Jack had channeled his artistry and talent into his advertising career for decades. After he retired, he needed to find a new outlet for his creativity. He found it in painting.
As Jack thought about where to begin, he thought back to his art school days. He remembered learning about the artist Charles Wysocki (1928 – 2002), who was well-known for his brightly-colored, highly stylized scenes of Americana. “I appreciated the simplicity of design and the sense of humor he showed in his paintings, so I copied his style,” said Jack.
He briefly considered oil painting but found that working with oil paints was “too messy” and “took too long to dry.” He said, “I was in a hell of a hurry to enter this new chapter of my life, and oil painting took too long.”
He decided to focus on acrylics as his medium, although he later added watercolors to his repertoire as well. He committed himself to painting with the same passion he applied to his advertising career. He regularly painted from 7 p.m. in the evening, until 2 a.m. in the morning, taking several months to complete each painting.
Early in his painting career, he took a painting in to show his old colleagues at Gerber Advertising what he was up to. One of the account executives promptly bought the painting from him. Subsequently, he sold his paintings at art shows, did commissioned commercial work, and leased many of his Americana paintings to a jigsaw puzzle company. Altogether, he completed 97 paintings before the side effects of a stroke interfered with his ability to continue.
“I miss painting,” Jack said. “It was a cornerstone of my life after retirement.” When looking back on his body of work, he said, “Sometimes I can’t believe I did all of that!”
The following pages show a sampling of Jack’s painting artistry: