Below are paintings from two commissions, all quite different subjects. I’ve always struggled with flowers, so view my two efforts shown as something of a success. The Northumberland sky over Bamburgh Castle allowed me to loosen up a bit an create an abstract background for the sharp silhouette of the castle. The dogfight was a treat to paint, revisiting the many drawings I did as a kid, and the one I consider worked very well is then troops and tanks. This was painted quickly with little fuss, almost monochromatic my final action was to paint a thin wash of orange and yellow.
After commissioning three paintings of a WW2 theme, including one of his grandfather’s advance into Sicily, a buyer asked for two large paintings of Venice. He sent reference images of an overall theme plus photos of the wall space they were to occupy. I worked out a suitable size and proceeded with the composition. This began with two small paintings then, from a roll of Arches paper (the 1m x 0.5m size was larger than full standard sheet), I created the two final pieces. Working on a larger scale in watercolour poses unique challenges, mainly keeping the paper wet and the paint live. Arches paper, made in Southern France, is presumably designed for a warmer climate than we have in England, and retains moisture longer than the Saunders Waterford I normally use.
Another batch of paintings went off to Mexico City in October. These are all square format, a request of the gallery.
Last week I delivered (and hung) four paintings for a private client in Surrey. The buyer wanted two full sheet, 30"x22" and two half sheet, 22"x15", supplied framed. She chose the subjects from images on this web site, two of them being crops of small works. To expand and paint a detail originally couple of inches up to 30" presented a challenge, how to recreate a painted stroke or gesture 15x larger. Watercolour paint behaves differently at from small drop to large pool of watery pigment, there often being too much going on in the latter. It took four attempts before I created something I was satisfied with, very watery figures mostly in silhouette.
The recent inferno engulfing Notre Dame cathedral in Paris was shocking. The images however provided me with some excellent and often beautiful subject matter. I really hope the new spire will be a replacement and not some gaudy modernist eyesore so beloved of politicians and architects.
A couple of months ago I was contacted by the gallery which showed my work in Cologne informing me that they were moving my work to Mexico City, and would I paint a new series with scenes to suit the local art buyers. Below is some of what I painted.
The activities in Paris and across France of the Gilets Jaunes inspired me to create a series of paintings based on images found online. The bright yellow contrasting with the menacing black of the police, the smoke and occasional French flag all go into the mix of my take on proceedings.
A big thanks to two recent buyers, one Yorkshire (steel mill) and one Lancashire (Gilets Jaunes x2), who sent positive replies once they had the paintings in their possession. There's always a tentative period between sending the work and receiving a reply, wondering if the buyer likes the painting once they have seen the real thing. in addition, watercolours are usually glazed which changes the appearance again.
Anyone who has visited New York, or seen the city in films will know about the steam billowing from red and white striped pipes. I'm still not sure how or why these things exist and prefer it to remain a mystery. In this contre jour painting, I have used a reduced palette to allow the red and white of the pipe, don't walk signal and the flag to stand out.
With 2019 nearly 1/12th over and only 331 days until Christmas, my painting has begun with a Mexican theme. The French gallery which was exhibiting my work in Cologne has moved me to Mexico City with a request for Mexican themed paintings. Excellent. One day they might move me to London and ask for a load of railway paintings ... One day.
Henry Jones Artist
Working predominantly in watercolour and associated media, from life, and in my studio from sketches. This site displays a small selection of work, some is for sale, others already sold. If you'd like to enquire about a sale or commission, please contact me here for a quick reply.
Carre des Artistes, Mexico City
If you're visiting Mexico City Have a look at my paintings for sale the Carre des Artistes gallery.