Jones creates a world through art
Rafaela Martinez – Contributor
A studio art major eyes lit up as she described with enthusiasm a portrait she painted, making herself the focal point while using bright colors and surreal images to surround her in the background. The piece includes hands grabbing at a nude, confident and smiling subject with a gun pointed at her shooting flowers; displaying any evil formed against her will never thrive.
Christina Jones, a recent transfer student from Gateway Community College, is majoring in studio art with a concentration in painting creates a new world for those she paints as a way to understand them and make them feel safe within her art.
“I’m a very emotional person and when I paint I like to use very bright colors and I don’t use harsh lines,” Jones said. “My self portraits are made with soft lines and emotion and culture I use a lot of Black culture in my art.
The piece I’m most proud of exemplifies all of that within it.” The self-portrait includes some of her black culture, using braided weave and cowrie shells meant to ward off evil. Jones describes this piece as a way of showing the world her strength and prosperity.
“No weapon formed against me shall prosper,” said Jones.
She said she seeks to use art as a way of healing and understanding trauma, but also as a way to make people feel safe. Jones discussed portraits being a way for people to see their softer side.
“Art is my refuge. It’s like healing for me. People have a lot of trauma and it’s very hard to deal with and art is the best way, in my opinion, to release emotion and help you heal,” Jones said. “The people I paint, I try to identify them or they tell me how they want to be seen. I take the people and capture their softer side, their essence and aura.”
Jones currently takes commissions on her website, “www.xtrabyxtina.pixieset.com.” Her pricing is based on the size of the portrait, amount of subjects and time needed to complete.
Jones has a procedure she follows. She first sketches, then does the underpainting. She said she likes to work in layers. Jones always starts with the sketch and painting the people before creating a background of her own, never leaving the people where they were originally.
Brianna Walker, a former studio art student, described Jones’ art to be breathtaking.
“Her understanding of the female form is one that many can agree with; eloquent and goddess-like,” Walker said. “Her use, especially of gold leaf in her portraits, gives a familiar Byzantine feel, one used usually for religious figures. “Christina’s art allows the viewer to feel at home and connected with themselves and her.”
Jones’ significant other, Jordan Konan, said what it is like watching Jones paint and “Christina’s portraits are really amazing,” said Konan. “She’s really in her element when art is around her and it allows her to be herself and that’s really what I love about watching her paint and about her work, She leaves a piece of herself in every work.”
Photo credit: Rafaela Martinez