Mid City Artist and Indiana native Charlie Jones worked a corporate job with AT&T for several years. His work brought him to DC from the Midwest, to Los Angeles, to Asia and back again to DC. Jones’ experiences abroad not only helped him professionally, but eventually became a major source of inspiration for his painting.
“My travels throughout Southeast Asia are my greatest artistic inspiration,” he said. “It was a life-changing experience working over there for almost four years. I met so many different people and experienced so many cultures. It really changed my view of the world.” According to Jones, this Eastern influence can be seen in the vivid colors and interesting textures of his work and more visibly in painting titles such as “Mist of Lan Tao” and “Thai Forest.”
Interestingly enough, painting was a passion Jones discovered by accident. When he moved back to the DC area in 2001, he purchased a house that had many large walls that were in desperate need of decoration. Instead of purchasing art at a local gallery, he started creating his own paintings and soon uncovered a hidden talent. When friends, including fellow Mid City Artist Gary Fisher, saw Jones’ handiwork and truly enjoyed it, momentum continued to build. Fisher later asked Jones to do his first exhibit at Results, The Gym in Capitol Hill along with Fisher and photographer Pete Mitchell.
Since that show nearly a decade ago, Jones has exhibited at Artomatic, multiple galleries in Rehoboth Beach and most recently at Room and Board on 14th Street NW. He has been commissioned for numerous works of art locally and across the country, and participates in Mid City Artists Open Studios Weekend whenever his frequent travel schedule permits. To hone his craft, he has taken painting classes locally at the Torpedo Factory and internationally in Europe, and continues to paint on a regular basis.
According to Jones, his artistic process is a process of discovering accidents. “I add layers and layers of paint and see what happens. I think part of my talent is understanding how composition works. Sometimes you keep the accidents, but sometimes they don’t fit in the composition of the painting and you have to paint over them,” he said.
Jones credits the District and particularly Mid City Artists for helping him become an accomplished artist. “DC provided me the fertile ground to emerge as an artist and Mid City Artists provided the support I needed to grow,” he said. “The idea behind Mid City Artists is that we’re stronger as a group than on our own. The real power is collaborating with other artists. We learn from each other. We support one another.”
Although painting is not currently his full-time job, Jones enjoys his personal connection with this art form and intends to make it his primary focus when he retires. “Painting is always going to be there for me,” he said. “I love that about it.” For more information about Charlie Jones and his paintings, please visit www.cjonespaintings.com.