Moving to New Orleans on my own in 2009 finally gave me the time and space I needed to paint endlessly. I never run out of inspiration in this vibrant and magical city that enraptures me with its deep, rich history, cherished architecture, music that begs you to stop and listen, colorful neighborhoods, mystery, and eccentric characters. I paint New Orleans, points beyond, and imaginary places. As a child growing up mostly alone, my imagination created the wonderful solitary world in which I lived. That gift has carried through to my adult life and fed my need to create. I am a self-taught artist, and I spend as much time researching and studying art as I do painting it.
My work is done in the studio, from photos I constantly take while making my way around town, preferring the path less traveled, and from compositions that I create in my imagination. The iconic musicians and culture bearers paintings are created from extensive research and by referencing as many as 20 images to portray each one uniquely. My work is in private collections across the country and internationally as well as public and corporate collections. I was selected for the 2017 Bywater Biennial exhibition curated by Don Marshall, a Prospect 4 Satellite exhibit, as well as a Prospect 4 Satellite exhibit curated by Where Y'art. My work has also been selected and shown by the New Orleans Arts Council and featured on the cover and inside front page of the 2018 April quarterly issue of "The Iron Lattice," an arts and culture magazine. I regularly exhibit as a featured or solo artist in galleries in the Arts District of New Orleans and the French Quarter. I also show my work in exhibits curated by Where Y'art for public spaces and local galleries. I was accepted as a JazzFest artist in 2018, 2019, and the cancelled JazzFests of 2020 & 2021.
I paint art for people with soul, not to match your sofa!!
All work is copyrighted and may not be reproduced in any form without permission of the artist.
I am a New Orleans artist living and working in the Uptown area.
Questions & Answers
Describe your art in three words.
Colorful, bold, eclectic
Describe yourself in one word.
What do you love the most about creating art in New Orleans? What particular part of your immediate environment, in your neighborhood specifically influences your work?
The sights, sounds and people that compose the color of New Orleans are my primary influence.
Describe your creative process. Are there any rituals or rites of passage you exercise before you begin a new piece?
I am constantly painting in my head so by the time I get to the canvas the piece is already done and I am on to the next painting in my thought process. I paint from photos that I take on a daily basis. However, I just use the images as a reference, not painting specifically what is captured in the photo. For musicians, I use about 20 reference photos for each one to create my own unique rendering of them. Occasionally I use photos that someone shares with me. I keep an art journal where I write down anything of interest. I rarely sketch anything. I am the queen of instant gratification, so I go straight to putting paint down.
Where do you draw inspiration?
From this glorious city I call home and my amazing husband and family.
Who are your artistic influences or gurus?
There are many, probably more than I can list. I like exploring and learning from all types of art , not just painting, but all other disciplines as well. My son, David Lawrence Jones, is a sculptor and teaches art at the University of Wyoming. He is a great influence and mentor of my work. For me there is always something to learn from any visual art form.
In New Orleans, art and music go hand in hand. What type of music, band or song lyric best describes your work?
Jazz by Chucho Valdez
Where can we find you when you are not creating art?
In the garden or out listening to the sounds of the city.
What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?
5 pm, Friday, May (threshold of the evening, weekend, summer)
What is something people don’t know about you? A fun fact.
I love to hike in the mountains, East or West.
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Where You Can Find My Work
All works listed online are available to be viewed at Where Y’Art Gallery , New Orleans Art Center, cherylannegrace.com, and studio visits by appointment.