Saltwater Portrait

Oliave Jones: Therapist practices, paints and probes

Balancing life's opportunities
Olaive Jones in her Lewes-area home studio with one of her untitled abstract pieces. Jones and her husband also collect art and own pieces by American, Italian and Haitian painters, among others. BY HENRY J. EVANS JR.
March 13, 2014

Oliave Jones isn't preparing to quit doing anything. At  73, an age when many people have been retired for nearly a decade, Jones is just hitting stride.

Oliave practices psychotherapy in her Washington, D.C., office, and also in her home near Lewes.

“It’s called Zero Balancing,” she said. Zero Balancing practitioners apply finger pressure or traction to tense tissue to enable relaxation.

Dr. Fritz Smith developed the therapy  the early 1970s. It blends treatment methods used in osteopathy and traditional Chinese to balance energy and structure within the body, Jones said.

“I help people move along in their lives with issues that hold them back. Zero Balancing gets to the deepest level of consciousness, which is in the bones,” she said.

Her husband, James M. Jones, is a University of Delaware research psychologist. The couple, originally from Ohio, met while in college.

“We became immediate fast friends. We’re very fortunate,” she said, talking about her 59-year marriage and her two daughters.

“They’re both very accomplished. Nashe is a senior marketing manager with Microsoft in Atlanta, and Shelly is an anesthesiologist in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., area.”

This summer, the entire family her daughters and their husbands will meet for a vacation in France. “I’m excited about being an American. Only in America can you have this type of engagement,” she said about her work and play.

“Lewes is a really spectacular community. It’s good to be able to catch up with people in the same stage of life,” she said.

She graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music, where she studied classical piano. She enjoys the music of Beethoven and Chopin, but never earned a nickel playing anything they wrote. It was working as a jazz pianist for a while that actually paid.

Among her favorite jazz artists are Miles Davis, who she said was the most innovative, and Oscar Peterson, Errol Garner and Herbie Hancock.

One problem with being a professional musician she said is too often artists don’t control their destinies. “The creative folks don’t have a say, it’s the business people who decide what’s going to be heard.

She said her life’s focus has shifted to painting. "Painting’s not as charged; it’s a viable alternative,” she said.

“One has to be true to one’s self. The journey of a painter is about self-discovery,” she said.