
canvas screaming at me to get off my butt and start
slopping paint. Gotta go. Bad Karma to have a canvas
mad at you.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
"Cargill Grain Eelvator" 10" x 20" oil/c
Standing several stories tall just north of Temple
is the Cargill Grain Elevator. Those who
follow my work know I have a thing for
grain elevators. I like the old wooden
ones which are very hard to find these days.
For my "35 on 35" show I was looking for something
in the Temple to Waco area and this caught my
eye. I don't know how many times I've
driven past it and never taken notice.
On this particular day it stood out because
the sky was clearer and bluer than usual so
I ventured off the highway set up my easel
and did a quick color sketch. Something about
the composition kept bringing me back to
the sketch. I liked the way the railroad tracks
take your eye into the painting and the way
the trees on the right balanced the tall buildings.
This studio version made the show based on the
strength of the design more than anything else.
All-in-all not an overly inspiring piece but a good
documentary painting of life in central Texas.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
"City Lights Reflections" 8" x 10" oil/linen
I should have named this one
"Cloud Chaser" because that's what I was
doing in order to capture this one. You see
these types of extra large cloud formations
in New Mexico and Arizona all the time but here
in Texas it may only occur a few times
I had spent most of the day south of Austin
painting. I had two in the box I felt good
about and was settling in for the four hour
drive home to McKinney. This lone large
cloud mass began to form on the east side of
the highway as I came through the
Austin/Georgetown area. I couldn't help but
notice it and decided I should try to capture
it as a painting. The problem was I couldn't
get far enough away from the city to see the
bottom of the cloud.
As I came through Round Rock the highway
access road on the west side is elevated so I went
through town, made a u-turn and finally
got high enough to see the bottom of the cloud
and it was lit up like a Christmas tree from the
rising dust and city lights. It was amazing.
I set up behind a dumpster near the Rudy's BB-Q place
and by now the sun was setting fast so I had to
work fast. There is no way to feel this kind of rush
working in the studio. Twenty minutes later I had the
basics of what I needed for the painting. I put on a
head lamp to light the canvas as I finished the piece
on the spot. I made up most of the landscape at
the bottom of the piece. My apologies to Best Buy
and Walmart for not including them in the painting.
Just because its there doesn't mean I have to paint it.
Friday, December 10, 2010
"Yearling" 6" x 8" oil/c
Sometimes the simplest paintings are
the most fun and rewarding. I have
watched this herd of herefords on
many occasions. Their reddish brown
coat in stark contrast to their white
faces, socks and collar make them an
appealing subject to paint.
This was a late afternoon and the white
underbelly hair was being lit from the
reflected light off the ground mixed in with
some dust. What caught my eye were the shots
of teal and purple on the faces. I picked out
this one calf who didn't seem to be in much
of a hurry to go anywhere and after a few false
starts with the pose I settled in on this one.
Dropping him in front of the herd gave
him a sense of place.
Of the 35 paintings in the show this little one
is one of my favorites and I'm happy to
report is now in the care of a beloved collector.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
"Seeking Shade" 8" x 10" oil/linen
This painting is actually the second of the
day from the same location. I had stopped
along the access road in Buda, Texas to paint
a series of barns. A group of about ten cows
made their way across the field in front of
me and had began to settled in under the one
tree that was providing the only shade.
The problem was the tree was not very large
and, consequently, was not throwing a large
enough shadow to provide enough shade
for all the cows.
One by one they backed into the shade, found their
spot and settled in. Bringing up the rear was this one
yearling and by the time he got to the shade all of
the spots had been taken. He tried to
muscle his way in but none of the other cows
would budge leaving him no choice but to blop
down in full sun. I found the whole process
quite comical. I finished my barn scene, turned
my canvas and knowing the cows weren't going
anywhere for a while painted this scene.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
"Style Station" 9' x 12" oil/linen
The entire "35 on 35" show is now online.
Go to my website www.rustyjonesstudio.com
to see the entire show.
I have taken a few days off from any serious
painting and, therefore, do not have a lot
to blog about these days. I have made an
important discovery that I will begin to share over
the next week or two as I return to the studio
and begin a new series of paintings.
Early on I kept hearing the phrase "you have to find
you own voice" in reference to developing a style
that is uniquely your own. Funny thing about
doing a one-man show that requires you to
produce thirty five paintings over a short period
of time. Unknowingly...I found my voice and over
the next couple of blog sessions I will share my
discovery and the process I've gone through
to get to the point where I not only discovered
"my voice" but also like "my voice". Stay tuned.
Friday, November 19, 2010
"Rolling Hills of Hay" 22" x 28" oil/c
Last weekend was my first one-man show
at Riverbend Fine Art in Marble Falls, Texas.
I want to thank gallery owner, Suzanne Owens,
and gallery director Marta Stafford for their
support and all the hard work that Marta
and Lori did to pull the show together.
Friday was a demo in the gallery with a
good attendance. Anyone who has done
a demo in front of collectors knows how dicey
it can get when the painting takes on a life of its
own and you begin a rescue mission while
trying to appear calm and confident.
Bob Bradshaw wins the draw for the demo
and officially begins his collection of my work.
Can't really describe my emotions going into
Saturday night and the opening. I knew I
would be nervous and with all the talk by
other artists about how bad things are right
now, I am pleased to report that interest in
the work was overwhelming and paintings
Many thanks to Nita Lovel Dyslin for
the great photos of my show.
Me with gallery director, Marta Stafford
Love of my life, Tracy, my best friend
and harshest critic. Without her in my in
my corner none of it would worth the effort.
To end up with 35 paintings I produced 42
and Tracy got to see the good, the bad
and the ugly. I can always count on her to set
me straight and to be brutally honest about
my work. More than that, just knowing she
supports me and is by my side as I chase this
childhood dream to be an artist is all that matters.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
"Cargill Grain Elevator" 10" x 20" oil/canvas
The paintings are hung, the portfolio
is published and it is showtime!
This weekend is my much anticipated
one-man show "35 on 35". Tomorrow is
a demo in the gallery from 2 to 5 and
Saturday the show opens at 6:00.
Never had a one-man show before so I'm
not sure how I am suppose to feel, but
I can tell you I am a little anxious and at the
same time I feel a huge sense of accomplishment.
To take a concept to completed paintings to
a show is new to me. I have to thank
Riverbend Fine Art for supporting my idea
and gallery director, Marta Stafford for all
of her encouragement and unbridled enthusiasm.
No matter what happens this weekend, I am a better
painter than I was before I started. I hope this
show is the kick in the pants I have needed to
move my art and career to the next level...
whatever that is. I will post the show online
next week and give you a full report on
the opening activities.
Monday, November 8, 2010
"Fishing Hole" 12" x 16" oil/linen
All 35 paintings are finished and delivered
to the gallery. The new portfolio of works
has been published and should be at the
gallery tomorrow. This Friday, Nov. 12th
I will be doing a demo in the gallery and the
show opens at 6:00 Saturday night. Can't wait.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
"Moran Point" 9" x 12" oil/linen
I have had the good fortune of being invited
to participate in two miniature shows
next month. For the fourth year in a row
I will be showing at the Collectors Covey
miniature show in Dallas. This is one of
the most highly anticipated shows each year
with internationally famous artists like
Bob Kuhn, Ken Carlson, John Cowen,
Clyde Apevig, Len Chimel, Ralph Olberg,
Matt Smith and Frank Serrano showing
their smaller works. I am so proud
to be a part of this esteem group of painters
and sculptures each year. The painting displayed
above is a plein air piece from my summer trip
to the Grand Canyon.
"Ranch House" 9" x 12" oil/linen
For the second year in a row I have been
invited to participate in the Whistle Pik
miniature show in Fredericksburg. Whistle
Pik is one of the finest galleries in the state
and the group of artists showing this year
is as strong as ever. I am really looking forward
to seeing this show.
This painting was done as part of the Southwest
Art magazine's "My World" series and was
published last year. Time for the painting to find
a good home.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
"Charlie's Pasture" 10" x 20 oil/c
I spent this past weekend at the Coastal
Paintout in Port Aransas, TX sponsored by
Port A Gallery. The three-day event is one
of my favorites because of the many great
memories I have of wading and flyfishing
for redfish in the many flats that line the
"Moorings Pagota" 9" x 12" oil/linen
I produced eight paintings over two and
half days of painting. Saturday was the
Quick Draw and show opening which was
"Woody's in Morning Light" 9" x 12" oil/linen
This painting won the People's Choice Award.
This is the third year in a row I have
won the award. Woody's is one of the island's
landmark locations. It is the epicenter of the
Marina where all things boating or fishing takes
place. I've been going to Woody's since I was
10 years old. I really miss the old weathered
building that use to be Woody's.
Port Aransas has everything an artist can ask
for in a painting location. It has the beach with
sand dunes, boats of all kinds and shapes including
sailboats, shrimpers, tugboats and the big
tankers that make their way up the ship channel.
"At the Jetties Looking South" 8" x 10"
The jetties is always a great place
to paint. When the clouds are in the sky
an early morning sunrise painting is
a real challenge. There is always
an abundance of bird life, fishermen,
the beach and, of course, the ocean.
While painting at the jetties with
LaNell Arndt and Bob Rohm,
the Corpus Christi paper sent a
reporter/photographer to cover the event.
Ended up with my picture in the paper
and a video interview on their webcast.
You can see the video by going to www.caller.com
and going to the video section.
All-in-all and really good weekend.
Friday, October 8, 2010
"Paint in the Afternoon" 18" x 24" oil/linen
Having completed the smaller 8" x 10"
and 9" x 12" paintings I have moved
into the final stages of the 35 on 35 paintings.
This paint was grazing just outside of
San Antonio one afternoon. I do very
few animal paintings but I couldn't pass
this one up. I apologize ahead of time to
all those friends of mine who
paint horses. I'll let this one dry then
go back into it to correct the anatomy.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Back in the studio this week after
teaching a five-day plein air workshop
in Wimberley, Texas deep in the heart
of the Hill Country. The weather was
perfect which always makes for a more
I had a really good group of students
being the eager sponges that they were.
Full of questions and anxious to paint.
I have discovered that workshops kind
of follow a pattern. There's the initial
excitement of the students wanting to
"get after it" to quote Joshua Bean. By
day three there's the midweek lull when I'm
getting tired and students begin to question
why they're there. Then on day four light bulbs
start going off in the students' heads and by
day five it all comes together as the students
start to produce really nice work.
Here I am producing another demo on
day two. Up to this point we have been
doing black and white block ins. This
was the first day to slap on some color.
Roy Smith taking a breather.
Helping Melinda Mason move from
block-in to finish.
Roy making it happen at
Pedernales State Park.
Obviously saying something profound
and important to Sally and Melinda.
Friday, September 24, 2010
"I35 Cactus" 9"x12" oil/linen
Here's one of the new paintings for my
"35 on 35" show. The advantage of being
forced (self-imposed, of course) to do so
many paintings in a short time frame is
it really makes you focus and I think my style
is becoming apparent to me.
When you line the paintings up against the wall
and look at the whole group of 30 paintings,
you begin to see things you like and don't
like. I can tell that the paintings I've done
over the past two weeks are stronger than
those I did earlier in the summer. I'm
not knocking the earlier work, I am just
more satisfied with the latest stuff.
The last set of five paintings will be larger.
I'm done with the 8"x10" and 9"x12" sizes.
Now its time to sink my teeth into a few
more complex and larger pieces.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
"West Loop of Sedona" 10"x20" plein air
If you travel out the west loop of Sedona
in early morning you get this magnificent
view of the red rock range. I was so
overwhelmed it took twenty minutes
just to pick a scene because everywhere you
looked you wanted to paint it.
In order to clear my mind and focus on
something to paint I came in close to this
outcropping at the base of one of the
rocky groups. This scene is actually about
ten miles from where I was set up to
paint. I would love to go back and
drive out to this range and do a few
paintings close up.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
"Tractor in the Shade" 18" x 24" oil/linen
With this painting I enter the final phase
of producing thirty five paintings for my
one-man show in November. I have
twelve paintings to go and six weeks
of painting time left. Of course there
is a workshop to do in Wimberely, two
paintouts in October and life in general
to deal with.
This is where being a commercial illustrator
for thirty years comes in handy. Constantly
facing unreasonable deadlines, unruly clients,
creative brain freezes and an airbrush that would
always spit at the worst possible moment.
The personal computer and Photoshop saved
My plan is to put the entire show online
November 1st which will give me time to
produce a printed portfolio. So the next six
weeks are going to getting interesting for sure.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Time is running out to sign up for my
plein air workshop in Wimberley, Texas.
The five day workshop is $550 or if you
can't stay for all five days you can pay
a day rate of $100 per day for as many
days as you want.
I have published the daily schedule below to
help those doing the daily thing pick their
days based on what is being taught on any
particular day. As with many workshops,
the first two days are the basics and then we
get into the real meat of the workshop
half way through the second day.
I am excited to be teaching and to be teaching
in the heart of the Texas Hill Country is a real
bonus. Contact Belinda Aber-Haddock at
512-722-6032 or sign up online at
Monday, September 27-Block-In
9:00 am-Lecture and introduction to plein air painting
10:30 am-Travel to painting location. Painting demo
of a black and white block-in followed by color demo block-in.
12:30-1:00 pm-Lunch (not provided)
1-4:00 pm-Class block-in sessions, black/white with
personal instruction.This gives me the opportunity to
meet each student and evaluate their individual skill level.
Once I see a student has the ability to evaluate values in
black and white they will be asked to move on to color
block-ins. Bring plenty of 6x8 and 8x10 panels.
Tuesday, September 28-Block-Ins Day Two
9:00 am-Travel to painting location
9:30-12:00 pm-Painting demo. Taking a color block-in
to finished painting.
12:30 pm-Lunch (not provided), Group question
and answer period.
1:00-4:00-One hour timed painting sessions of color block-ins.
Do as many block-ins as time allows. Bring plenty of 6x8
and 8x10 panels.
Wednesday, September 29- Start to Finish Day Two
9-9:30am-Carpool to painting location
9:30-12:00 pm-Painting demo from start to finish. Slowing
down a bit to discuss design theory, values, use of edges
and how to bring a finished look to a plein air painting.
12-12:30 pm-Lunch (not provided). Question and Answer
period. Critique of group work.
12:30-4:00 pm-Group painting sessions, individual instruction.
Each session timed for one hour. Trying to stay loose and
see the big picture. Have plenty of 6x8 and 8x10 panels.
Thursday, September 30:Start to Finish Day Three
9-9:30 am-Carpool to painting location
9:30 am-12:00 pm-Painting demo.
12-12:30 pm-Lunch (not provided). Question and Answer
1:00-4:00 pm-Group painting sessions. Personal instruction.
Each painting will start with a block-in. After I review and have
the student adjust their block-in, the block-ins will be taken to
completion. Paint nothing larger than an 8x10.
9:00 am-Meet at Pitzer Fine Art for a painting demo. I will
take a field study and enlarge it into a 20" x 24" painting.
12-1:00 pm-Lunch in Wimberely. Question and Answers.
1-4:00 pm-Group painting sessions in Wimberley.
4:00-Whenever. Meet back at Pitzer's Fine Art for group critique.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
"Canyon Skies" 11" x 14" oil/canvas plein air
I decided to tackle my nemesis! All
day long, at every location there was wind,
wind and more wind. If it wasn't the wind
it was the constant change in light as one
huge cloud sequence was followed by another.
In the middle of the day my choice was to sit
and wait a couple of hours for the sun to set
a little so I would at least have some shadows
to paint or find something else to paint. I'm at
the Grand Canyon for gosh sake, what else am I
going to paint?
In my moment of aimless thought, a really cool
cloud pattern came floating by. I had a blank
canvas, fresh paint and I had just eaten lunch.
"What the Heck?" A sky painting in the making.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
"Mather Point" 9" x 12" oil/linen, plein air
This is actually the last painting from my recent trip
to the Grand Canyon and one of my favorites. It was done
plein air in a 30 mph wind gust. I like the simplicity
of the distant canyon and the reflected light in the
rocks. At the Grand Canyon there is so
much information to take in and it constantly
changes because of clouds moving across the scene.
This was my first trip to the Grand Canyon and my
first attempt at painting it alla prima. It took two days
painting before I came across a formula for tackling this
difficult subject matter.
Because the light changed constantly I chose to paint the
foreground structures first, completely disregarding the
distant elements. Once I had the foreground about 90%
completed I painted in the background and sky and then
made adjustments in the foreground to complete the painting.
I produced 14 paintings over five days and the last four
are the most successful of the group. I'll post few more
as the week goes on.
Happy painting everyone.
Monday, September 6, 2010
"Calf on the Move" 8" x 10" oil/linen
Painting animals alla prima is a real challenge.
Capturing a simple gesture pose and then
turning it into a painting...when it works...is
quite satisfying. I marvel at Bob Kuhn's animal
gestures along with James Reynolds' and Bill Anton's
horses and cows.
I sat along side a pasture for more than an
hour watching this calf. Got a good case of
chiggers in the process I might add. He stood out
because all of the other cows in the field were
black. It appeared he had something bothering
his back left hoof because he kept raising it
and shaking it. Capturing this quick pose is
all I could get.
I liked the pose and decided to complete the
landscape around him. Armed with my field
sketch and some reference photos I completed this
painting in the studio.
"Calf on the Move" *' x 10" oil/linen
"Cathedral Rocks" 9" x 12" oil/linen
First time to Sedona so you
gotta paint the Cathedral Rocks.
I painted them in the early morning
in a back-lit situation and even though
I didn't wipe it off, now that I have the
painting back in the studio it really
blew big chunks.
Disappointed in my first painting we,
(me and Chase Almond) left the state
park to find other inspiration which
there is plenty of in Sedona. I dropped
Chase off at the top of the ridge
for a sunset painting and I headed back to
the state park for another crack at
the Cathedral Rocks.
I blocked in most of the painting waiting for
a particular light effect on the rocks. I waited
and waited and finally decide it just wasn't
going to happen so I decided just to grab
whatever Mother Nature was going to deliver
that day. Turned away from the rock to
grab a clean paper towel, looked back at
the rocks and holy schumolly there it was.
The exact light I had been waiting for. With
brush in hand and stomach in my throat, I
slapped paint as fast as I could and five
miunutes later the light was gone. I think I got it.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
have been accepted into different art shows/competitions.
The other two are headed to Pitzer's Fine Art in
Wimberley, TX. Can't show you the two going
to Pitzer's because its a surprise. Once they get the
paintings on Tuesday I'll be able to share them
with you here. But here are the other four.
"Eldorado Snow Day" 18" x 36" oil/c
"The Heat of Big Bend" 9" x 12" oil/c
"Alberta Falls" 20" x 24" oil/c
"Washout Patterns" 24" x 36" oil/c