Ivan Maxwell Jones
My route to professional painting however has been an unorthodox one. I grew up in Norwich, Norfolk with a love of the arts and appreciation for nature. My dual passion for Art and Theatre Studies at school lead me to a dilemma – Art School or Drama degree?
My subsequent Drama degree at Bristol University led me to a career as a television editor, making natural history documentaries for the BBC. All the time, however, the siren of the visual arts kept calling me back, and in my early 30s I returned to Art School in Bristol, re-awakening my passion for painting. From there I became an Art teacher, working in a Worcestershire school and supporting my family in Malvern.
My introduction to painting nature came early in life, inspired by seeing my Grandfather’s dramatic paintings of Epping Forest in East London. My connection with the natural world and my passion for painting have always been linked; my early memories are of exciting woodland walks and being encouraged to express these wonderful experiences through my art.
Living in Malvern, I am inspired by the beauty of the natural world around me, particularly the stunning views of the Malvern Hills. I am also drawn to the rugged beauty of Wales and often paint the views of the Elan Valley, in mid Wales, where my Mother lives, as well as the the big skies and expansive views of the Norfolk countryside where I grew up. I divide my time between teaching painting classes at the Malvern School of Art and my own painting practice.
I tend to work in acrylics and oils, and enjoy working over textured grounds with a loose and expressive approach that includes spattering, dripping, scraping back and glazing until a finished painting emerges from more abstract and playful processes. I work from sketches and digital photographs collected from walking, as well as from the visceral experience and memory of being out there in the elements and connected to nature. I am particularly drawn to dramatic effects of light, colour, trees and skies and, the pure pleasure in the creative process of painting.