Teresa Jones fondly recalls when a young lady commissioned her to paint her family’s home, Loch Dhu Plantation. It was a plantation on Lake Marion built in the early 1800s. Unfortunately, the oldest living relative passed away, and the plantation was being sold. “Watching her smile as she carefully positioned the painting above the fireplace in her Mount Pleasant home reminded me why I love painting,” recalls the artist. “Painting is more than art. Painting is preserving memories on canvas that make you smile, laugh, cry and remember wonderful times.”
Surprisingly, Jones never thought she could become an artist. Although she had a lifelong dream to paint, she only began her career in 2004 after moving to Charleston. Throughout the years, while raising three children, Jones studied various media and selected oil as her medium of choice. Since then, she has studied with many local and nationally known artists in formal classes and workshops. Today, she is a successful artist and an active member of the Charleston Artist Guild, participating in numerous annual shows and exhibits. Her original works and commissioned pieces are revered by collectors across the country. She is also well represented in Charleston by Lowcountry Artists Gallery on East Bay Street and enjoys hosting open studios in her home on Beaufain Street.
“As a child, I loved art and drawing yet never dreamed I could become an artist,” says Jones. “It wasn’t until I moved to Charleston that I got serious. I took art classes from Joyce Hall for several years, which really gave me my start. I later began classes with Emmy Bronson, a highly acclaimed artist and teacher, who helped me take my art to a different level.”
The artist’s love for light and color and her studies in nature and architecture have always inspired her to paint from the heart. She enjoys all styles of art but considers herself a contemporary artist. Her work at times emulates impressionism and, at other times, realism, depending on the subject matter. “I find inspiration in everything around me,” she says, “and there is a painting around every corner. My main focus is painting landscapes, architecture, still life and commissions, but architecture has always been my favorite.”
Jones has participated in many exhibitions and is an award-winning artist. She has also created numerous commissioned paintings that range from beautiful homes and churches to pets and landscapes and interesting photos the client wants to preserve. She has always considered it a privilege to capture their memories.
Having lived in South Carolina for most of her life, Jones has become intimately familiar with the delicate splendor of the region. Her trained eye and unique talent for capturing tiny glimpses of the area’s extraordinary natural beauty is what makes her work truly inspiring and inherently Southern. From beach scenes to breathtaking landscapes, the artist affords the viewer a private window into the breathtaking South Carolina scenery that touches the hearts of residents and visitors alike.
“I love everything about creating a piece of art,” says Jones. “There is a story around each one that takes me back to where the concept was born. I love to tell these stories to my clients because I believe it brings more meaning to the piece if there’s a story behind it.”
Jones is open to exploring other mediums with which to express herself, but she ultimately prefers to work in oils. She has always enjoyed the freedom it allows to achieve whatever her painting calls for. She loves the process of composition and drawing and focuses on values, light and color harmony—the secret ingredients that make her paintings glow.
“My greatest treasure is for a client to express from their heart that my art speaks to them and evokes a special memory,” says Jones. “I know then that the painting was a success.”
Jeanne de Lathouder currently resides in Birmingham, Alabama, where she works as a freelance writer for books and publications across the country. A former writer and editor for Southern Accents magazine, her work appears regularly in Florida Design, Southern Home, Charleston Style & Design and Dallas Style & Design. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.