Katie Rhys Jones Q+A – I find inspiration in the world outside

  • Structure and shape can be the building blocks of any great work of art, however the composition does not always have to be representational. :

Our Head of Art Luke Baker recently sat down with Little Van Gogh artist Katie Rhys Jones to discuss her creative inspirations and how she aims to draw attention to the threat Climate Change poses to our landscape through her work.

Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration in the world outside- walking in nature, looking at a big view, new places and sunshine (which brings a rich palette of colour to my work.)

How has your practice changed over time?

Although I have remained true to painting, I began by experimenting with all subjects, then honed in on landscape and expansive views. A significant shift occurred during my MA with my aerial-themed pieces; distance and elevation leading to greater abstraction and an integration of collage techniques to again force simplification.

Who are your biggest artistic influences?

Matisse, particularly his work ‘The Snail’, has been a beacon of inspiration since my teenage years, for his use of bold, flat colour and collage. Also the Californian landscapes of David Hockney and the aerial works of Peter Lanyon, which have profoundly shaped my artistic perspective with their use of colour, form and their connections with place.

‘Beach 3’

‘Landscape 3’

What’s the purpose or goal of your work?

At its core, my art aims to put colour centre stage and transform even the dreariest days with its vibrancy. Going forwards I would love to comment further on the threat to the sublimity of landscape due to Climate issues.

Does creating art help you in any other areas of your life?

Yes. Art is not just my passion; it’s a vital component of my wellbeing, akin to physical exercise for mental health.

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given? 

The words ‘Never ever give up!’ imparted by my daughter Poppy, have been a guiding light, especially during challenging phases of my artistic journey. They remind me that perseverance is key, not just in art but in all aspects of life.