Monday, May 23, 2011
Growing up in a fairly artistically isolated town in Northern KY I wasn't aware of a lot of contemporary fantasy illustrators. It wasn't until I began working at the art dept at TSR that I began to talk to other artists and found out who they were inspired by. This is when I found out who Jeffrey Jones was. Jones was a true artist among illustrators. There was depth and sensitivity to everything she painted. I never met her face to face. However because of Facebook I got a chance to talk to her a few times over the last two years. Though she seemed to be emotionally in a dark place at times I found her to be a very sweet person. After looking at my work in Feb of 2010 she gave me one of the coolest compliments. It was short but it meant the world to me. She said, simply, "Thanks for being an artist, Fred".
CJ you will be missed.
There were few people who could paint as well as Jeffrey Catherine Jones, according to Frank Frazetta, who called her the finest painter of their generation.
There is nothing like a great artist, who is so humble she wouldn’t even vote for fear of forcing her beliefs on others. She wrote to tell me how wonderful my poetry was. She tried hard to express herself despite going through her own version of hell, and sorrow. Jeffrey Catherine Jones was an artist beyond good. And she paid for her wildfire talent with various issues in her life. Amongst those issues, she was born with and expressed a belief that she was a woman in her male body, since her earliest memories, but societal pressures and fears kept her from surgery for many years. And fame as an artist made her more visible and thereby posed more risk to her psyche should she change genders. But she changed genders. Surgically and by name.
Many didn’t understand her issues, but nearly all understood the beauty in her art. And we are now bereft of that, since her passing.
I can't tell you how sad this makes me.
Rest in peace at last, Catherine.
Rest in peace,