A new month means a new artist for the #deadartistssociety. This month I'll be researching Loïs Mailou Jones. Here's just a quick overview via Wikipedia:
Lois Mailou Jones (November 3, 1905 – June 9, 1998) was an artist who painted and influenced others during the Harlem Renaissance and beyond, during her long teaching and artistic career. Jones was the only African-American female painter of the 1930s and 1940s to achieve fame abroad, and the earliest whose subjects extend beyond the realm of portraiture. She was born in Boston, Massachusetts. She died in Washington, DC. She is buried on Martha's Vineyard in the Oak Bluffs Cemetery.
I started out with a new sketchbook just for her. A quick glance at her paintings made me select a cobalt blue color and then I'm beginning each one with a little table of contents and portrait sketch. I know little to none about her so this is going to be really fun.
Loïs Mailou Jones was born in Boston on November 3, 1905. She's about 6 months old in these photographs. On the right, she's with her mom Carolyn Jones and below the photo is a detail from “Glyphs,” 1985, acrylic on canvas.
Loïs's father Thomas Jones was a building superintendent in downtown Boston and the family lived on the top floor of the building for 30 years. Thomas attended night classes at Suffolk Law school and received his law degree in 1915. He worked as a lawyer, realtor, and continued on as superintendent. Loïs's mother was a popular cosmetologist. Loïs had an older brother John Wesley.
"As students of Loïs Jones, we were taught that art must be the central focus of our lives. She often spoke of the importance of being 'married' to one's art, and the devotion and discipline she brought to bear in her own career left a lasting impression on us. We were told of the good life art offered those for whom art was a serious, lifelong calling. ... From Loïs Jones we learned that even though the color of our skin often determined how our art would be received, we need not allow this to stand in the way of our growth as artists. She reminded us repeatedly, through precept and example, that the finer aspirations of the human spirit can tower over many of the obstacles that come one's way."
--David C. Driskell, professor of art University of Maryland at College Park.