Receptive Abstract Patternism

Jazz Concerto Rod Jones Artist

Receptive Abstract Patternism: Why do you paint like that, Rod? It’s a question that I am often asked. Invariably the follow-up question is, “how did you come up with such a name?” Well, I did not come up with this name. I started painting when I was around 11 or 12, I don’t remember exactly. The one thing I do remember is I won first prize for a painting I did as a school project. The painting ended up at a contest at the Orange show fairgrounds in San Bernardino, California. I remember thinking that was pretty cool. And from then on, I pretty much abandoned painting. Move ahead 40 years, and I decided to paint again.

Biographical information about me: 

Rod Jones is a Southern California Artist living in Lake Arrowhead. After spending a good part of his career as a Commercial Advertising Photographer, he shifted his energy to operating his own creative services and marketing company.

Approximately 20 years ago, he started to develop his painting style. Rod often states because he committed to painting later in life, he knew he did not have the luxury of spending many years creating his own unique vision for his art. The style he embraced is one that evolved from initially painting in the Impressionist style. Today his art is considered by many to be especially authentic. When viewed, the body of his art has a common theme, yet each piece clearly stands on its own. Collectors with a sensitive eye appreciate that his work is constantly evolving and that the style that he has created is open-ended and has no restrictions.

“I push my chosen art style with every painting I do. Some are more successful than others. But I’m not afraid to challenge either the viewer or myself. If I can use color and form in an eclectic way and still maintain some semblance of continuity, then I am accomplishing my goal.”

His style has been intelligently named Receptive Abstract Patternism™, a term coined by his daughter. She determined that the style revolves around the artist receiving conscious and subconscious signals and stimuli to create an image independent of common form, held together by the continuity and comfort of a pattern.

The Artist Rod Jones has accumulated a substantial amount of work over the last 20 years resulting in a collection that is worth exploring. The style is ever-evolving, but so many of the pieces created are a testament to true artistic originality.

There’s more to this story. The question then becomes how my art style got its name, in detail, and what does this all mean.

After a long successful career as a Commercial Photographer, I picked up a paintbrush, which is something I did when I was younger. Like any budding artist, you have a desire to try many different styles and techniques of painting. I went through this phase somewhat rapidly. One thing did become apparent; I was very much interested in color and shapes. From my earliest paintings, the style I call Receptive Abstract Patternism™ started to materialize.

An interesting note as to the actual derivation of the term…it came from my daughter, who was 17 at the time. She was living with my paintings scattered all over the home, my studio, and of course hanging on the wall of her bedroom – her choice, not mine. At breakfast, she turned to my wife and me and said, “Daddy should call his artwork, Receptive Abstract Patternism.” I knew instantly that was a pretty insightful name for my style of art.

Ok, so what is Receptive Abstract Patternism™ exactly?

While most people can understand the word abstract… because it certainly is. Most of my work is non-representational and non-objective. So it’s easy to conclude that my artwork is abstract. The word Patternism is pretty obvious…we often say that the paintings are held together by the continuity and comfort of pattern. As the work has progressed, some of these patterns are quite complex. Others are simple. But if you view the vast number of paintings I have created, you will quickly see the style and many-faceted uses of patterns.

Now is the part of the term I am particularly partial to, the word Receptive. You have to be pretty open in your thinking to be receptive, open to being creative. Plus, you can’t be overly objective. Of course, you can be receptive to outside influences, many representational artists are, and they interpret subject matter with their own unique styles. My Receptive style requires the stimulation to percolate up from my own non-objective thinking.

I never or very rarely ever plan out a painting. They just evolved on the canvas. Colors seem to beget colors, shapes seem to find their own juxtapositions, and the work starts to look cohesive. I can honestly say it’s just as much fun for me to see how they end up. Many an early morning, I have gone into the studio to see what the previous day’s work yielded. Even the paintings that I thought had the potential of being total disasters somehow managed to save themselves overnight. Some of my work is simple. Not too terribly complicated, but no one can argue that it’s not original.

Historically there have been artists that fervently state that they’re not inspired by anything. I fall in line with those creatives, and I can confidently say I do not get any real inspiration from the world around me. Some of my paintings end up with titles with a nature theme. But this is the result of studying the work long after completion. Some of my pieces beg for names…while others are painfully difficult to name. But that is one of the great joys of being an artist.

Receptive Abstract Patternism is a new type of art distinguished by the artist receiving conscious and subconscious signals and stimuli to create an image independent of common form, held together by the continuity and comfort of a pattern.

Like snowflakes, no two are alike, but yet, each one is in common with the other. Structured yet fluid. Each is fragile but contemporarily strong. You remove one square or one element, and they simply fall apart. They are immensely influenced by their surroundings and the light that falls on them. In one moment, they can be soothing and meditative and the next deconstructed, energetic and modern.

“You have to live with one of my paintings and share your emotions with it…and it will breathe its own life into yours.”

“I start out each work with no preconceived notion as to what ultimately will be revealed on the canvas. Yes…I do think about color, and yes, I do think about composition. But once the process begins, change is in the studio air. Each painting takes on its own personality, and the collectors of my completed works respond with their own interpretations. I used to like to title my work with numbers and letters. But that seemed entirely too impersonal. The work once completed now begs for a title, at least in my mind’s eye, and it’s terribly fun to name a painting. It’s part of the creative process. Ask any artist.

“I was once asked if my work has meaning beyond the conscious mind. All I can say is the very nature of non-interpretive art invites interpretation. The depth in which one explores is subject to one’s historical reference point. We are all products of our life experiences and our willingness to immerse and participate.”

When it comes to my art, there still is a long road ahead that I don’t take lightly. Will it evolve? I suspect so as long as I can continue the exploration of what line, color, shape, and composition can yield from meditative thoughts. Don’t let anyone deceive you when it comes to explaining art. It’s all one big experiment, and its destination has no end.

“For an artist when one lifetime is never enough.”


Rod Jones artist-writer