The vast universe of contemporary art is pulsing with talent, vibrancy and expression. It is, therefore, much harder to find a way to stand out in a field known for its colorful exuberance, but LaToya Jones does. Her fabulous works do not simply speak to a viewer, they spark conversations.

Liveliness, dimensionality and a fair share of bling are the attributes of each of Jones’ masterpieces. She employs crushed gems as well as gold and silver to attain the subtle yet unmistakably regal quality of her canvases. The use of precious materials is not the goal in itself, though. The selection process frequently comes from artist-client collaborations. Particular elements are meant to connect with the client, with the sentiment of the home and emotions of the family that will be enjoying the piece. An example of that could be a combination of birthstones of a husband and a wife to represent a touch of sentimentality and a hidden meaning in a painting.

Not every painting, of course, is the result of collaboration. The artist frequently draws inspiration from a mood or an experience. In these cases, the materials are selected based on a personal affinity or an inner association. Sparkling amethysts, rich emeralds, noble onyxes adorn Jones’ canvases and are surrounded by silver and gold. The impression is timeless and rich—fit for royalty. No wonder she named her business Forever Royalty—a fitting title for her body of work.

Jones’ approach to her creative process is marked with deep inner passion for her art. She is known to remark that life often imitates art, because as in art, a human character is a result of layers upon layers of experiences: good, bad, vibrant and mundane. It is the careful layering and painstaking attention to detail that sets Jones’ work apart and breathes life into her masterpieces.

Another interesting element that adds an almost spiritual component to Jones’ canvases is the use of fire in the process of creation. Fire is the ultimate symbol of life. It is in equal parts a destructive force and the basis of warmth and protection. Taming of fire brought to life the whole human civilization. Through trial and error Jones developed a masterful technique by finding an elusive balance between destruction and formation caused by fire.

Jones is passionate about the human connection to art. “Art is not meant to match a sofa in your living room,” she says. “Art is supposed to connect with you on a deep, personal level. If that doesn’t happen, art dies together with the sofa next time you plan a remodel.”

Jones’ masterpieces have a distinct and meaningful presence. They do not require a specific environment in order to shine. Their contemporary compositions combined with timeless materials, such as gems and precious metals, seamlessly blend with both modern and traditional interior design. Wonderfully complex pieces of art speak out through expressive layers and captivating textures.

“I design with the notion that it could be for a king or a queen. I imagine a life for my pieces that would be longer than my own. My process, while not always efficient or economical, is all about detail, quality and perfection,” says Jones.

Jones has enjoyed a fair share of recognition and acclaim for her artwork. She has been a recipient of many awards and was featured nationally on HGTV, Good Morning America and Good Morning Texas. She is also known for her design collaborations and for branching into the world of fashion.

Her works can be viewed at Pettigrew Luxury Furnishings, a comprehensive showroom of traditional and transitional furnishings, where they are staged to shine, while waiting for their kings and queens.

Tatyana Murphy is a Dallas-based creative professional, freelance writer and editor, who specializes in fashion, art and design.