I am a self taught painter, primarily influenced by my Southern roots and, in particular, my past 13 years in the Gulf South. I am drawn to the landscapes, architecture and people that make up the rich and diverse culture of the region, particularly Louisiana. I portray that influence in my work using both real and symbolic elements in my storytelling style that merges past with present. Magical realism, religious imagery and iconography are key elements in most of my work.
The symbolism I incorporate is of things I consider sacred, sentimental, cherished, and often personal, interwoven with broader themes. I grew up very much alone, an only child, with a mother who was mostly absent, physically and emotionally. My imagination was an integral part of my childhood and created the wonderful solitary world in which I lived.
My work is done in the studio, using & combining photographs I take constantly, preferring the path less traveled, and from compositions that I create in my imagination. My collection of iconic musicians and culture bearers paintings are created from extensive research and by using as many as 20 images to uniquely portray each one. My work is in private collections nationally & internationally, public & corporate collections, and used in a variety of film productions. I was selected for two Prospect 4 Satellite Exhibitions in 2017, and my work has been selected and shown by the New Orleans Arts Council, featured in Country Roads Magazine, New Orleans Canvas Magazine, and the cover & artist feature of Iron Lattice Magazine. I have regularly exhibited in shows and galleries in New Orleans & Mississippi for the past 10 years and have been selected as a JazzFest artist since 2018. My work was most recently part of the “Remember Earth?” exhibit at the New Orleans Contemporary Art Center.
I do not create art to match the sofa. My intention is that you can connect through my paintings to experience joy, amusement, and sentimentality.
Commissions welcome! Studio visits welcome!
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, rare;y 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.