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 John T. Jones  (1940 - )

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Lived/Active: Nebraska/New Mexico / Mexico      Known for: horses, figure and western genre painting

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John T Jones
An example of work by John T. Jones
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following biographical information, written by the artist, was submitted by Mark Johnson, whose source was the website of the artist.

I don't remember a time when I wasn't playing with some kind of art. I think everyone has the innate ability to do masterworks. What sets an artist apart from the everyday person is just the interest factor. I have an intense interest in drawing, painting, and sculpting.

I was born at Hobbs, New Mexico, in 1940. Hobbs was a fairly new oil boom town, moving into the modern world when World War II came along. My folks were raised in Oklahoma and Texas, and their folks were part of the homesteading and settling, and farming and ranching of the West.

My grandfather, on my mothers side, homesteaded around Weed, New Mexico, when my mom was about 5 years old. World War I disrupted that, when granpas' brother had to go into the Army, leaving 'granpa' to prove up on two homesteads and watch out for both families. When he thought he was going to get called up too. He traded the homesteads for some mules and a wagon and moved both families back to Fort Worth.

That is just a typical story of all of us raised in the west. Some of us lived in towns and some stayed on the farms and ranches. My dad worked as a cowboy, farmer, oil field worker, and sheet metal worker, and I don't know what all. He was in the Civilian Conservation Corps(CCC), and helped to plant wind rows and helped build a bridge and the trail in Grand Canyon. All I know is we moved a lot. My older brother was born in 1938 in Littlefield, Texas; my younger sister in Phoenix, Arizona; a younger brother in Albuquerque, New Mexico; and then another younger brother back in Hobbs.

Some of my earliest memories are of making my toys out of clay. Then drawing all the time on what ever kind of paper I could get. I got hold of a roll of butcher paper when I was about 9, and remember drawing whole scenes right down the roll laid out on a cement floor. I remember making a lot of my own toys, whittling and carving them out of wood. I was sort of in different fantasy worlds, in that I made a lot of model airplanes and dressed in my western chaps and hat at the same time. And naturally I did adventure comic strips, especially when we were fighting the commies in Korea.

The subject matter in my art was always varied, but the horse was always prominent. I 'dinked' with drawing and painting part time, as I discovered girls and cars, and sports and didn't know that a person could make a living doing artwork. After a stint in the Navy, I took a job with the Forest Service about 1970, and discovered Montana. I went in some Art Galleries in Kalispell, Montana, and saw that some guys were selling paintings. I said, "Heck, I can do that." So, I started doing paintings to sell, and started sculpting in wax. That started an adventure in Art, that continues today

I learn from other Artists, books, TV shows, and anywhere that has something of interest. Mostly, I learn from trial and error. I think that masterpieces can be done in a closet, if that is the only space you have. But, I prefer to have a nice studio. I sometimes work on a series of paintings.

Right now I am living in Lincoln, Nebraska, with my true Love, and have a nice studio. As I get a little older, I am having to narrow down my subject matter. I like the Old West Subjects best of all, but we aren't that far removed from the "Old West".  So, I imagine that I will continue to do a mixture of old and new west, and anything with horses. I plan to do a series on the early longhorn cattle drives, and that may happen, if I can keep from straying too far. A few years ago, I went to Montana to do a series on the Longhorn, and wound up doing buffalo hunts and indians attacking stagecoaches. But, most everyone up there wanted me to do packer scenes, so I did a lot of packers and cowboys in slickers.

I am using the Gray Ghost label because, some of my friends got to calling me the Gray Ghost when I would dissappear and reappear at different times and places. Actually, I was just looking for that perfect place to call home. A lot of the time I will hide out from the Rat Race and just paint. At the present time, this is the only place you will find my paintings. I am not working with any galleries right now. So, check back often to see new paintings.

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