Art, a way of life for the woman of Rio Rancho
Examples of artwork by Yolanda Howren Jones can be found in her home studio. (Gary Heron/Observer)
That Yolanda Howren Jones turned out to be a competent artist comes as no surprise, when she says, “I know I loved coloring and drawing when I was a little girl.
It would have been on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. Her love for art stayed with her when the family moved to Taos in 1968, where her father got work, and later when the family moved to Española and then Albuquerque.
Of course, many young people like to draw and color, but they quickly get tired of it.
Howren Jones didn’t, becoming even more amorous during the family’s years in Taos.
“As a girl, I was not a big thinker,” she recalls. During her family’s years in Duke City, she attended Del Norte High School, graduating in 1979.
“In high school, I took as many art classes as I could,” she said. “In high school, I only drew rock stars.”
She started her working days as a government employee, working full time
Larger acrylic works essentially took a back seat during what became a 30-year career as a legal assistant at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Albuquerque, but after her retirement in 2014, the painting bug swept her away. bit again.
In just two years she had her own solo exhibition at the Daily Grind in Albuquerque and an exhibition at the Los Lunas Fall Festival.
She was so talented that her designs started selling and she made money from commissions.
“I never began to think that I would sell my art,” she said, calling what she does in her home studio “therapeutic.”
A widow until she met John Jones, who was divorced, through an online dating suite resulted in marriage, and she moved into his house in Northern Meadows, where they live with her son Joey, a alumnus of Cleveland High.
John recently retired from his job as a guard foreman of Rio Rancho Public Schools, and he is responsible for updating his wife’s social media. He also paints, influenced by his talented wife.
Howren Jones draws inspiration from the books, though she enjoys taking photos on family trips across the state. If there’s a historic church nearby, you can bet it has a photo of it for future work. She loves the historic El Santuario de Chimayo.
“I painted this church 10 to 20 times,” she says.
She also enjoys painting old cars, lowriders, sugar skulls, flowers, crows and owls – you get the idea.
She calls Georgia O’Keeffe and Vincent Van Gogh inspirational, and when asked what advice she had for beginning artists, she paraphrased Pablo Picasso – “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you at work.”
A spiritual woman, Howren Jones also enjoys painting small crosses, often adding inspirational quotes to them. John orders them, she paints them – and people buy them.
It didn’t take long for her work to be noticed, and she exhibited acrylic works in several galleries, including the Ricochet Gallery on Mountain Road and 11th Street in Albuquerque, where she was recognized and awarded by the artistic community. of Albuquerque as a local “treasure”. Her art can also be found in galleries in Corrales, Madrid and Santa Fe, where she hopes to add a gallery on the art lovers’ Canyon Road.
She will be presented at the Carnaval Atzlan art gallery in Madrid on October 1 and hopes to meet new friends during her stay.
That’s how it is in the art world, said Howren Jones.
“When people buy a piece (of work), they want to meet me,” she said.
She is a member of the Rio Rancho Art Association, which she joined two years ago, and it has helped her get her work displayed on the walls of area restaurants and other venues.
She said she paints every day and has no intention of letting go of the paintbrush.
If you want to meet Howren Jones virtually, you can find her on Facebook and yolandahowren.com.