Artist Dick Ford shares his secrets with JCJC students

Written By: Teresa McCreery
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Date Submitted: 2013-09-06 13:37:18

ELLISVILLE – Learning how an artist developed his style was a rare treat for some Jones County Junior College students. Smith County native Dick Ford recently shared some of the elements of design he utilized for the collection of artwork currently on display at the JCJC art gallery this month called “Faces.” From using geometry and the “Golden Section” rule to lining up the features of the face, to deciding on the color tones of a piece, Ford discussed his thought processes with JCJC students studying art and the Humanities.
“I take a long time figuring out where I want the person on the paper,” said Ford. “A good portrait shows the interaction of the subject and the artist and the artists’ ability to pull out the subjects’ personality or put their personality into the painting.” 
His love for people is evident as you walk into the Eula Bass Lewis art gallery at JCJC. Faces are dominant in every portrait. Ford explains, “I really like people’s eyes and I like engaging with my subject.”
JCJC students also learned from Ford that da Vinci used light and dark tones to give his famous painting “Mona Lisa” a smoky effect. The Renaissance artist da Vinci also used the “Golden Section” rule too. However he was quick to point out, “As one of my art instructors told me there are no rules in art and then he told me you can’t mix oil based paint with water based paint. I tried it and I found you can mix the two paints. So in essence, there really are no rules in art,” said Ford.
Daniel Bond a JCJC sophomore from Laurel said he noticed some of the design elements Ford pointed out in his paintings. “Now I know why I liked those paintings!” said Bond. “It looks right because he applied those finer details. Also, knowing the ‘math’ behind his designs doesn’t surprise me, I just didn’t realize there was so much math involved and that’s why a painting looks great.”
One of Bond’s favorite portraits on display is the primed pulp canvasses of Marilyn Chastain and Sarah Sevcech because of their eyes and the way he drew their lips. He said they are beautiful to look at partly because of the way he drew them and the colors he used. However, Bond said he’s unsure how he feels about Ford giving up his design secrets.
“There’s a satisfaction of discovering those secrets on your own because I like a challenge but I also like knowing some the variety of ways each artist utilizes to create art,” said Bond.
 The University of Southern Mississippi graduates’ award winning artwork has been shown across the nation and in Europe and Japan. Ford also dabbles in a variety of art forms including paintings, drawings, photography, short films, animations and sculptures.
“I have always done paintings but I like solving puzzles. For customers, I like figuring out what the message should be, the audience they are targeting and then I try to find the best way to do that,” Ford explained.
For more information about the JCJC art show contact the gallery at 601-477-4148 or visit the gallery which is open Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., and Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. The gallery is closed for lunch daily from 11:30 until noon. 


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