Tag: Jack Humphrey

Jack Humphrey – Canadian Artist

PaintingUncategorized

Who Was Jack Humphrey?

Early year as a developing artist Born in St John, New Brunswick, 12 Jan 1901, Humphrey was a natural artist with a long desire from early childhood to become a good painter. I believe Humphrey found Hawthorne to be a good teacher as he took extra tuition at Hawthorne’s Cape Cod School of Art during the summer which spoke volumes to Humphrey’s commitment to become an excellent artist.

I came across Jack Humphrey’s work accidentally and was quite taken by his honest and rugged style. Jack Humphrey was a Canadian Artist who spent time in his early career to master the techniques of watercolour and draftsmanship.

At the end of his career Humphrey was widely recognized across Canada as one of the best painters of his time. He was a member of the Eastern Group of Painters, Contemporary Art Society, Canadian Group of Painters, Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour, Canadian Society of Graphic Arts, and International Association of Plastic Arts.

Harbour

When the depression of the 1930s hit Humphrey was forced to return to his native St John due to personal financial concerns, returning back to Canada Unfortunately. Humphrey’s concerns about the artistic isolation of his hometown where now obsolete as a trained artist he was now a fully capable painter and it was St John that brought out the inspiration and affection that Humphrey needed to create some remarkable work.

National Recognition In 1933 Humphrey travelled across Canada to many cities including Vancouver, Montréal and Toronto exhibiting with the Canadian Group of Painters. Humphrey travelled extensively exhibiting and working internationally returning to Europe during the 1950s where his work took on more of a modernist abstract style.

Humphrey decided to use these scenes as inspiration for his work making a record of this difficult time in his beloved St John. In many of his portrait paintings Humphrey was very careful to express the inner emotion and character in his subjects. In many of his paintings Humphrey uses colour contrast putting the subject against a large dominant area of colour.

Life in Europe Driven by ambition Humphrey decided that after completing his formal studies in America he would travel to Europe to further his education as an artist. Humphrey eventually left France and travelled to Munich, where he spent 10 weeks studying modernist techniques under Hans Hofmann. Following his tuition Humphrey spent time travelling around Europe studying some of the old Masters in Italy, Netherlands and Belgium an artistic voyage which many artists have undertaken over history.

In addition to his character studies, Humphrey also did some incredible paintings of the local harbour, the streets and people around the city using a rugged honest approach to his work. Humphrey was invited to become a member of both of these groups.

Jack Humphrey died in St John, New Brunswick, 23 March 1967

After tracing Humphrey’s artistic development and journey, it was his work in the 1930s that struck me most profoundly. His raw depiction of his hometown was what really inspired me and made me think more deeply about the living people in St John during the depression.

Humphrey decided to use these scenes as inspiration for his work making a record of this difficult time in his beloved St John. In addition to his character studies, Humphrey also did some incredible paintings of the local harbour, the streets and people around the city using a rugged honest approach to his work. Humphrey travelled extensively exhibiting and working internationally returning to Europe during the 1950s where his work took on more of a modernist abstract style.

Early year as a developing artist Born in St John, New Brunswick, 12 Jan 1901, Humphrey was a natural artist with a long desire from early childhood to become a good painter. I believe Humphrey found Hawthorne to be a good teacher as he took extra tuition at Hawthorne’s Cape Cod School of Art during the summer which spoke volumes to Humphrey’s commitment to become an excellent artist.

National Gallery of Canada