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 Jack R. Shaub  (1943 - 1996)

About: Jack R. Shaub
 

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Lived/Active: Pennsylvania      Known for: watercolor landscape paintings

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Jack R. Shaub
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following information is from Larry Gibble, who wrote: "I am submitting a biography for Jack Shaub who was a close friend of mine; the information was compiled from information by his wife Linda and fellow artist and friend, Tom Newnam.

Jack R. Shaub was born in Lancaster County, Pa. After graduating from Elizabethtown College, he went to work in the criminal justice field - first working in a detention center, and then as a juvenile probation officer with York County.  He worked there from the late 60's until a year or two before he died, at the age of fifty-three. He had advanced to a supervisory role, and was always very well respected for his caring, as much as his competence, in helping young people and their families.
 
Though influenced by several artists, Andrew Wyeth most of all, Jack was entirely self-taught. His medium was traditional watercolor. Because he felt, passionately that his painting process was a very private and personal thing, Jack was never too interested in teaching. He did however, once or twice, teach a group class at the local art association - as his wife, Linda, well knows - because that's how she met Jack. When it came to private lessons, I believe I was his only student. Though I only had two 'official' art lessons in his studio, before I started painting on my own, Jack continued to mentor and guide me along my art path. I guess you could say I became his protege.
 
Jack's interest in painting, which began to get serious in 1966, stemmed from his love for the outdoors. His love for nature had roots three generations deep. "My grandfather had an abrupt, simple sensitivity. He sensed a oneness with the land, for nature. As a farmer, he cared about preserving the land," Jack stated, before adding: "And my father felt the same way. He was raised with Amish kids, often running barefoot through corn stubble.
 
One can sense the love of the outdoors in Jack's work. He was obviously, and completely, inspired by the drama of nature, especially in fall and winter scenes. "There is a certain resolution in the winter landscape." He said. "Things become more abrupt, clearer, like a skeleton."
 
Jack liked to spend as much time as he could outdoors, especially in the winter. He ran a trap line from December to March, requiring him to be outside one or two times every day, for five or six years. When asked about his painting palette, he would reply: "I am very satisfied with using earth colors. I can't paint with bright colors. It seems unnatural and false to me."
 
Jack rarely placed a figure in his paintings. As a probation officer and counselor, dealing with people all day, he preferred to separate his work world from his painting world. When asked if he ever painted a cityscape, his answer was: "Never. I only care to paint really one thing - the land." Jack's painting style was bold, very loose, and free - yet still representational to the mind's eye. He was a master of light and shadow. And a "purest" in the sense that he never used white paint. So for many winter scenes, he needed to allow the white of the paper to represent the snow.
 
Jack's favorite artist was Andrew Wyeth. Though they never met, Jack felt a spiritual kinship with Andrew. He was especially inspired by Wyeth's ability to create a realistic effect with minimal painted cues on the paper. Like doing an almost abstract splattering of paint on the paper, and yet having it look like real things - especially when viewed from a slight distance. Jack believed that if you were going to labor over a painting, and work on it for days on end, then oils or acrylics would be a better medium. He felt that watercolors were for spontaneous painting. He believed that watercolors were like poems - and that they should "sing" with the immediacy of their freshness.
 
Jack Shaub's work was represented in several group exhibits including:
The Collector's Gallery, Brodbeck's Pennsylvania 
Traveling Exhibit of Pennsylvania Artists - courtesy of The William Penn Memorial Museum
 
He had one-man shows at:
The York Art Center Gallery...William Penn Memorial Museum...York College...Penn State University...
Chamber's Gallery, University Park, Pennsylvania
Franklin and Marshall College.
 
Aside from being in many homes and offices, in several states, Jack's paintings are permanently represented at York College and The William Penn Museum.
 

 


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