Tuesday, December 17, 2013

“Thinking of an Old Friend today”

George Jones and I in the late eighties
 Today I was going through my flat files in the studio looking for needed storage space, and I pulled out an old illustration painted by my old friend George Jones, who passed away in the early nineties.  George was in my opinion one of the really fine illustrators of that period.  When I knew George, he was working mainly for Pocket Books, and Harlequin Romance out of Canada.  I also painted many Romance covers for Harlequin and George was very generous with his knowledge and expertise…..particularly when it came to painting beautiful women.  He had the ability to take what was already a beautiful model and enhance that beauty like very few artists could.  George loved to talk about painting, art in general, and the Illustration business.  He taught me a lot about painting romance covers in the late eighties and early nineties…..of course, my covers never rose to the level of his, but I did learn much from my old friend…..and certainly got a lot of laughs. 
When George and his wife Cynthia decided to leave the New York area and relocate to North Carolina, he gave me a historical romance cover of his as a token of our friendship. 

 "The Naked Huntress" by George Jones
 His intention was to go down south and paint his first love, the old steamships.  He had several of his steamboat paintings displayed in their home.  They were all beautifully painted, framed and each had its own special lighting.  Sadly, he never really got to do much more of that due to illness.  He became ill shortly after moving…..and within a year, I had to serve as pallbearer at his funeral.  I think of George as I’m sure many of his old friends do and when his name comes up…..its always with admiration for his talent and his fun nature.

I was fortunate to be attending a liquidation auction in Ct., and was able to purchase one of George’s steamboat paintings.   This painting and the Harlequin Romance painting shown above have been some of the favorites of our modest collection of art.  I always intended to frame the romance piece and display it.  Now, I think it is time after all these years.  Thanks old friend!

"The Long Branch", 19x32 oil, by George Jones
And, thanks for listening to my Ramblings!