Bev Jones lives and works in the London Borough of Croydon and most of her paintings focus on the everyday people and scenes. She loves paining crowds and groups of people going about their everyday lives.
I love people watching and especially the interactions between people: The way people walk past each other, negotiate who gets on the tram first or finding a way down a busy street. How we show that we are together as friends or family and how we are with total strangers. The rules we apply that allow us all to live peacefully together in this crowded space at least most of the time. I think the watching started with the drawing for me because I grew up in a very small Welsh village and was positively agoraphobic with crowds as a child, I started drawing the people passing to help me cope with this when I was a teenager and moved from Wales to the Midlands of England. I still sometimes spend days sitting in cafes or at train stations drawing little sketches of people passing. It’s only in the last couple of years that I have been painting people.
I paint a lot of Croydon scenes, it’s such a busy place and very local for me (I live in Addiscombe) so it’s easy to pop down and get a feel for what is happening. When I paint crowds it’s the people and their interactions that really make it interesting and I’ll often make up stories for the people as I paint them. The setting is important for my local pictures too as you can’t have a local community without a place to be local to. Croydon makes a great setting because everything about it is diverse, there are old and new buildings, hills and flat spaces, every kind of people and lots of different transport options too. Having a few pedestrianized areas is handy too as I’m not a fan of cars, either driving them or drawing them.
Recently I had my first solo exhibition at Matthews Yard which was great, loads of people came and I got lots of brilliant feedback as well as selling some paintings and prints. I loved that it was so close to the market since there were lots of Surrey Street paintings on show. Moving forward many of my paintings will be up at Stanley Halls for their Open House day on the 20th September, I’ll be at the Arts & Crafts Market in Exchange Square that day too, I will also be at the Portico Gallery in West Norwood for the Lambeth Open in October with loads of other events to follow. You can find me on the web at www.bevjonesart.co.uk where you will also find my newly opened Etsy shop and if you would like to buy anything online there is a 10% off offer code available from the JustCroydon offers page until the end of September.