Artist Chuck Jones, PhD uses color fearlessly in his linear and boldly geometric paintings. Click here to see more of his portfolio.
I’m a self-trained, Knoxville, Tennessee-based, abstract acrylic artist who has painted for over four decades while simultaneously pursuing a Clinical Psychology career. I grew up in the rural Midwest (Minnesota, South Dakota, Nebraska), a background that lends itself to a minimalist style, informed by geometric patterns and open spaces suggestive—to me, at least—of distant horizons—metaphorical and literal—long lines of sight, and room to move; just like spaces on the plains function.
Plus, my psychology background means I’ve learned to continuously listen as deeply as possible to my internal felt sense of “what wants to be said,” even if it’s not yet in words and even if I don’t fully understand what’s intended by the stirrings from within.
Basically, I trust that internal source. Accordingly, I strive mightily to get whatever is offering-itself-to-be-noticed into words, mining whatever wisdom might be revealed through that effort.
As such, my paintings often originate in my dreams, sometimes to be rendered literally as they nocturnally emerge whole cloth and other times simply providing a source of colors or patterns to inspire.
Two other general factors inform my work:
The first has to do with my fascination with polarities or dichotomies; that is, with the challenge of noticing the common threads connecting what’s seemingly quite dissimilar. Think: Simplicity and Complexity, for instance, or, to invoke a visual example, the juxtaposition of highly chromatic areas against monochrome sections in a painting or hard edges set in contrast to flowing, arbitrary, soft boundaries.
The second factor concerns color–or its counterpart: White, Black, and Midtones–i.e., all the shades between pure black and pure white.
I remember once commenting to a friend, the late Mary Todd Beam, a Dolphin Fellow with the American Watercolor Society who passed away in 2021 in her log cabin in Tennessee. I told her, “Mary, you worship the acrylic colors so much, it’s no wonder they perform magic for you.” She later responded, “I love the fact that you’re not afraid of color in your work.” In honor of her encouraging me to take my work public, I like to think we are coming to share a profound common there.
Chromatic, achromatic, linear, non-linear, geometric minimalism….it seems like a quiet counterpoint to all the available chaotic upheaval in our world. It all seems refreshingly peaceful to me; an effort to capture a complex contemplative state.
Oh, one last thought, this time about calling myself Chuck Jones, PhD. Type “Chuck Jones” into Google and see what you get. A zillion hits on the famous cartoon animator. I still occasionally receive emails asking if I am the author of Road Runner. Not being 110 years old yet, I point out the mistaken identity.
So, having earned that difficult degree, I’m still employing it here, if only to distinguish myself from that far more famous creative counterpart.
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