Debra Jones - Artist Statement and Bio
“I paint anything with eyeballs."
Most of my career has been as a portrait painter - human and animal! Living in the Southwest and growing up in the Rocky Mountains, my portraits are not from the quiet East Coast tradition. We are proud of our individualism and have a different kind of history. Our history is younger, sturdier, and our people show recent wisdom in faces telling their OWN stories, not just the legends. That is what I try to convey in my portraits. Inspired by the strong coffee in the traditional cup around the campfire, my series of "Tin Cup Portraits" honor these faces of the West. Since leaving home in Colorado, I consider myself a semi-native with 30 years in the Arizona desert. and 30 in the mountains. My portraits of people and their four-legged families hang in homes throughout the US, Canada and even as SmartHeart Gold dog food labels in Thailand.
I've won a rainbow of ribbons in the Arizona State Fair including 1st places in Watercolor and Pastels. Besides traditional oil painting, I have found new respect for drawing. My newer works are charcoal drawings on paper and canvas of western re-creators including and a gang of Cowboy Mounted Shooters who honor the lifestyle mixing rodeo and six-guns. And I enjoy the wonderful technique of silver and copper point.
A seed of an idea turned into this exhibition of notable Arizona women for the "Women Making Faces" show at the Chandler Center for the Arts. I specialize in portraiture and the people and animals of the American Southwest. Fascinated by the culture and soul of the modern West, not simply the shadows of past lives, my work is inspired by the modern Native American people as well as the modern day cowboy. As romantic as the Old West seems, the New West is lively and equally rugged, based on the traditions of the past - what worked then works now. I tend to feature the women of the West, finding their beauty, not just their "pretty".
Nationally, I have shown with the Pastels Society of America, National Watercolor Society, Richeson75 Portraits, Faces of the Fallen in Arlington Cemetery, with many other national as well as local prizes. Locally, I have shown in group shows at Vision Gallery and Chandler Art Center in Chandler AZ recently curating and organizing their Women Making Faces - Portraits of Arizona Women, and as featured artist with the Arizona Art Alliance. This is my third year showing in the prestigious Mountain Oyster Club and Empire Ranch collector's shows in Tucson. My recent fox hunting pictures are at the Farmington Hunt Club and Barracks Farm in Charlottesville, VA. Presently mounting a show for the Wildlife Experience Gallery in Parker Colorado.
Arizona representation in the Buffalo Collection, Scottsdale and Western Heritage Collection in Jerome.
P.O. Box 994
Scottsdale, Arizona 85252-0994 USA