Martha T. Jones Intersticism Project and Lucky Cat December 14th, 2013- March 23rd, 2014
Intersticism is a word I made up as I played a sort of word game with myself during long painting sessions when I had time for part of my brain to think about what I was actually doing on the canvas and another part of my mind could meditate on the sort of theory of what I was doing. I was looking for a word to describe the most integral characteristics and challenges of the series of paintings I started working on last Spring. The word is made up from the word interstice that means gap or space between things (usually a very small one)—and –ism. I’d been reading John Richardson’s multi-volume biography of Picasso and I’d decided that it would be great fun to have an ism of my own—or to create an art movement as it were—so intersticism is then a somewhat tongue-in-check endeavor.
I need to explain why small gaps or interstices are important in my work. I like to paint on grids and I’ll frequently begin the painting process by laying down a grid that I go on to embellish. This year I developed a new sort of grid that in its most basic form looks like a series of oval or bead-like shapes strung together into lines; these are laid out in a pattern of ovals that to my mind resembles a whirlpool or a spiral from the top of the painting to the bottom. When the bead-like bits come right up to each other, very small diamond-shaped gaps can appear. I usually painted these bead-like lines in red and when they appeared against the canvas that had not yet been painted, the resulting diamond shapes often popped out obtrusively. One of my overall goals for constructing an effective composition is to come up with a composition that will keep the eye of the viewer moving around the entire painting and resting only on felicitous passages; at the same time I am satisfied that a painting is complete when its overall composition and the smallest of details can coexist compatibly. To my eye, many of these tiny gaps between the beaded lines stopped the movement of the eye and needed to be addressed in a meaningful way; doing so marks a stage in the painting process that leads into the final integrative stages of the process.
Martha T. Jones , 2014
A resident of Williamsburg, VA, Martha became a full-time artist after a career as a university instructor teaching courses in Greek and Roman language and culture at the College of William and Mary and elsewhere. Martha is a two-time recipient of a Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fine Arts Fellowship for her painting (2011-2012 and 2016/2017).