Woodward, Okla. —
It may sound strange, but for Caleb Jones, art is all about disconnecting and connecting.
Because while he is painting, Jones said he is able to disconnect from the stress of life and just enjoy the expression of emotion. But once his paintings are completed, he wants the viewer to be able to connect with the emotion in them.
A collection of Jones' oil and acrylic paintings as well as a few Sharpie drawings are currently on display in the art gallery at the Plains Indians and Pioneers Museum through June 22.
The exhibit is entitled "Works on Canvas," but several of the pieces were actually done on different mediums including a glass window, wood panels and even a guitar.
Jones said this is because sometimes he feels compelled to paint or draw all the time, but may not always have canvas frames around to use.
"So I'll paint on anything I can find. Sometimes I've used little strips of wood that weren't even strait or trimmed or anything," he said.
Most of the works depict the human form, but his show also includes a painting of a New Orleans street scene, a grinning monkey, and a couple of abstract pieces.
And while the show may appear to be an eclectic mix of different "canvasses" and subject material, Jones said there is one unifying theme to the show, and in fact to all his work, and that is emotion.
He said when he paints he is "trying to catch that emotion," from the happiness of a girl dancing in front of a ferris wheel to the "mellow mood" of a woman walking with camera in hand in search for her own emotion to capture to the dark sadness of a crying clown.
That's why he describes his painting style as "impressionistic," because he wants to leave the viewer with an impression of a specific emotion.
"I hope they can connect with it, feel that feeling and be taken to that instant in time," Jones said.
He plays with color a lot in his paintings, so don't be surprised to find some interesting and sometimes unexpected palette choices.
"I like to mess with it," he said of color, explaining that he uses different hues, tones and saturations to help him express different feelings and "portray what I can't explain."
It is his use of bright colors that help to make his exhibit, as one visitor said during a reception held Saturday to honor Jones, "a really fun body of work."
For Jones, the paintings are not only fun to look at, but were fun to paint.
"I had a lot of fun doing it," he said. "Because when you're painting, you're in the zone not thinking about laundry or anything else."
So when it comes to choosing his favorite thing about painting, Jones said, "the biggest thing is the disconnection. All other worries are gone. When you paint, you're just in that moment."