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06 Apr Artist Spotlight: Jack Whitaker

Jack Whitaker is a native of the Appalachian mountains and foothills of Greenville, South Carolina. The influence of his childhood in the western North Carolina mountains evolved into the basis for the paintings of his adult life, where he studied Art and Engineering at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, North Carolina. http://www.jackwhitakerpainter.com

Today, Jack is a full-time painter and works in the frame and gallery industry. Presently, the majority of his time is spent painting the rural scene of the western North Carolina mountains. His paintings exemplify his shoot-from-the-hip philosophy, “Painting is simple- God is the architect of nature, color, and composition…all I have to do is copy the Master.”

When did you start your career in art? How long have you known you wanted to be an artist?

Ever since I was a little kid, I was always drawing. Both of my grandmothers painted, and they, along with others in my family encouraged me. At a certain point in my life, I crossed a line where my confidence as an artist grew to where I knew this was something I wanted to do, and could do professionally.

Describe your aesthetic in 3 words

Impressionistic, Southern, Fluid

Describe your artistic process and preparation?

I wander around in the Western North Carolina mountains and I seek the road less traveled. All who wander are not lost, you know! Water is my passion. I grew up in the creeks and streams and I grew up around water. Water and Fly Fishing is the perfect marriage to me, which I capture on canvas.

Favorite piece you’ve created to date and why?

“Almost Heaven” which is part of the show at Coffey & Thompson this month. We are confronted by the Almighty daily. In my case, it’s an image that I must portray in paint.

Who inspires you personally and/or professionally?

Winslow Homer, for his Landscapes, Seascapes and hunting scenes. I’m an outdoorsman, and his work speaks to me personally. Second, Vincent Van Gogh, for his sheer determination and independence. Lastly, I’m also inspired by Thoreau’s quote, “Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” I want to follow in that independent spirit.

A random fact about you?

My favorite color is black, which I use often in various degrees in my paintings. It is the strongest color in the spectrum and lays a solid foundation in my work.

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