Jack Reid, The Master of Snow
Early work by Jack Reid in raw sienna and burnt umber
In this more recent image of Jack Reid you can clearly see the light blue's and ultramarines he used, both in the painting on the wall and the one being worked on in front of him.
Those are the words I recall immediately on hearing or seeing the name of my late uncle, Canada's master of watercolour and particularly of snow. Jack could paint snow. That seems a simple thing to say but Jack really could paint snow as if you were there standing in it. Remarkably he had the ability to do it very quickly. He was a master of it and he also was a master of making it look effortless and without challenge. When you watched Jack paint, like over 30,000 students did over his 40 years of teaching, you would be mesmerized as he laid down the water layer, then with a few wide strokes of a large "flat" brush he would "lay in" the ultramarine or royal blue. In the early years he used darker tones as with paynes grey and burnt Umber, but as he grew older he began to use "happier" colours.
I watched this transition over the 40 years and noticed it changed with his personality. Everyone who knew Jack on a personal level knew of his demons. He would say that you never really loose them, you just learn to control them. I prefer to leave the details of those struggles out but suffice to say, and to make my point, Jack's inner feelings were evident in his work.
One of the things I noted about my uncle was the impossible task it was to get time with him. He was so very busy. I respect that, now as I enjoy my own success as an artist, but he was defensive and protective in the early years. Then as he entered his 60's and onward he started to open up more. In his 70"s I was able to visit him just about any time I wanted too, and he seemed to be open to having me around more. In those times I learned most about his work, work ethic and his philosophy. Knowing Jack Reid you could not escape his philosophy. He was always ready with another quote or saying that summed up his opinion about something, and his references almost always started or ended with a joke.
I miss my uncle this morning. I am painting a very large (96") painting and thinking of him while I work. I welcome your comments here on your recollections of the Master of Snow.
Jack Reid's last drawing/art table before he died. I am the proud recipient of it. Left to me by my uncle Jack. On it he inscribed one of his favourite little quips.
4/15/2012 05:00:02 am
I remember selling Jack's limited edition prints when I first entered the gallery business and you are so correct about his ability to paint snow. He was definitely a master of watercolour and you are very fortunate to have been able to learn from such an icon.
12/15/2012 08:14:23 am
I got sobber with Jack,I'm also an artist/Barber........
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The Artists Journey
This is my blog page and it is where I get to be the opinionated man that I really am. The views are my own.
I invite your replies and comments, on my virtual welcome mat.
This sketch above became this finished painting below
The Pine Tree Painter.
How did I become known as the Pine Tree Painter? You could say I paint a lot of Pine Trees, that would be true. I paint a lot of other things too, but Pine Trees, Spruce Trees, Birch and others seem to be a continuous string in what i do. I just like the way they stand there like a custodian of the land. or a greeter to nature. So, I continue down the path with the Pine Tree Painter name on my head, It's ok.