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All about oil

Artist gets back to the medium she loves

Created date

August 3rd, 2009
Santa Fe Picture Anita Jones 003
Santa Fe Picture Anita Jones 003

This Santa Fe-inspired work by Wind Crest artist Anita Jones hangs in the community s creative arts studio. For Anita Jones, moving to Wind Crest allowed her to reconnect with an old friend. But it wasn t someone from school or her childhood. I had painted for years, Jones says. But with everyday worries and distractions, I sort of got away from it. Shortly after she moved into Wind Crest, the maintenance-free Erickson community in Highlands Ranch, Jones got back into the hobby she loved.

A chance meeting

Jones first picked up painting years ago. A kindhearted art instructor at a local community college introduced her to the craft. I have a son who is deaf, and he wanted to try his hand in oils, Jones explains. So I enrolled him in a class at the local community college and went along with him. On the first day of class, the teacher asked, Why are you just sitting there? I can t remember her name, but to this day I am thankful. She said, Next time you come, bring a canvas and give it a try. After that, I fell in love.

Back to basics

Jones says painting was something she did to relax. I had always traveled and done my paintings in Texas while on vacation in the winter, Jones says. So when we stopped going, I kind of forgot about painting too. Her hiatus from painting lasted 12 years. After Jones moved to Wind Crest in 2007, an advertisement for the art class in the Town Center Clubhouse caught her eye. The class seemed great, she recalls. I thought, if I do this, I want to do it right and actually commit myself and set some time aside. Now Jones paints every Friday morning, sometimes late into the afternoon, with the oil and watercolor class taught by Charlene Hill, who founded the Arts Guild in Highlands Ranch and has taught art for more than 15 years. The instructor is fantastic, says Jones. She s versatile and she knows so much, whether it s about oils, watercolors, pastels, or whatever. She s helped light that fire for me again. It feels good being back. Using that creative side of your brain and doing something and being able to look back and say I did that is what I like the most. It s an important part of life, Hill says of art. We are all creative it s just a matter of letting it out. It s something that grows organically, Jones says of creating a painting. I like oils because if you make a mistake, if you change your mind, it s not the end of the world; it s easily correctible. There are no rules you just know when a picture is done.

Filling a blank canvas

Jones says she will paint anything that inspires her: Landscapes, scenery, animals, seashores I like to do a variety of things. No portraits yet, but I m getting there. Although she has had a few offers for a piece that hangs in the creative arts studio at Wind Crest, Jones doesn t sell any of her paintings. All of them have sentimental value, she explains. But I m running out of room in my house and my daughter s house to keep them. I think we re at the point where we might start thinning our collection. And just how many paintings are in the current collection? I can t remember how many paintings I ve done, but I take a picture of each one so I can look back and see the progress, says Jones. And she doesn t plan on slowing down anytime soon. It s just like anything else you always try to improve. I m just 80 years old, so I m optimistic that I have plenty more time to keep on painting and hopefully get even better.