Jack A. Jefferson
“My vocation in art began with the study of the human figure under the tutelage of my late father.
We started with comprehensive drawing exercises focused on establishing the scale of the figure's proportions based on the size of the head. From there we moved to the study of human anatomy, where I was taught to develop the subject from the bones, the features, out. This is where I first became introduced to the nude female form and the challenges of accurately rendering it, while capturing the delicate feminine nature of the subject, it soon became my passion.
I do believe there is a point in everyone’s life when they get the opportunity to respond to their creative inner voice. For some, it happens very early. For me, I had to live long enough and experience enough of the good and bad in life to finally listen…and to finally let go. Since that point, the process has felt very natural, as I have focused my energies on self expression with a pencil or a brush.
In retrospect, I feel have been creating paintings like these in my mind all along. The physical act of now placing pigments on canvas is merely an extension of that subconscious act, simple as that.”
A Born Artist
Jack Jefferson was born into an artist family in La Crosse, Wisconsin. He first discovered his interest and talents in art as a young boy while spending time in his father, William H. Jefferson’s studio. William H. Jefferson was a highly successful advertising executive as well as an accomplished commercial artist. He was founder of Jefferson Advertising, a national advertising agency, with offices in La Crosse, Chicago and Minneapolis. The agency employed a staff of very talented commercial artists and Jack was able to visit and watch them as well as his father as they worked. “There was little commercial quality photography available in the 50s and early 60’s, so illustrators and commercial artists were an integral part of every ad agency”. My siblings and I were often used for models for their illustrations, said Jack. Later, he joined the family business and honed his undisciplined artistic skills as an assistant art director to his father. During those early years in his career, Jack spent countless hours rendering ad and storyboard layouts and developed exceptional abilities in figure drawing, conceptual illustration and graphic design, all the while he dreamt of someday being a successful fine artist. Jack was greatly inspired and further introduced to fine art by his mother, La Vonne Jefferson, who was a talented artist herself and also a successful manager of a national fine art gallery. “She was my biggest fan”, said Jack.
In 1979 Jack left his father’s agency and set out on a 20 year journey that would take him to the top of the ad industry. During his successful career in advertising, Jack worked for several years as an award winning art director, then advanced to executive positions for a number of large Chicago agencies, including serving as Vice President, Group Creative Director at Euro RSCG, Chicago, an international advertising agency with offices across the globe. He managed large creative departments responsible for developing advertising campaigns for clients including, Mc Donald’s, Sears, SunTrust Bank, and Visa.
Upon the death of his father in 1996, who in his retirement had emerged as a recognized fine artist, Jack promised to follow the dream he had found years earlier. That promise would eventually bring him back to his roots as a fine artist.
In 1999, Jack left the ad business and joined a leading National fine art gallery headquartered in Chicago. They represented leading artists from around the world. He soon was promoted to Gallery Director and helped the company grow to be the largest grossing retail gallery organization in the metro-Chicago area. During his years in gallery management, Jack was fortunate to become close friends with a number of recognized and successful international artists. He was also allowed the opportunity to witness many of these gifted artists work. “There was allot of down time for the artists when they would fly in to do a weekend show, and many of them would bring their paints and brushes to the gallery and paint in our storeroom between shows”, I would often times join them there and pull up a chair and visit with them and watch them as they worked, it was wonderful,” said Jack.
In addition to enjoying his current success as a fine artist, Jack is the founder of Jefferson Archives Publishing, LLC., a successful fine art publishing company and Jefferson Fine Art.com. He credits his daughter, who herself is an award winning artist, and his late mother for his inspiration to follow this dream, while his knowledge, advanced skills and artistic abilities can be traced directly back to the days of his youth, working shoulder-to-shoulder with his father.