Wendy Jones
Fine art is the head and the heart and the hand together

The Rebellious Curator

(posted on 2 Jul 2020)

Love is but a song to sing

Fear's the way we die

You can make mountains ring

Or make the angels cry

Though the bird is on the wing

And you may not know why


Come on people now

Smile on your brother

Everybody get together

Try to love one another right now


Some may come and some may go

We shall surely pass

When the one that left us here

Returns for us at last

We are but a moment's sunlight

Fading in the grass

If you hear the song I sing

You will understand (listen)

You hold the key to love and fear

All in your trembling hand

Just one key unlocks them both

It's there at your command..


Come on people now

Smile on your brother

Everybody get together

Try to love one another right now..



Written by Chet Powers of The Youngbloods, 1967

Greenwich Village, NY

(posted on 25 Jun 2020)

I need a Studio Assistant


A pretty productive day in the studio despite the constant back-and-forth referring to the head detail book photo, back to palette, back to painting.. at times, forgetting what my intention was after checking reference photo for the 24th time:/ Hitherto,  I focused on correcting any proportional problems with her eyes, nose and mouth, and developed a little more facial colour. The reference photo shows the nose to be vague and mostly in shadow, so I guess that means my ML nose, will also be vague and mostly in shadow.

I started developing more of the fabric colour and folds of her heavy outer cloak, and the lovely dress underneath, of which we can only see the neckline and bodice. The dress has turned out to be one of my favourite parts, and I have decided to make my version slightly more orange/pink. In contrast to the heavy fabric of the cloak, the dress appears to be a light gauzy fabric with cording detail on neckline and a very faint pattern. So very pretty.

(posted on 17 Jun 2020)

Back in the saddle.

I made some progress today even though I felt incredibly incapable. SO much more to do, but today I worked in some of the fabric colours and I was able to add some structure to the hands by working in some of the negative space. So challenging to perfect the shape of the fingers.. and the hands are a PAIN. I developed more facial colour, and am very slowly building up hair colour and shape. 

I have given myself until the end of December to finish and may not show progress photos again until I reach almost complete. I will keep you posted of my progress through writing only, because the idea of making process photos public are tripping me up. I have always been an advocate of not showing work until finished and this project should be no different.

Please stay tuned for Behind the Smile, and ML painting updates in text form only.

Thanks so much for checking in. 

(posted on 24 May 2020)

"Ask yourself how you can go gentler with this next path. Sometimes you have to realize you don't need to be so sharply stung before you feel the flowers." 

-Victoria Erickson

(posted on 14 Apr 2020)


I hadn't been at the studio much since I took quarantine a few weeks ago, and it felt odd to be there today. The room seemed strangely desolate and quiet. When I turned the radio on, a melancholy ballad from the 70's was playing, and it instantly inspired me to paint. With ML on the easel, I sat down, looked at her face, and waited for her to speak. She did not. I rebelliously took one of my oldest, scratchiest brushes and dabbed into some partially dried burnt sienna. I then searched areas in the background that needed definition and quickly and deliberately, applied it to the landscape. I did the same with some crusty sap green that had been on the palette since March. In just a few minutes, I beheld the results I was looking for in what had been a consistently troublesome negative space. The thing with DaVinci is the constant action of slowly building up thin layers of colour in order to softly define structure without the use of any lines.

And that was all I did today.




(posted on 17 Mar 2020)

Psalm 91


He who dwells in the shelter of the most high will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say to the Lord, my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.

For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.

He will cover you with his pinions and under his wings you will find refuge.

His faithfulness is a shield and a buckler.

You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day. Nor the pestilence that stalks the darkness

Nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.

You will look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked because you have made the Lord your dwelling place. The most high who is my refuge.

No evil shall befall you. No plague will come near your tent.

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.

On their hands they will bear you up.

(posted on 4 Mar 2020)

Today I worked on the eyes. Much much more to do, but some mistakes were corrected. 

Sometimes I think I bit off more than I can chew..


One of the hardest things has been the background. I managed to block most of it in today and hope to apply details later. Some of it I can't even make out - is it water? Is it a mountain? Is it a land mass? Jeesh.


This is the right side. Did anyone notice a small bridge on the right side? I never knew this until I started painting the background. It is tiny, but somewhat pronounced. I'm guessing it has metaphorical implications..

(posted on 27 Feb 2020)

The Value of Introversion


I've lost 3 friends in the span of a year and for this sensitive soul, the burns run deep. 

What came from it was the realization that non-intuitive, focused painting like this keeps my mind from running in seven different directions, and reminded me how much I thrive on introversion. 


The studio provides a dedicated space where retrospection is part of the process. Analysing sections of the painting, finding problem areas and devising a game plan. 

Intentional alone time is crucial to focused painting and I highly recommend it. 


Periodically through this project, I'll interject thoughts, musings and quotes from Behind the smile. 



(posted on 20 Feb 2020)

Built up the face tones a bit and slowly darkened areas of the hair. I have determined that the eyes are a little too far apart, but I'll attempt to remedy that by adjusting the corners of the eyes slightly. I'm using several reference photos to help me figure out the colour of her skin which is somewhat yellowy according to most photos.

I encountered another issue when I started to build up the hair on the right side. I made her hair too full on the right. So I had to go in with negative space which forced me to continue work on the very challenging landscape features. This part will dry fully by next time and I can re-work the details later.


Overall, it is kind of ok. The trick has been to build things up in very thin layers. I have found my oldest scratchy brushes have been invaluable for sfumato blending. I've used only 3 brushes, and paint from leftover palettes so far which for some reason, is working pretty well..

(posted on 13 Feb 2020)

I built up the background a little more yesterday. Upon analysis, the weirdest landscape features I have ever seen, and way harder to replicate than it looks. I'll be glazing the sky with a grey blue especially toward the top so that it isn't so yellow. I also built up the negative space and some of her clothing.

Worked on a few facial features and started to darken her hair in some places. 

Background on right. I won't leave the shoulder glow, but I'm going to leave a hint of gold for as long as possible as I work in the landscape. I just like it for some reason.

Bottom left and hands.

As well-meaning as people are, some folks are quick to point out problem areas and give their suggestions. While I very much appreciate feedback, it is safe to say that this is a challenging project that will take some time. Keep in mind that it's very early on, and I'm allowing one year to properly complete it. At this point in the journey, encouragement and questions would be awesome. 

Thanks so much for taking the time to look! 

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