top of page

Elaine Jones | Coastlines | Bristol-based contemporary artist discusses her new paintings

“It’s the paint itself which dictates the painting, rather than the landscape.” - artist Elaine Jones discusses her new paintings.

We caught up with Elaine in her studio in Bristol to hear more about her recent trip to Italy and Greece, how her sketches form the basis of her paintings, and what it is about Bristol that she loves.

“My paintings are about the environment. I love being in wide open, big, empty spaces. We are trying not to fly, so we got the train the whole way to Italy and Greece – we started off in Bristol and then went on to London, to Paris, to Madrid, and beyond. You see so much of the countryside by train, in a way you don’t see from a plane or the car. Watching out the window, seeing the landscape change so fast, from being flat to mountainous and rocky.


“I did a lot of sketches from the train, which I loved. I like to work quickly as the world goes past, which means I can be loose and energetic with my work. Over the holiday I created a series of sketches – it’s like looking at a diary of everywhere we had been.” Elaine’s sketches are warm and loose and show how her work evolves over time. She captures the landscape in quick, lively lines that bring a sense of freedom to the scenes.


“The colours in Italy were really influential to my work. We stayed in an apartment with a roof terrace overlooking the town, where the pinks and oranges of the sunsets stood out against the whitewashed buildings. It was so different to my usual palette, which is full of blues and greens inspired by Cornwall and Devon.

“In Greece, we had an apartment overlooking the sea. There was one mountain in particular which I drew a lot. I enjoyed sketching this loosely. There was something about how the light moved around that made the mountain look different every time I saw it. Each time I sketched it I captured something different to before.”


While travelling, Elaine often draws using an iPad, enjoying the freedom it allows and how it enables her to try a range of techniques – mixing watercolours and oil paint in a way she wouldn’t do in the studio.


“I like the way that no one approaches you when you are working on an iPad as opposed to in a sketch book; you can be more anonymous and get on with your work – maybe pretending you are reading the paper. I can also work anywhere – even in the passenger seat in a car going down a motorway. The immediacy of it is great and can capture a lot of energy."

Elaine’s energetic drawings and sketches go on to form the ideas behind her paintings. Back in her Bristol studio, the artist moves dynamically, working from her sketches on large paintings. Her work surrounds us, hanging on the wall and lying on the floor. Elaine works on a whole series of paintings at the same time, pouring paint, letting the colours lead the way and letting go of the sense of place.

“I think the paint is more important to me than where a painting is of. While some of them are obviously a landscape or a seascape, many of them are much more abstract. When I am working on the floor and moving paint around, I let it do its own thing to a certain degree – it’s the paint itself which dictates the painting, rather than the landscape. I add and take away paint as time goes on and enjoy not knowing how it’s going to turn out. I think this is why I like working on a series of paintings at once: I will be working on one, then have an idea which I can paint into another.”


“I have always wanted to be an artist in some form although I didn’t know what I was doing at school really. I did art at A level, which was full of still lifes and whatever…. I was going to do a PGCE and pursue teacher training, but then one teacher stepped in and said, “no, don’t do that”. She suggested an art foundation course to me instead and fine art just blew my mind. It was a very contemporary course and nothing like what I had done before. I wasn’t precious about anything. I was able to work really quickly, it suited me. After this foundation, I never wanted to do anything else.

“I came to Bristol after my art degree and it’s the only place that I have fitted in to and feel really at home in. I have had different chapters in my life and have embraced the city throughout all of them as it’s such a warm and understanding place.”


If you'd like to make an enquiry about any of the works please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Sign up to our mailing list to receive occasional updates on Elaine Jones’ practice and upcoming art fairs. Browse new paintings by the Bristol contemporary artist here,




Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Instagram Social Icon
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
bottom of page