Lee Jones: Street Painting is About Watching Art Being Created

Jones is a Dogwood Arts Festival street painter and instructor

Will you paint here, or just teach?

I’m going to be doing quite a few things when I come in from Orlando. I’ll be teaching a workshop Thursday night (April 16 at the Knoxville Museum of Art). I’ll teach the history and technique inside, then we’ll head for the street and do some painting. I’m gonna be doing a company’s logo, too, on a board that will be auctioned. I’ll also do Michelangelo’s “Adam,” which is part of the Sistine Chapel. But it’s going to be with a twist, not a reproduction.

Who is drawn to your workshops?

I just did this in Michigan and we had bank VPs, little kids, grandmas... it’s a huge range. Part is getting down on the sidewalk like you did when you were a little kid, but it’s a larger scope, and the drawings are so much better.

Are there shortcomings to working in such a fleeting medium?

What people have to understand is it’s not about the final product. It’s about watching art be created. Think of it as performance art, more like going to the ballet. People are always like, “Doesn’t that just kill you to walk away?” And I’m like, “Nope.” After 20 hours or more creating, I’m more than happy to leave it behind.

Do you have another job?

Yes. I used to have a graphic design studio, now I work at the credit union here in Orlando, in the mortgage department. My father was CEO of this company; needless to say, that’s why I have the flexibility to leave and do these shows.

What’s your favorite type of street for painting?

The sidewalk. It’s called street painting, but it really should not be done on the street. It’s too rough, it chews up the chalk.

Lee Jones will paint April 16-19, mostly at Krutch Park and Market Square. For more info: dogwoodarts.com

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