Jones conceptualises his works through the ardent use of his sketchbook before committing his compositions to oil on fine portrait linen, “Sketchbooks are full of new paintings ready to happen, but each must wait their turn, some ideas will change in composition or direction and others may be retired all together”. For each new painting he draws on a personal bank of photographs, objects, vintage toys, and collected memories, such as building balsa wood aeroplanes as a boy – a hobby he loved and that was fraught with risk and reward. The young Jones would spend countless hours crafting, cutting, gluing, and sanding components with the same precision he know applies to his painting before enveloping the craft in delicate tissue. Then, with a mingling sense of anticipation and dread he would launch the plane into the yard toward almost certain danger or worse, destruction. “There was always an inevitable outcome to the process but the chance to see the plane fly, even if for just a few seconds made it all worthwhile – The feeling of freedom.”
Immortalising his selected subjects through the act of painting, Jones’ indulgence in nostalgia is easily shared and immersive. We find ourselves connecting to a familiar object, a childhood memory, a scene, or even a time of day, all so faithfully depicted in worlds that exude a balanced sense of whimsical reminiscence and intellectual musing.
Jones graduated from Te Kura Hoahoa—School of Design Innovation, Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington, (formerly Wellington’s School of Design) in the early 90’s. He spent the next 15 years working on commissioned paintings for companies and private individuals around the world, including Bank of America, Penguin Books NY, The Wall St Journal and Time Inc. He now paints full time from his studio which, while containing the usual artists tools and easels, is also full of the books, tin toys, lead soldiers, and other object that trigger his imagination. His works are held in private collections in England, Ireland, North America, Australia, and throughout New Zealand.
Parnell Gallery has represented Ross Jones since 2013 and has shown his biannual solo exhibitions exclusively since 2017.