Portland Art Gallery Artist Interview: Sheep Jones

Sheep Jones

Maine: I was born in Waterville and have four siblings. We’d roam the streets and woods freely with our neighborhood friends. Winters were about ice skating and sledding. In the summers, we’d rent a place on the coast. My husband was also from Waterville and part of a big family so, no matter how many adventures we had around the world, Maine was the magnet that always pulled us home.

Inspiration: I am a narrative painter, so books, movies, and best of all, other people’s tales, lend themselves as building blocks to create an interesting story in paint.

Medium: While in college, I learned to love oil paints. I later discovered cold wax medium that, when mixed with oils, gives me a solid matte surface to gouge and scrape, unveiling the underpainting beneath.

Artist Hero: Egon Schiele, Frida Kahlo, Paul Klee, and Georges Braque influenced my early work. Later on, I enjoyed the works of Peter Doig, Alice Neel and Howard Hodgkin.

“Baptism,” by Sheep Jones.

Studio: My workspace in Belfast is a large open room with high ceilings, wooden floors, and two very large windows that let in great light. There is enough space to hang works in progress for me to ponder.

Where in Maine: I lived in northern Virginia for 30 years. My move to Belfast, where there is one stoplight and a view of the bay, is a pleasant change. We found a house in Belfast that overlooks the river and Penobscot Bay. It’s also a ten-minute walk to town. Belfast has proven to be a hip town with a shipyard, walkways along the water, good shops, and many artists. We knew from the feel of it that this was the place for us.

Fun Fact: When I was 3, I had an accident that left me blind in one eye. My unique perspective in my work is partly the result of monocular vision.

Education: I studied art at the University of Southern Maine and the Art League in Alexandria, Virginia, and encaustic at R&F Handmade Paints in Kingston, New York. I previously taught watercolor, oils and encaustic. Now I just want to paint.

New work by Sheep Jones is on view at the Portland Art Gallery, 154 Middle St., Portland. Call 207-956-7105 or email gallerydirector@portlandartgallery.com for more information.

Leave a Reply