Artist Jack Paluh (pronounced pa-LEW), resides in Northwestern Pennsylvania in the small borough of Waterford with his wife Marian and their three children living nearby. Jack was a “constant doodler” from the time he was old enough to hold a pencil. His teachers recognized Jack’s talents early and encouraged him to continue developing his art skills following high school. But being young, Paluh had other ideas and found work as a truck driver.
His life changed drastically, however, in the autumn of 1982, when he was injured in a hunting accident. “While I was bow hunting, my tree stand collapsed beneath me and I fell 20 feet to the ground, cracking a vertebra in my back,” Jack remembers, “but God was faithful, and provided me with an opportunity to find the silver lining in a very dark cloud.” Paluh is referring to his recuperation period when he painted a white-tailed deer painting titled Monday Morning. “That was nearly 30 years ago,” says Paluh, “and so began my career as a full-time nature artist.”
“All of nature continues to fascinate and inspire me. The older I become, the more I realize how intricate our natural world is created. I truly enjoy the time spent outdoors as it is my time to pray, dream and compose.”
Jack has received many honors in his career as a nature artist, but none more significant to him than meeting and talking with the people who have enjoyed and purchased his artwork. At an art show or during a chance meeting in passing, Jack is never too busy to answer questions about his paintings or swap a few hunting stories. Whether it is painting, hunting, photography or just observing, Jack’s natural sense of humor is ever present as well as his strong faith in God. “God has truly blessed me with a job that I love,” states Paluh. “My success is through His handiwork. He provides me with an amazing outdoors to paint and enjoy. I give Him all the credit.”
Jack is a dedicated bowhunter and naturalist. Many of his paintings have been created while sitting in his tree stand. Hunting is the lifeline of Paluh’s artwork. He is an avid turkey hunter and chasing white-tailed deer with a bow and arrow comes in a close second. In recent years, with the acquisition of his two black Labrador retrievers, he also has taken up duck and goose hunting. “Even on a hunting day that has been less than successful, I still return home with ideas. I file those ideas away and use them in future paintings,” states Jack.
For the last several years, Jack’s favorite workspace has been outdoors, using a technique called Plein Air Painting. Painting outdoors or “out in the open,” images are painted in a short period of time to capture lighting and color temperatures. This capture of natural light and color enables him to carry these small studies back to the studio and bring large paintings to life. On occasion, Paluh will put some of these Plein Air Paintings up for sale.
“I often sketch or paint outdoors first to capture color and setting,” states Paluh, “then move indoors to refine the painting. My goal is to have the viewer’s eyes flow comfortably through a piece and to draw them into the canvas. I want the person to feel as if they have visited the place I’m painting. The medium I use is oils on canvas or linen. The oil paints provide me with rich colors and a longer drying period to make changes on the canvas.”
In this artist’s heart, there is always another painting around the bend. Often people will ask Paluh which painting is his favorite. With a smile, he always states, “My next one!”