Inside of Lou Jones’s Falls Church home, her art engulfs you. There is her eccentrically shaped green cactus, whose branches twist in all sorts of directions. Then there is an enticing framed painting — a navy blue background, dotted by tiny, colorful oval that ran across the five-by-six foot piece.
Jones, a resident of Falls Church for the last 45 years, laughingly says, “The painting has some sort of serenity to it, the cactus does not.”
Jones’s jovial statement notes the first of many observations about the work. At first glance, one might notice the cool color in the background and the row of colorful dots in the foreground, placed on a warm yellow wall. But then comes the realization that these dots remind of a kind of musical rhythm, floating in space. And then she has you, as you look for meaning and metaphor in every inch of the art.
Jones’s work has been eliciting those kind of responses for years, which is why it has been hung in D.C.’s prestigious Corcoran Gallery.
The expansive, open and infinite themes in many of Jones’s paintings do not stem from thin air. Jones grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania where there was a lot of space.
“I think that some of the things you learn earlier on in your life carry through,” she says. “The feeling of the space and the sky and all the elements that were part of my life when I was young somehow keep cropping up. I also have a great love the ocean and the sea, so that all comes into it.”
With a distinguished academic career to her credit, teaching at George Mason University, the University of Maryland, as well as Northern Virginia Community College, Jones now passes on her creativity to others each Friday at the Falls Church Community Center. “Teaching is a great learning process,” she acknowledges. “I don’t really teach basic drawing — it’s more about ideas and concepts. What I try to do is help them develop what they’re good at and I don’t impose anything on anybody. I’m sort of a critique guide. I try to build on their strengths.”
This Friday, Nov. 3, members of the community — and her students — will host an art show in tribute to her work at Curves (240 W. Broad St., Falls Church
). The showing is part of the city’s FIRSTFriday events and runs from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.