About the artist
The eminent artist, Charles Blackman described Gabrielle’s work as “…full of shining light, radiant… [she] lets the inner things – her soul – come into her paintings [and] evokes feelings from the viewer”; whilst the artist and critic Jeff Makin wrote in Critic’s Choice, The Melbourne Herald: “Gabrielle Jones does have something different to say about the landscape. Jones’ tone [creates]… a particularly ethereal quality and a landscape for contemplation.”
In awarding Gabrielle first prize in an art show, Artist and Newcastle University Academic David Middlebrook stated, “Here we have an artist who looks at the subtlety as well as the complexity of nature, and gives the viewer a vision into her own personal response to the world… The honesty in the picture is huge… she learns through painting and refines and distils her vision until she has a quiet, strong painting that is about so much more than (its subject)”
Tony Bond, Retired curator of International Art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, in awarding Gabrielle Highly Commended in a local Art Show, commented on “Catchment”: “Gabrielle Jones’ painting of water is made using very liquid paint that suggests the nature of a watery scene. I likened this to Courbet not because it looks like a Courbet but because he was a master of applying different qualities of paint to get a kind of equivalence between medium and sensation”.
How it all started
Gabrielle was born in in Sydney, grew up in the South-Western suburbs, spent over 20 years of adult life living in Annandale and Balmain in Sydney’s Inner West, and recently made her home in Medlow Bath, in the World Heritage listed NSW Blue Mountains. Her interest in art showed itself from her earliest years, where, as the 5th child of seven, much refuge was taken in paper and pencils and later, vinyl paints. It was a surprise to no one who knew her that she eventually chose to pursue art-making professionally.
After taking many Community College, TAFE and private art school courses and already exhibiting in galleries, Gabrielle came to the realisation that nothing else mattered to her but her art and enrolled in the National Art School Degree course in 2001. She graduated in 2003 with a major in Painting, a sub-major in Sculpture and a Distinction average. Her teachers included many of Australia’s most awarded artists, including: Euan Macleod, Wendy Sharpe, John Peart, Aida Tomescu and Steven Harvey for painting: David Fairbairn and Suzanne Archer for drawing: and Jan King for sculpture, among others.
Whilst at Art school, she won many prizes including the prestigious William Fletcher Trust Grant for talented NSW Art Students and several externally judged art prizes. By the time she had graduated, Gabrielle had her first solo show lined up with Harris Courtin Gallery in Paddington, a mid level gallery with whom she had been selling paintings since her second year of art school. This was quickly followed by a solo exhibition in Ballan & Pannan Gallery in Melbourne and later, United Galleries in Perth.
In 2010 Gabrielle was awarded her first solo show in a public, Regional Gallery in Goulburn.
During this time, Gabrielle was also appointed to a number of Artist in Residence positions, most notably the prestigious Bundanon Trust (Arthur Boyd’s property on South Coast of NSW); at Hotel Meridien in Tahiti and subsequently Hotel Temanuatu in Bora Bora; Fundacion Valparaiso in Mojacar in Spain and Artscape Org, Toronto on Toronto Island, Canada in September 2013. She completed a month long residency in January 2015, at Tweed regional Gallery, working from the installation at the Margaret Olley’s Art Centre.
She was a drawing tutor for the 18th Biennale of Sydney Sketch Program on Cockatoo Island and her painting, “Comfort Zone” was acquired by the Muswellbrook Regional Gallery in 2014 under the Cultural Gifts Grant.
The Artist gains recognition
Gabrielle’s work has been selected for exhibition in prestigious curated shows and art prizes including the Mosman Art Prize, Portia Geach Memorial Art Prize, The Duke Gold Coast Art Prize, St George Art Awards, Paddington Art Prize, Calleen (Cowra) Art Prize, Muswellbrook Art Prize, Norville Art prize, Fishers Ghost Art Prize and the Fleurieu Biennial Art Prize. She has been awarded Winner, Runners up and Highly Commended in a number of art prizes.
I recently received two of your beautiful paintings, a gift from my partner… I just wanted to tell you that I love them so much, they are absolutely gorgeous and they make me happy looking at them every day! Thank you also for being so helpful… in arranging the gift while he was working [overseas] – it was really appreciated.”
Sian, Reid, ACT
I want to create paintings that make the viewer look at the world a little differently, to make connections that may not have otherwise been made, to notice what happens on the periphery and see the organisation and patterns in nature; whilst also accepting the joy of randomness and chance in the world around us.
What excites me and generates the painting is an awareness of movement or still ness and the patterns in nature; paint and colour. And I am responsive to my environment at any time, so my work changes accordingly – and that could be a response to the qualities of where I am, the light, what it means to me, what I’m thinking about it etc.
My images try to pin down the experience, describe phenomena on the periphery glimpsed through movement in space, the elemental and otherness of nature and experience rather than the natural image. Hence, the recording in “abstract” terms of the experience.
I’m also interested in the fact of being an artist – so it’s more about me than the natural input, more about the act of creativity. Paint comes into this – the mark making to imitate but not describe natural elements; the expressive brushstrokes and forms in the compositions to indicate movement; making forms to hold “marks-as-nature” in new compositions and to indicate a space, which still speaks of nature.
My recent work has developed this into an exploration where spontaneity, chance and play are next to considered time-based events- where you get chaos and movement juxtaposed alongside more sober considered mark making.
Ultimately, I’m interested in
……work that continues to entertain and challenge over time”
The result is an array of paintings that are cohesive through the creativity of my “voice”, the touch of my hand and a distinctive love of colour. I aim to make these paintings lift the spirit, entertain the eye, while drawing on multiple influences from historical and contemporary art practices, in particular (at various times) Vuillard, Braque, de Kooning, Bacon and contemporary artist Cecily Brown.
Other things to know about the artist…
Gabrielle is an experienced painting and Art History teacher and creative Director at at Art Class Sydney in Balmain, Sydney and ACS International Art Retreats in Bali; Umbria, Italy; South India; Burgundy, France; and Sicily.
You can see her CV here for all the details on exhibitions, Awards & Prizes, and more.
Gabrielle’s work has been reviewed, pictured or mentioned in a number of local and international publications, and she has been interviewed in the Press and on Radio. (See In the Media)
Gabrielle is also available for commissions.
Enquire now to discuss what Gabrielle’s work can do for you.
Or Visit the Galleries and search by subject, colour or size for that piece that’s just perfect for you.
Studio Photos by Galia Alena: www.galiaalenaphotography.com