The Beach Guild of Fine Art’s annual Art Down By the Bay show is fast approaching, and will once again feature work from each of the Guild’s 50-plus membership. The show is held at the Beaches Lions Club, south of Lakeshore at the foot of Coxwell.
Shirley Jones is a founding member of the Guild, and will once again be showing a few new works at this year’s show. Jones, along with other well-known Beach artists including Jennifer Cline and Mary Cserepy, started the Guild in 1994. The first Art Down By the Bay show was held a year later.
“I always emphasized that it was unique and quaint,” she said of the Coatsworth Cut location.
Jones is a born and raised Beacher – she was born in a former maternity hospital that used to be located on Lee Avenue, and has spent her life here. First her children and now her grandchildren have gone to the same schools she did. However, that grounding hasn’t kept her from exploring the world through her art.
About 20 years ago she took her first art class, in watercolours, and in her words, “just kept on going.”
Her work has seen her using watercolours, acrylics, oils, pastels, watercolour crayons and pen and ink, though when given the choice, she prefers oil paints. However, that choice isn’t always hers to make.
“The subject tells you what medium to use,” she said.
Jones usually paints from photographs she takes on her travels and around the Beach. One of her daughters has lived in St. Lucia for years, so there is a strong Caribbean influence to some of her work as well. No matter what the medium or location, though, her pieces are always of people.
“Trying to capture moments is what I like to do,” she said. “I don’t concentrate on what they look like, it’s the gesture.”
Recently that drive to capture the gesture has led Jones into new territory, drawing from live models.
“I seem to be getting more adventurous as I get older,” she said.
Three of the live model pieces will be on display at the Down By the Bay show. The new direction for her work may be changing her process, but it hasn’t changed the main drive behind creating art in the first place.
“I love life and I always have felt that way,” said Jones. “It’s moments in time I’d like to share. It’s like writing a book or a poem, I suppose.”
Art Down By the Bay run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 21 and 22, at the Beaches Lions Club. An opening reception will be held on Friday, Sept. 20, from 6 to 9 p.m. For more information, visit beachguildoffineart.com.