Perfecting her art in math class
• Jones captures western art in drawings, engravings
December 11, 2020
Visitors to the Graceful Arts Gallery in Alva last Friday night, Dec. 4, were intrigued by the rifles displayed on deer antlers. The firearms feature decorative etched metal pieces on the stocks. Artist Lori Jones was present during the First Friday Art Walk to talk with visitors about her newest skill.
Jones describes herself as a pencil artist, a watercolorist and a firearms engraver from "a little hole in the wall" located 30 or 40 miles north of Alva called Deerhead, Kansas. "I think there's seven of us there," she says. "We're all on the fire department."
From a young age, Jones began drawing with pencils. "I like to tell everybody I learned to draw in eighth grade algebra. I'm terrible at math, but I perfected my doodling then," she says.
Other than a "really great" high school art teacher she enjoyed for a year, Jones says she is self-taught. That high school teacher encouraged her to do something with her art that had never occurred to her. "It was always just a sort of extra on the side."
Life got in the way of her art although she took a couple of watercolor classes in college. It was all put on the backburner when she had kids.
Then about four or five years ago ("Don't tell him!" she said of her uncertainty), she got married. Her husband is from Texas, and he encouraged her to pick up her pencils again, making it possible for her to have the time she needed to create. Now she's drawing again. She's creating prints of her art for the first time.
About a year ago, she began doing firearms engraving. She found it's not like pencil. "You make a mistake, and it's permanent," she says. "There's no taking it back. There's no erasing."
In addition to her engraved firearms, Jones is displaying several of her finely drawn portraits and ranch scenes on the walls of the Graceful Arts Gallery.
If you'd like to learn more about Jones, check her website at lazyjwesternart.com or see her Facebook page at Lazy J Ranch Horses. Jones and her husband have a ranch "where we raise cattle, horses and kids" and she finds subjects for her drawings.